Symbols

Jesus’ Baptism

What happened when Jesus was baptised?

baptism01

Baptism was already popular in the time of Jesus. It showed that a person wanted to live by God’s teaching.

Jesus had a cousin called John who baptised people. He was known as John the Baptist. John was a preacher. He told people about God. He spoke to the crowds, and told them that they should live the good lives that God wanted for them. He told the people that they had done bad things that were wrong and that hurt themselves and others. John warned them that this made God sad. He said God wanted them to stop, turn away from their bad ways and to ask His forgiveness for the things they had done wrong.

People listened to what John said. They wanted to put things right with God straight away. By being baptised in the water of the River Jordan, people showed they wanted to wash all the bad away, and to try to live God’s way.

One day Jesus came to John and asked to be baptised. John didn’t want to do that because he knew that Jesus hadn’t done anything bad and so didn’t need to be baptised. Jesus knew that it was important to be baptised – for him it was a sign that he was ready to start the work God had sent him to do. So John did agree to baptism Jesus.

John lowered Jesus into the water and as he came out of the water Jesus heard these words:

‘You are my Son, who I love. With you I am well pleased’ (Luke 3:21)

The Bible says that ‘the Spirit of God came down like a dove’ onto Jesus. Now John knew that Jesus was very special and had been sent by God.

Even today many Christians are baptised as a symbol that they are following Jesus. They want to show other people that they want to live their lives according to Jesus’ example and teaching.

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