We always have to keep in mind that Jesus was fully human, like us in all things except sin. Therefore, as a fully human being, he experienced everything that you and I experience, other than sin. Jesus himself tells us that it was not for the forgiveness of sin, but “to fulfill all righteousness” – in other words, to fulfill the Father’s plan. For this reason, he told John to “allow it for now” (Mt 3:13-17).
By submitting to John’s baptism, the humanity of Jesus is being proclaimed, his identification with all humankind – even though he is sinless. Then his divinity is proclaimed by the voice from heaven which clearly identifies him
“This is my Beloved Son. My favour rests on him.” For the first time, we see both the divinity and humanity of Jesus proclaimed to the world. The Incarnation remains a “mystery” – but now the true identity of Jesus is revealed, and we
proclaim our belief in that identity every Sunday when we profess our faith in the Creed: “I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, born of the Father, before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true
God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father.”
Jesus was empowered for his public ministry, after this baptism, when the Holy Spirit descended upon him “like a dove.” It is important to note that Jesus waited for this “commissioning” from his Father in heaven, before he embarked upon his ministry of teaching, preaching and healing. There is also a strong message for us in his “waiting.” Each of us must go through the process of discernment (regarding a vocation or a ministry), seeking the Father’s will and blessing, rather than claiming for ourselves something which can only be received as Gift from God.
KNOW YOUR CATECHISM!
Article CCC #1286, reminds us that the prophets had announced that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on the hoped-for Messiah to aid his saving mission; the descent of the Spirit on Jesus at his baptism was the sign of fulfillment of those prophecies. The “yes” of Jesus to this “baptism of death” started his public ministry of salvation for all (see also CCC #536).