Jesus asks to be baptized by John - Catholic Courier
(Illustration by Linda Jean Rivers) (Illustration by Linda Jean Rivers)

Jesus asks to be baptized by John

Jesus asks to be baptized by John
Bible Accent
Saint for Today: St. Francis de Sales

Jesus asks to be baptized by John

John the Baptist had been preaching in the desert.

He warned all who would listen that they needed to repent of their sins and be baptized so their sins would be forgiven.

This fulfilled a prophesy in the Book of Isaiah: “A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Many people came to the Jordan River to be baptized by John, and many of them wondered if John was the Messiah who had been promised to them by God.

John was quick to set the record straight.

“I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming,” John told the people. “I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

After all the people had been baptized, Jesus came to John to be baptized as well.

Once John had baptized Jesus, and as Jesus was praying, heaven opened. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove.

Just then, a voice from heaven spoke.

“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased,” the voice said.

Jesus left the Jordan River filled with the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit led him into the desert for 40 days. Jesus didn’t eat anything during this time, so when the 40 days end, he was very hungry.

That’s when the devil came to tempt Jesus.

Knowing Jesus was hungry, the devil tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, but Jesus refused. The devil tried two more times to tempt Jesus, but when it didn’t work, the devil went away.

After this time in the desert, Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, returned to Galilee to begin his public ministry.


Luke 3 & 4


1. Who baptized Jesus?

2. What did Jesus do after he was baptized?

ESSAY: What do you think about the gift of baptism?

Bible Accent

Why did Jesus, who is sinless, want to be baptized?

In Matthew 3:13-15, we read that John the Baptist hesitated to baptize Jesus.

“I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” John said in surprise.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in No. 536 that Jesus’ baptism shows that he has accepted and inaugurated his mission as God’s suffering Servant.

“He allows himself to be numbered among sinners; he is already ‘the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,’” the catechism notes. “Already he is anticipating the ‘baptism’ of his bloody death. Already he is coming to ‘fulfill all righteousness,’ that is, he is submitting himself entirely to his Father’s will: out of love he consents to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins.”

Through baptism, the catechism says in No. 537, Christians are “sacramentally assimilated to Jesus” and “go down into the water with Jesus in order to rise with him, be reborn of water and the Spirit so as to become the Father’s beloved son in the Son and ‘walk in newness of life.’”

Saint for Today: St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales was born in 1567 in what is now present-day France. He was ordained a priest in 1593 and spent four years reconverting Catholics who had become Calvinists. To do so, he wrote many tracts that explained the tenets of the faith.

Francis became bishop of Geneva, Switzerland, in 1602. He reorganized and reformed his see, and he also preached in Paris and wrote two devotional books. He and his longtime friend, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, together founded the Order of the Visitation.

Francis died in 1622. He was canonized in 1665 and declared a doctor of the church in 1877. We remember him on Jan. 24.


Using the hints provided, fill in the blank at the end of each sentence about repentance with the name of the person being quoted.

1. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. (Acts 2:38) _____

2. “I have sinned grievously in what I have done. Take away, Lord, your servant’s guilt, for I have acted very foolishly.” (2 Sm 24:10) _____

3. “We have sinned. Do to us whatever is good in your sight. Only deliver us this day!” (Jgs 10:15) _____

4. “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his time.” (1 Kgs 21:29) _____





Answers 1. Peter; 2. David; 3. Israelites; 4. God



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