Baptism in the Gospels

Synopsis

In the Gospels baptising is based on the symbolic practice in the OT and Judaism of cleansing with water.

Washing was the means of achieving ritual purity

Ex 30:19–20; Mk 7:3–4 The Greek word here translated “wash” is “baptizo”, from which the English “baptise” comes.

Exodus 30:19–20 (NASB95) — 19 “Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet from it; 20 when they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, so that they will not die; or when they approach the altar to minister, by offering up in smoke a fire sacrifice to the Lord.

Mark 7:3–4 (NASB95) — 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; 4 and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.)

Sprinkling with water symbolises spiritual cleansing

Eze 36:25

Ezekiel 36:25 (NASB95) — 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

See also Zec 13:1; Heb 10:22

Zechariah 13:1 (NASB95) — 1 “In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.

Hebrews 10:22 (NASB95) — 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Being baptised by John was a confession that cleansing was needed

Mt 3:11

Matthew 3:11 (NASB95) — 11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

See also Mt 3:6; Mk 1:4–5; Ac 19:1–4

Matthew 3:6 (NASB95) — 6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.

Mark 1:4–5 (NASB95) — 4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

Acts 19:1–4 (NASB95) — 1 It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

John promised that the Messiah would cleanse with the baptism of the Holy Spirit

Mt 3:11

Matthew 3:11 (NASB95) — 11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

See also Is 44:3; Eze 36:25–26

Isaiah 44:3 (NASB95) — 3 ‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants;

Ezekiel 36:25–26 (NASB95) — 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Baptism involves both water and the Holy Spirit

Jn 3:5

John 3:5 (NASB95) — 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

The disciples of Jesus Christ baptised like John’s

Jn 3:22–23; Jn 4:1

John 3:22–23 (NASB95) — 22 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized—

John 4:1 (NASB95) — 1 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John

Jesus Christ was baptised by John

Mt 3:13–17

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: