Jesus’ ministry was significantly defined by baptism. His baptism is mainly seen by many as the start of his public ministry. He even instructed his disciples to go out and baptize people. It even became a religious practice in the New Testament, where new believers were baptized. However, though baptism was a core part of the ministry of Jesus, did he baptize anyone? Did Jesus baptize anyone?
Theologians and Bible scholars of the New Testament unanimously agree that Jesus did not baptize anyone since there is no evidence from the Bible that he did. Though there are several verses in the Bible that might seem to insinuate that Jesus Christ might have baptized some people, bible scholars conclude that he did not, as the context of these verses do not support that he did.
Is there any record in the New Testament that Jesus baptized anyone? Why did Jesus Christ never baptize anyone? How were people baptized in the book of John by Jesus? Continue reading to get the answers to this question.
Is there a record in the New Testament of anyone baptized by Jesus?
The New Testament has some verses that indicate the possibility of Jesus Christ’s baptizing people. In the gospel of Mathew, John the Baptist tells Jesus that he needs to be baptized by him, which might indicate that Jesus used to baptize people. Mathew 3:14; “that you should baptize me, there is a good reason that I may be made righteous and worthy of heaven; but I should baptize you, what need is there? Every good gift comes down from heaven to earth; it does not ascend from earth to heaven.”
However, an analysis of the context of this verse states otherwise. In Mathew 3:11, John the Baptist told his followers that he would baptize them by water, but whoever comes after him will baptize them by the Holy Spirit. This scripture notes, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Therefore, when John the Baptist asked Jesus to baptize him, he referred to his Holy Spirit’s need.
Some verses in the Gospel of John also insinuate that Jesus indeed did baptize. John 3:22 talks about how Jesus, alongside his disciples, went to minister in the Judean countryside, where they spent time together and were baptized. Additionally, John 3:26 mentions about Jesus baptizing; “they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of Jordan, the one you testified about, look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
However, this was not the case as in the next chapter, the gospel of John clarifies what was happening then. John 4:1-2 notes, “Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.” Therefore, it is clear that Jesus did not baptize anyone.
Why did Jesus Christ never water baptize anyone?
The scripture posits through the words of John the Baptist that Jesus did not baptize people by water because he did so by the Holy Spirit. The words of John the Baptist in Mathew 3:11-12 are echoed in the Gospel of Luke, that Jesus was mightier than John the Baptist, and he baptized with Holy Spirit and not water. Luke 3:16 notes, “John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
On the other hand, some Bible scholars suggest that Jesus Christ did not water baptize anyone because he didn’t want to accrue believers to himself. Therefore, it was better when John the Baptist and his disciples baptized new believers and brought more disciples to Jesus. Some bible scholars note that Jesus baptizing and bringing people to himself would have appeared egocentric and selfish.
How did Jesus baptize people in the book of John?
According to the gospel of John, Jesus baptized people with the Holy Spirit and not with water. This book implies that Jesus did not baptize anyone with water. Though some verses in the gospel of John insinuate that Jesus indeed baptized people, it is later on clear that it was his disciples baptizing people under the instructions of Jesus. Additionally, when John the Baptist noted that he wanted to be baptized by Jesus, he expressed his need for the Holy Spirit. Therefore, according to scholars and substantial Biblical evidence, Jesus baptized people by the spirit while John baptized them by water.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.