The Clueless Obedience of John Baptizing Jesus

 “Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, 'I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?' But Jesus answering said to him, 'Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.'”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭3:13-17‬ ‭NASB‬‬


Did John make the dove fly from heaven? Did John make God speak from heaven? Did John make Jesus pleasing to God? Did John understand exactly why Jesus said he had to baptize Him? No. No to all of these. But the baptizing of Jesus had to be done for this event to roll forward. John didn't make all this happen. But he had to obey to trigger the rest of the event. Jesus was already pleasing to God. God the Father already loved Jesus. The Spirit was ready to descend upon Jesus in the form of a dove. But the experience that made visible all of these elements was John baptizing Jesus. John had to obey, even though it made no sense to him. He had no idea what would happen after he obeyed, since he couldn't even imagine the act of obedience itself.


We, too, have no idea what God has in store for our obedience, what He stands ready to cascade as consequence of us obeying His commands. The consequences of our obedience may be as mere as we imagine them, or they could be immense beyond our imagining. We don't know the other pieces of God's puzzle that await the fitting-together with each other and with our own obedient pieces. Only He knows. We can trust Him, His love for us, and the commands He gives.