• By Rev. Devadosan Sugirtharaj
  • Posted 02/21/2021
  • Viewed 25


Journey to the Cross: Lent Sermon Series

Baptism of Lord Jesus Christ

Matthew 3:13-17

Rev Dr Devadosan Sugirtharaj



  • We begin this Lent season with this sermon series: Journey to the Cross. We meditate on the passages from the gospel so that we may meditate on the life journey of Christ towards the cross.
  • The journey to the cross for Jesus began with the baptism at the Jordan river by the John the Baptist. We also have begun or begin our faith journey with Jesus from the teaching of Baptism.
  • People are more focused on the method of baptism but less focus on knowing the importance of baptism from the biblical perspective. 
  • Today we meditate on the baptism of Jesus and how his baptism is different from our baptism and also how we are connected and called to follow him in baptism.


Word study

  • The Greek root-word baptizein means to plunge, immerse, sink; to wash; to be immersed, overwhelmed (in trouble).
  • In the Old Testament, the rules of purification concern the ritual uncleanness and the word purification implies cleansing for God.
  • Baptism is the important sacrament of the Christian faith and we are called to take baptism in the church.


Context of the text

  • In the gospel, Jesus began his ministry from his baptism. Baptism played an important role in Lord’s life and ministry. In the same way, Baptism plays an important role in our lives as his believers.


1. While Baptism is the Act of New Beginning in Ministry to the Lord Jesus Christ, Baptism is the Sacramental Act of New life by Dying and Rising with Christ. Matthew.3:13.

  • 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.
  • 13. அப்பொழுது யோவானால் ஞானஸ்நானம் பெறுவதற்கு இயேசு கலிலேயாவைவிட்டு யோர்தானுக்கு அருகே அவனிடத்தில் வந்தார். 
  • Jesus came to John the Baptist and asked him to baptize him. It is a significant revelation of Jesus to the public. Before he started his public ministry, he carried out his duty to be baptized in order to emphasize the role of baptism in the Kingdom of God community, the Church. No one compelled him to be baptized. He came with his own choice.
  • When we believe Christ, our Lord and accept him as our Savior, we are called to be baptized in order to die with Christ and also to raise with him. We are commanded by God to doing so, and by doing we are united with Christ.


  • Romans.6:3-4:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
  • 3. கிறிஸ்து இயேசுவுக்குள்ளாக ஞானஸ்நானம் பெற்ற நாமனைவரும் அவருடைய மரணத்துக்குள்ளாக ஞானஸ்நானம் பெற்றதை அறியாமலிரு க்கிறீர்களா?4. மேலும் பிதாவின் மகிமையினாலே கிறிஸ்து மரித்தோரிலிருந்து எழுப்பப்பட்டதுபோல, நாமும் புதிதான ஜீவனுள்ளவர்களாய் நடந்து கொள்ளும்படிக்கு, அவருடைய மரணத்திற்குள்ளாக்கும் ஞானஸ்நானத்தினாலே கிறிஸ்துவுடனேகூட அடக்கம்பண்ணப்பட்டோம்.
  • Colossians.2:12-13:12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
  • 12.ஞானஸ்நானத்திலே அவரோடேகூட அடக்கம்பண்ணப்பட்டவர்களாகவும், அதிலே அவரை மரித்தோரிலிருந்தெழுப்பின தேவனுடைய செயலின்மேலுள்ள விசுவாசத்தினாலே அவரோடேகூட எழுந்தவர்களாகவும் இருக்கிறீர்கள்.13. உங்கள் பாவங்களினாலேயும், உங்கள் மாம்ச விருத்தசேதனமில்லாமை யினா லேயும் மரித்தவர்களாயிருந்த உங்களையும் அவரோடேகூட உயிர்ப்பித்து, அக்கிரமங்களெல்லாவற்றையும் உங்களுக்கு மன்னித்து;
  • Biblical Example:  The Baptism of Crispus and his household Acts.18:7-8: 7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named [b]Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.
  • 7. அவ்விடத்தைவிட்டு, தேவனை வணங்குகிறவனாகிய யுஸ்து என்னும் பேருள்ள ஒருவனுடைய வீட்டிற்கு வந்தான்; அவன் வீடு ஜெபஆலயத்திற்கு அடுத்ததாயிருந்தது. 8. ஜெபஆலயத்தலைவனாகிய கிறிஸ்பு என்பவன் தன் வீட்டார் அனைவரோடும் கர்த்தரிடத்தில் விசுவாசமுள்ளவனானான். கொரிந்தியரில் அநேகரும் சுவிசேஷத்தைக் கேட்டு, விசுவாசித்து, ஞானஸ்நானம் பெற்றார்கள்.
  • Sermon Illustration: Some years ago a Brahmin believer in the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized in the Meeting-room, Broadway, Madras. He came to the ceremony wearing, as all Brahmins do, the `Yagnopavita' or sacred thread, hanging around his neck. Immediately after his baptism, as he came out of the water, he snapped the thread and threw it into the water in which he had been immersed, thereby signifying that the old life as a Brahmin had come to an end and that he would thenceforth 'walk in newness of life in Christ.


2. While Baptism is the Act of Obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Father, Baptism is the Sacramental Act of Obedience to the Lord by Cleansing and Washing of our Sins. Matthew.3:14-15

  • 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
  • 14. யோவான் அவருக்குத் தடை செய்து: நான் உம்மாலே ஞானஸ்நானம் பெறவேண்டியதாயிருக்க, நீர் என்னிடத்தில் வரலாமா என்றான்.15. இயேசு அவனுக்குப் பிரதியுத்தரமாக: இப்பொழுது இடங்கொடு, இப்படி எல்லா நீதியையும் நிறைவேற்றுவது நமக்கு ஏற்றதாயிருக்கிறது என்றார். அப்பொழுது அவருக்கு இடங்கொடுத்தான்.
  • John recognized that Jesus had nothing to repent of and it would be appropriate for him to be baptized by him. Jesus asked him to do as to fulfill all righteousness and it means that he would identify himself as Son of man and at the same time to fulfill the mission Father gave to him. To Jesus, this act was to identify himself with humanity in order to redeem them.
  • When we are baptized, baptism becomes our sacramental act of purification from the sins and cleansed. This is important for us to testify that we have received God’s forgiveness and all our sins are washed away and we become clean.
  • 1 Peter 3:21:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
  • 21. அதற்கு ஒப்பனையான ஞானஸ்நானமானது, மாம்ச அழுக்கை நீக்குதலாயி ராமல்,  தேவனைப்பற்றும் நல்மனச்சாட்சியின் உடன்படிக்கையாயிருந்து, இப்பொழுது நம்மையும் இயேசுகிறிஸ்துவினுடைய உயிர்த்தெழுதலினால் இரட்சிக்கிறது.
  • 1 Corinthians.10:1-2: Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea
  • 1. இப்படியிருக்க, சகோதரரே, நீங்கள் எவைகளை அறியவேண்டுமென்றிரு க்கிறேனென்றால்; நம்முடைய பிதாக்களெல்லாரும் மேகத்துக்குக் கீழாயிருந்தார்கள், எல்லாரும் சமுத்திரத்தின் வழியாய் நடந்துவந்தார்கள். 2. எல்லாரும் மோசேக்குள்ளாக மேகத்தினாலும் சமுத்திரத்தினாலும் ஞான ஸ்நானம்பண்ணப்பட்டார்கள்.
  • Bible example: The Baptism of Cornelius and his household.  Acts.10:47-48: 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
  • 47. அப்பொழுது பேதுரு: நம்மைப்போலப் பரிசுத்தஆவியைப் பெற்ற இவர்களும் ஞானஸ்நானம் பெறாதபடிக்கு எவனாகிலும் தண்ணீரை விலக்கலாமா என்று சொல்லி,48. கர்த்தருடைய நாமத்தினாலே அவர்களுக்கு ஞானஸ்நான ங்கொடுக்கும்படி கட்டளையிட்டான். அப்பொழுது சிலநாள் அங்கே தங்கும்படி அவனை வேண்டிக்கொண்டார்கள்.
  • Sermon illustration: A woman once wrote that at a garage sale she had spotted a handsome antique copper kettle for only $2.50. It was badly tarnished, so she asked the woman running the sale if the discoloration would come out. She cheerfully offered to try some copper cleaner on it and disappeared with it into the house. Reappearing with the gleaming kettle, she handed it to the buyer for inspection. It was indeed a more attractive item, plus it also had a new tag attached. It read: “Like new-$10.” This is interesting. When the copper kettle first went on sale, it’s owner practically gave it away. But something changed its worth. What made the kettle more valuable? A simple cleansing. When the owner took the trouble to clean away the grime/ removed the discoloration and stains it was worth 4 times as much Almost everything IS more valuable once it has been washed and cleaned up, and so it is with us


3. While Baptism is the Act of Revelation of Triune God to the World, Baptism is the Sacramental Act of Covenant Relationship with Triune God as Outward Sign of Inward Transformation. Matthew 3:16-17

  • 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and [a]He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
  • 16. இயேசு ஞானஸ்நானம் பெற்று, ஜலத்திலிருந்து கரையேறினவுடனே, இதோ, வானம் அவருக்குத் திறக்கப்பட்டது; தேவ ஆவி புறாவைப்போல இறங்கி, தம்மேல் வருகிறதைக் கண்டார்.17. அன்றியும், வானத்திலிருந்து ஒரு சத்தம் உண்டாகி, இவர் என்னுடைய நேசகுமாரன், இவரில் பிரியமாயிருக்கிறேன் என்று உரைத்தது.
  • In the baptism., God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit revealed himself as Triune God and declared Jesus as the Son of God. This revelation is important to the world that Jesus is not just the Son of man but the Son of God.
  • When we are baptized, the revelation of God’s covenantal relationship with the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit and we are declared to the world that we become God’s children. The baptism displays the revelation of our relationship with Triune God to the public.
  • Galatians.3:26-27:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
  • 26. நீங்களெல்லாரும் கிறிஸ்து இயேசுவைப்பற்றும் விசுவாசத்தினால் தேவனுடைய புத்திரராயிருக்கிறீர்களே. 27. ஏனெனில், உங்களில் கிறிஸ்துவுக்குள்ளாக ஞானஸ்நானம் பெற்றவர்கள் எத்தனைபேரோ, அத்தனைபேரும் கிறிஸ்துவைத் தரித்துக்கொண்டீர்களே.
  • Ephesians.4:4-6:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in [c]you all.
  • 4. உங்களுக்கு உண்டான அழைப்பினாலே நீங்கள் ஒரே நம்பிக்கைக்கு அழைக்கப்பட்டதுபோல, ஒரே சரீரமும், ஒரே ஆவியும் உண்டு; 5. ஒரே கர்த்தரும், ஒரே விசுவாசமும், ஒரே ஞானஸ்நானமும், 6. எல்லாருக்கும் ஒரே தேவனும் பிதாவும் உண்டு; அவர் எல்லார்மேலும், எல்லாரோடும், உங்கள் எல்லாருக்குள்ளும் இருக்கிறவ
  • Bible example:  The Baptism of Corinthians. Acts.19:4-5:4 Then Paul said, John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
  • 4. அப்பொழுது பவுல்: யோவான் தனக்குப்பின் வருகிறவராகிய கிறிஸ்து இயேசுவில் விசுவாசிகளாயிருக்கவேண்டும் என்று ஜனங்களுக்குச் சொல்லி, மனந்திரும்புதலுக்கு ஏற்ற ஞானஸ்நானத்தைக் கொடுத்தானே என்றான். 5. அதைக் கேட்டபோது அவர்கள் கர்த்தராகிய இயேசுவின் நாமத்தினாலே ஞானஸ்நானம் பெற்றார்கள்.
  • Sermon illustration: 
  • When a person pledges allegiance to the flag, he is openly identifying with the United States of America. It is more than just a ritual. It means a promise of loyalty to the nation—”I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands.” Likewise, when a person is baptized, he is pledging allegiance to Jesus Christ—openly identifying with him.
  • Baptism is like a wedding. It is a covenant act, a relationship-making agreement, in which commitments are made. A couple may love one another. But feelings can go up and down. That is why marriage is so important. In a wedding, two people bind themselves to one another in covenantal commitment. It provides a solid foundation for marriage. God has done the same with us. He has made a covenant. He has bound himself to us. And baptism symbolizes that commitment.



Baptism plays significant role in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ and also in our lives.

  1. While Baptism is the Act of New Beginning in Ministry to the Lord Jesus Christ, Baptism is the Sacramental Act of New life by Dying and Rising with Christ. Matthew.3:13.
  2. While Baptism is the Act of Obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Father, Baptism is the Sacramental Act of Obedience to the Lord by Cleansing and Washing of our Sins. Matthew.3:14-15
  3. While Baptism is the Act of Revelation of Triune God to the World, Baptism is the Sacramental Act of Covenant Relationship with Triune God as Outward Sign of Inward Transformation. Matthew 3:16-17


Questions for Discussion

  •  How is dying symbolic of our conversion to Christ? What dies when we are saved? What do you do with an old man who dies? How does baptism picture this process?
  • Why is baptism part of our mandate to make disciples and teach them to observe Jesus’ commandments? What would you say about someone who claims to be a follower of Christ yet has no intention of being baptized?
  • How does recognizing our baptismal identity change our understanding of the purpose of the educational, service, and mission programs of the church?



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