1. What did Jesus say was the reason for his baptism? Why?
"Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." According to Dr. Pennington of Southern Seminary, Jesus is fulfilling his role as the obedient son of God by practicing the required righteousness of submitting to God’s will to repent. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Is an urgent invitation to reorient our values, habits, loves, thinking, and behavior according to God’s coming reign. In short, repentance means, “Become a disciple!” Jesus repents not in the sense of turning from sin, but in the sense of dedicating himself to follow God’s will fully on earth.
So why did Jesus need to be baptized? Because his central purpose as a savior was to be obedient to the Father, and baptism was an act of dedicating himself to be obedient. As it is for us.
2. Why is baptism important for us today?
First, baptism is a way of being obedient to Jesus‘ command in Matthew 28:19-20 and we see the application immediately after the ascension during Peter’s first sermon to, “repent and be baptized, everyone of you,”.
Baptism is a symbol used throughout the Old Testament as judgement to sinners and redemption of his people: Noah’s family was ‘baptized’ and Israelites were baptized in the Red Sea and the Jordan. We too proclaim that our sin is judged in Christ and that we are redeemed in Christ by partaking in public baptism.
3. Discuss the distinct roles of the trinity
We see all three persons of the trinity in this passage, God the father speaks, God the Spirit descends, and God the Son is baptized. They are one, but they have distinct roles: Father sends the son, the son dies for the sins of the world, the Father raises Jesus from the grave, the Spirit enters into us after Jesus ascends into heaven. There are many distinct roles but he is one God. This is the mystery of the Trinity.
For more study into the disctinct roles of the Trinity, consider these study books:
The Mind of Christ
Life in the Spirit