The Baptism of Jesus (Luke 3:21-22)

The Baptism of Jesus (Luke 3:21-22)


Begin with an involving introduction that surfaces need. Use a provocative question, human-interest story, simple assertion, startling statement, a catalog of information, or create a conflict/problem.

Review big picture > immediate context. Brief words describe critical event.

Read Luke 3:21-22

This text raises several questions:

  • Why was Jesus baptized?
  • Why does Jesus pray?
  • What were the roles of the Spirit and Father?

Excellent passage for teaching the doctrine of the Trinity. All three persons participate in the Son’s baptism, which began his public ministry.

The Trinitarian work of redemption provides believers with their only comfort in life and death.

The Obedience of the Son (21)

  1. Why did Jesus receive John’s baptism of repentance? Obedience, vicariousfulfillment of the law (Matt. 3:13-15). Jesus’ life was just as necessary as his death.
  2. Why does Jesus pray? Prayer was the means by which Jesus was strengthened to obey (theme).

Ryle Baptism cannot be a thing of slight importance, if Christ Himself was baptized.

Baptism has been idolized/degraded, practiced narrowly/loosely, considered magical/natural.

Baptism instituted by Christ > blessing, means of grace! But God’s grace is not limited to the sacraments. A sign and seal of our union with Christ.

Hendriksen It will not seem strange that Jesus, about to undertake a task so grievous, yet also so glorious, would feel the need to fellowship with his Father in heaven.

Vicarious and exemplary obedience.

Prayers of faith should accompany baptism (minister, parents, convert, congregation).

The Son’s obedience was accompanied by…

The Presence of the Spirit (22a)

Did the Holy Spirit literally take the form of a dove? “Like a dove” (Matthew, Luke, John) = Simile implying gentleness.

Why did the Spirit come? This was not when Jesus received the Spirit (conception), but the Spirit’s empowerment for mission (Isa. 11:2, 61:1).

Ordination = powerful moment in my life. I can vividly recall getting down on one knee, surrounded by teaching and ruling elders who were all laying hands on my head, back, and shoulders. It was as if the burden and weight of the office was being laid upon me at that moment.

The picture in my office reminds me often of my need for the Spirit’s power.

Do you rely upon the Holy Spirit to accomplish the work God has called you to do?

Vocation = calling. Ministers, painters, chiropractors, stay-at-home mothers need the Spirit’s empowerment.

The Spirit’s presence was followed by…

The Voice of the Father (22b)

Could other’s hear this voice? Yes (Text).

Why did the Father speak?

  • Public confirmation of Jesus’ identity as the Son of God (Luke 1:35; 2:49; 9:35) who reigns (Psalm 2:7).
  • Private assurance of the Father’s pleasure in him (Isa. 42:1).

Genesis 22:2 The voice of the Father calls out something similar at Jesus’ baptism.

Not only do the Father’s words provide assurance to Jesus, but they also serve as an ominous precursor to Christ’s death. Even then, an assurance from the Father preceded the cross (John 12:27-28).

Our baptism is a sign and seal of our union with this Christ the Lord.

It is because of the obedience of Christ, that our Heavenly Father can look upon us with pleasure. We have been clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

Baptism signifies and seals our adoption and acceptance.


  1. The Obedience of the Son (21)
  2. The Presence of the Spirit (22a)
  3. The Voice of the Father (22b)

The Holy Trinity rejoiced to carry out the plan for our redemption.

  • The Son willing took upon himself the task of redemption.
  • The Spirit equipped and empowered Christ to accomplish the work on our behalf.
  • The Father gave his approval throughout…even assuring his Son prior to the cross.

Hughes The Trinity delights to save the “unsaveable.” What cheer this brings to fallen sinners—to all of us! What hope is ours!

Let this great doctrine bring you great comfort!