When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Why did Jesus choose to be baptized by John the Baptist? Because Jesus lived a perfect life, He was not in need of the baptism that John offered for the repentance of sins. Jesus did not need cleansing from any sins. Perhaps this is why John was so hesitant to baptize Jesus.
Only Matthew records the opposition that John voiced. If Jesus was going to provide righteousness for sinners, He must be identified with sinners. Because of this, it was in the will of God for Him to be baptized by John in order to be identified (the real meaning of the word “baptized”) with sinners.
For a believer in Jesus Christ, Baptism is simply an outward expression of what God has done inwardly. It is an opportunity for an individual to visibly identify with a group of believers and publically communicate that they have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life. Although baptism does not save a person (give them eternal life), it does identify them with others who have believed in Christ for eternal life.
One of the interesting things about this passage is how it ends. All three persons of God are present (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and God the Father says, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God repeated these words about Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:5).
Why does God not say that He is “proud” of His Son? Twice God uses the phrase “well pleased” when talking about Jesus instead of the word “proud”. Pride is never celebrated in the Bible. Perhaps we should be cautious in saying that we are proud of someone.
WARNING: Take caution whenever you are feeling and expressing pride.