January 8, 2017 marks Baptism of the Lord Sunday. In Matthew 3:13-17, we learn about the baptism of Jesus. John felt that he should be the one being baptized, rather than the one doing the baptism. But Jesus reminds him that this is the proper thing to do in order to fulfill righteousness. Following His baptism, the heavens open for Jesus and the spirit of God comes down with a booming voice declaring, “This is my son, whom I love. With him I am well pleased.”
Many of us may not remember our own baptisms. I was only a few months old at the time of my baptism. However, I very clearly remember the baptism of both of my children. My son was baptized while in the hospital at a mere one month old. I was so worried I was going to lose him, I actually had him baptized in three different religions and dedicated in two. Some denominations do not believe in baptizing children. Their belief is that it is necessary for the individual’s salvation. In the Methodist religion, we belief that salvation has already been granted to us through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. The baptism of child marks that child’s entrance to the church, rather than their salvation.
At the age of 10, my daughter asked me if she was baptized. At the time, she was not. Being a strong Christian at such a young age, she was very upset that she was not yet baptized. She had heard the story of her brother’s baptism’s and did not understand why her experience was not the same. I had personal reason for waiting to baptize my daughter, just as I had personal reasons for baptizing my son multiple times. However, I saw how important it was for her to be baptized. She wanted to be baptized because she loved the Lord. She wanted to be sure He knew that.
I imagine Jesus was also trying to show His love for his Father as well. He was also showing us that he was there to fulfill what had been prophesized. Jesus was old enough to remember his baptism, as was my daughter. If only an infant at the time of our baptism, we most likely do not remember it. It does not make it any less important however.