John the Baptist immersed Jews into the Jordan River with the baptism of repentance. Acts. 19:4, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” Therefore, John’s purpose was to prepare the hearts of the Jews for the greater one who followed him – the Messiah. So, why did Jesus come to John to be baptized? After all, the Lord Jesus was sinless. 1 Peter 2:22, “He committed no sin…” Jesus explained the reason He was baptized in John 3:5, “Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ ” But what did He mean by those words?
Baptism, (Greek – baptizo), the immersion of Jesus’ body under the water symbolically illustrated the death of the body. The Lord Jesus “died” to His human desires, what the natural man follows, and rose to newness of life, the life of following and obeying only God’s will. Jesus said, “Lo, I come … to do thy will, O God…” Hebrews 10:7. The Lord Jesus, rising out of the water (born of water), was begotten of the holy spirit (born of the spirit), and thus left his followers an example. Anyone who wishes to follow in his footsteps should be baptized (or fully immersed) in water, wait for begetting of holy spirit and in obedience suffer with him. “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21.