3 – The Baptism of Jesus

Luke 3:16, 21–22

16 John knew what they were thinking. He said to them, ‘I baptize you with water. But someone else is coming soon. He is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to undo his shoes for him. This other person will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Luke 3:16 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

John baptizes Jesus

21 While John was still baptizing all the people, he also baptized Jesus. While Jesus was praying, the sky opened. 22 The Holy Spirit came down onto Jesus. When he came down like that, he looked like a dove. Then a voice spoke from heaven, ‘You are my Son and I love you. You make me very happy.’

3:22God called Jesus, ‘my Son’. Jesus often said that God was his father.

Luke 3:21-22 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Did you know?

  • John was a prophet.
  • John was called ‘the Baptist’ because he baptized people in water.
  • The ‘Holy Spirit’ is God living in his people.

The meaning of the story

It is now about thirty years later. Jesus began the work God sent him to do.

If someone important, like a king or a president, is coming to a town, then there are lots of things to get ready. John baptized the people to get them ready for the coming of their king. The people needed to be clean to meet their king, Jesus.

John baptized people in water. Water makes us clean on the outside of our bodies. But, water cannot take away the dirt which is on the inside. We are dirty in our hearts. We all need someone to make us clean on the inside.

Jesus’ baptism is different from John’s because Jesus baptizes people with God’s Spirit. God’s Spirit makes people clean on the inside. God’s Spirit is like a fire. A fire burns away everything that is dirty. Jesus washes us with God’s Spirit and makes us truly clean.

Who is Jesus?

The lowest person in society was a slave. The lowest work of a slave was to take off his master’s sandal. John said that he was not worthy to do the lowest job of the lowest person and touch the feet of Jesus. Jesus is so much greater than John.

God calls Jesus his ‘own dear Son’. Just like a parent has a special love for his child, so God has a special love for his only Son, Jesus. God is very happy that Jesus has come to make people clean.

Thinking about the story

  1. Have you ever felt dirty on the inside?
  2. What are some of the things people do to try and make themselves clean?
  3. Why is God’s Spirit like a fire?
  4. What does God say about Jesus?