As Jesus neared the Jordan River, he could hear the voice of John the Baptist, proclaiming, “‘The right time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Change your hearts and lives and believe the Good News!’” (Mark 1:15, ICB).
Many people came to hear John preaching in the wilderness. He had been sent by God to prepare the way for the Savior. When people realized how sinful they were, they asked to be baptized by John in the Jordan River.
God had let John know that some day the Messiah would come to him and ask to be baptized. God promised to give John a sign so he would know who He was. When Jesus came, John saw in His face the signs of His holy life.
John pleaded with Him, “‘Why do you come to me to be baptized? I should be baptized by you!’
“Jesus answered, ‘Let it be this way for now. We should do all things that are right’” (Matthew 3:14, 15, ICB).
As Jesus said this, His face had the same heavenly light that Simeon had seen in the temple when Jesus was a baby. So John led Jesus down into the waters of the Jordan River, and there he baptized Him in the sight of all the people.
The reason Jesus was baptized was not to show repentance for His own sins, since Jesus had never sinned. Rather, He wanted to set an example for us. When He came up out of the water, Jesus knelt on the riverbank and prayed.
Then the heavens parted and beams of glory streamed forth. “He saw God’s Spirit coming down on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven spoke, ‘This is my Son and I love him. I am very pleased with him’” (Matthew 3:16, 17, ICB).
Just as God heard the prayers of Jesus, He will hear ours too. Even the most sinful and needy people can have access to the Father when they come to Him in Jesus’ name. The same voice who spoke to Jesus speaks to us, “This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”