Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. — Matthew 3:13-15
Men, Jesus has come from Galilee to John the Baptist. Feeling inadequate, John tries to deter Jesus from being baptized by him. John expects that he should be baptized by Jesus. He knows that Jesus is the Lord in flesh and will soon baptize with the Holy Spirit. John relents when Jesus explains “it is right for us to fulfill all righteousness”.
Jesus was not going to be content to fulfill most of what we needed to see from Him. He wasn’t going to walk “most” of the steps of faith and leave the rest to interpretation. From the start, Jesus is intentional about fulfilling all the acts of righteousness. John knows He doesn’t need to be baptized to wash away any sin. Jesus is sinless. Jesus came to redeem from sin, but first He is committed in obedience to every basic step outlined in the Word.
Today we say we should baptize to identify with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Rightly so, but do we also identify with His commitment to fulfill all righteousness? Jesus could have appeared in glory, demonstrated His full authority, lain down like a King upon the throne. But He chose to humble Himself. He chose selflessness. He chose to be among us in every way. Baptism is not the first example to follow from Jesus.
Move forward men, with humility as we walk among our brothers and sisters in humanity. Through Christ and by His examples, we too can engage in every act of righteousness. In fact, read it again. Jesus tells John “it is right for US to fulfill all righteousness. As agents of Christ we participate with Him. John consented to the request of Jesus. What is His Spirit asking of you? Have we even been listening? Through His Spirit, Jesus approaches us. Do we recognize Him, His voice, His compelling? As John did, recognize Him for who He is regardless of the form He comes in. Consent to His request of you with humility. All righteousness is in Him all the time within all His forms, flesh, Spirit and in Glory.