illustration of Jesus being baptized by john in the jordan river

The Baptism of the Lord According to Matthew

The Baptism of the Lord is the story of Jesus traveling to the Jordan River to receive John’s baptism.

The Gospel Account

John tries to prevent Jesus’ baptism, stating that Jesus should baptize John. Jesus responds to fulfill righteousness and John baptizes him. When Jesus emerges from the water, the Spirit of God descends and rest upon him. God’s voice calls Jesus His beloved Son. The full passage is found in the Gospel of Matthew, Matthew 3:13-17.

The Five Decades

When you pray the five decades of this Rosary Reflection, use these five events from the Gospel.

First Decade: Jesus Arrives at the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13)

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.

Second Decade: John the Baptist’s Refusal (Matthew 3:14)

John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and you are coming to me?

Third Decade: Jesus Responds to John (Matthew 3:15)

Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for this it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.

Fourth Decade: The Spirit Descends on Jesus (Matthew 3:16)

After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him.

Fifth Decade: God’s Voice from Heaven (Matthew 3:17)

And a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

What to Remember

This Gospel story reveals Jesus as God’s beloved son, who accepts the baptism from John for the repentance of sins. God’s voice calls Jesus “beloved,” with whom God is well pleased. Jesus fulfills the word of God spoken by the prophets in the Old Testament. 

As a disciple of Jesus, your own life in Christ began when you were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Through Jesus, you are adopted as a beloved son or daughter of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Pray this rosary to recall God’s saving grace in your own baptism.

What to Pray For

  • For a deeper reflection on the meaning and grace of your own baptism and a renewal of your baptismal vows.
  • For a greater appreciation of the Holy Spirit’s action in your life.
  • For all  Christians, that they will live out their baptismal vows and share God’s love with others.
  • For those who don’t know about Jesus’ love and saving grace, that they will know Jesus.

Feel free to pray this rosary reflection to reconnect with the precious grace of your baptism.

When This Gospel Appears

This Gospel passage is proclaimed on the Feast of The Baptism of the Lord, during Cycle A of the lectionary. The most recent occurrence is January  9, 2023.

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