We can use this parable and
the parallel form in Matthews writing to learn about Jesus' Baptism:
kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,
13Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan
which a man took
coming to John, to be baptized by him.
14But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be
baptized by You, and do You come to me?"
15But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time;
for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all
righteousness." Then he permitted Him.
sowed in his field;
16After being baptized,
32and this is smaller than all other seeds,
when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden
plants and becomes a tree,
Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold,
the heavens were opened,
that the birds of the air come and nest in its
he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove
coming to rest on him
17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My
beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
Jesus used His Baptism (at
the beginning of His ministry) to foreshadow His death and resurrection (at
the end of His ministry). He used John to foreshadow the men that would
crucify (i.e. plant) Him.
In 14-15 (Ref 3), John
resists but Jesus insists that it must be done to fulfill 'all
righteousness'. John recognized that he was unworthy to Baptize Jesus. This
is a foreshadowing of the unworthy men that would crucify him. There is no
one worthy of crucifying Jesus, but it had to be done so that our sins could
be cleansed. There was no one worthy, but it had to be done to 'fulfill all
Then John Baptized Him (Ref
4). John planted Jesus in the water, like a man planting a mustard seed in
Next, Jesus comes
'immediately' out of the water, like a seed that grows into a tree (Ref 6).
Finally, the spirit of God comes to rest on him, like a bird resting in the
branches of a tree. Jesus' crucifixion provided for our greatest need, just
as a tree provides for birds: rest, protection, a home.
The crucifixion cleansed us,
so that the Spirit of God can rest in us.
Jesus' Baptism is a foreshadowing of His death and
resurrection. By looking a the parallels in Matthews writing, we can expand
our understanding of both.
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