My Thoughts. . .
Jesus went to the Jordan to be baptized by John. John tried to refuse by saying,
“Why do you need to be baptized? My baptism is for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4). You don’t have any.”
Jesus answered John with,
“You are correct. I’ll just put if off until a more convenient time because I’m already righteous.”
If that had been what happened with John agreeing, then the following would have been the results. 1). Heaven did not open. 2). The Spirit of God did not descend like a dove upon Jesus. 3). There was no voice which spoke from heaven saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
A future apostles stated, “I told you baptism wasn’t important to being righteous. Jesus is our example of how insignificant it is.” Another observed, “Yes, one can wait and do it later at a time more convenient to him.” A third one observed that Jesus’ refusal to be immersed would keep 1) heaven from opening up, 2) God’s Spirit making contact with him, or 3) Yahweh expressing His love or pleasure for him.”
So, John’s baptism would prove that one was already okay with God before submitting to it? If that was the case, why does Matthew inform us that John attempted to stop Jesus from being immersed, but Jesus’ reply was, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15)? Jesus was sinless, yet he submitted to a baptism “to fulfill all righteousness.” We are not sinless, so we need to be filled with God’s righteousness. Despite that need, would it not be okay if we want to put it off until it is convenient with our schedule? Perhaps I’m wrong, but is that not admitting that “fulfilling all righteousness” is left up to how convenient it is with us? If it is not convenient, we are still okay because we intend to do that unnecessary act to fulfill all righteousness sometime in the future?
On the day of Pentecost several thousand were told to “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins.” About three thousand did (Acts 2:37-38). Did any in that group of “about three thousand” argue with Peter, claiming they were already righteous, but would submit to baptism to show they were already beneficiaries? Did the thousands who refused to be immersed, claim that their sins were already remitted because they intended to be baptized in a few more weeks?
Some claim they are immersed, not to be saved, but to obey Jesus. Yet, those individuals will admit that if one refuses to obey Jesus, they will not be saved. Some claim they are baptized, not to be saved, but to follow Jesus’ example. Yet, the followers are not sinless as Jesus was. If one puts baptism off, then they are not following Jesus’ example. Jesus was immersed to “fulfill all righteousness.” Yet, he was already righteous. If we do not follow him, then we do not fulfill what he did, nor are we righteous as he is. Did Jesus tell John, “Not today, maybe next week”? Did he inform John, “I am already righteous, so I don’t need to be immersed”? If Jesus wanted to “fulfill all righteousness” by being immersed, why do we feel “fulfilled” without it? Just my thoughts. What are yours?