What does Matthew 3:13 mean?
ESV: Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
NIV: Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
NASB: Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan, coming to John to be baptized by him.
CSB: Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him.
NLT: Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.
KJV: Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
Verse Commentary:
Matthew now introduces Jesus, the subject of his gospel, for the first time as an adult. When last we heard of Him in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus was a small child living in the disreputable town of Nazareth in Galilee (Matthew 2:19–23). His parents had settled there to keep their distance from Jerusalem and the region of Judea, where a former king had tried to kill Jesus as a baby (Matthew 2:13–16).

Since Jesus arrives on the scene from Galilee at around 30 years old, most scholars assume that He had lived in Galilee up until this point in his life. He finds John preaching and baptizing somewhere along the Jordan River. Jesus wants John to baptize Him.

We know from Luke that John and Jesus were extended family through their mothers; Mary and John's mother Elizabeth were related (Luke 1:36). Both men were born by the intervention of God. Jesus, of course, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, making Him the Son of God, the long-promised Messiah. John's birth was also predicted to his father, Zechariah, by an angel. This was despite the married couple being past the normal age of having children. The angel told Zechariah that John would do exactly the work Matthew has described of him so far. John would "make ready for the Lord a people prepared" (Luke 1:17).

Now the Lord Jesus Christ and John meet face to face in an unexpected way. That is, John did not expect this request from Jesus.
Verse Context:
Matthew 3:13–17 describes Jesus' baptism by John the Baptist. Jesus arrives at the site of John's baptismal ministry somewhere along the Jordan River. John resists, but Jesus insists that His baptism is meant to fulfill all righteousness. As Jesus emerges from the water, He sees the heavens open, and the Holy Spirit descends to rest on Him in a dove-like form. The voice of God the Father declares that Jesus is His Son and that He is pleased with Him. Jesus' ministry is both confirmed and revealed on earth.
Chapter Summary:
Matthew introduces John the Baptist as a fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3. He is the voice crying in the wilderness as he prepares the way for the Lord. John calls the crowds who travel to hear him to repent from their sins. The kingdom of heaven is close! He also warns of God's judgment, specifically on Israel's spiritually-barren religious leaders. Finally, the Messiah he has been speaking of arrives and insists that John baptize Him. When he does, the heavens break open, the Holy Spirit comes to rest on Jesus, and the voice of God the Father says Jesus is His Son and that He is pleased with Him.
Chapter Context:
Matthew's story of Jesus jumps forward several decades from the moment when His family settled in Nazareth. This passage finds John the Baptist preaching about repentance in the wilderness and baptizing those who are willing. Crowds come from all around to hear John preach in the look and style of Elijah, including Israel's religious leaders. John warns them of God's coming judgment on those who do not truly repent. Jesus arrives and insists that John baptize Him. As Jesus emerges from the water, the heavens break open, the Holy Spirit descends to rest on Jesus in dove-like form, and the voice of God declares that Jesus is His Son. After this baptism, Jesus will be led into the desert to be tempted by Satan, in chapter 4.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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