The Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Mark both plainly relate that John the Baptist baptized the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Matt. 3:13-17

13 Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 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. 16 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, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” NASB

  • Mark 1:9-11

9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; 11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” NASB

However, the Gospel of Luke seems to suggest that John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod1 before the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized.2 How is Luke 3:21-22 interpreted in light of Matt. 3:13-17 and Mark 1:9-11? Does Luke omit the baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ by John the Baptist?


1 Luke 3:20
2 Luke 3:21

1 Answer 1


Then he [John] said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? -Luke 3:7 (NKJV)

Luke 3:7 says the multitude came out to be baptized by John. Luke then proceeds with John rebuking pretty much everyone, with Luke specifying exactly how much John rebuked people, even up to the very powerful king Herod and that this constant rebuking cost John his freedom by being locked up in prison.

19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, 20 also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison. -Luke 3:19-20 (NKJV)

Luke then backtracks to "when all the people were baptized" and then tells of Jesus' baptism (by John). "By John" is implied in verse 21 since it is referencing the events in verse 7, when everyone came to be baptized by John.

21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” -Luke 3:21-22 (NKJV)

Luke appears to have wanted to bring such attention to how fearlessly John rebuked all manner of sin, even the sin of a powerful king, that he continued the tale of John's rebukes up until his imprisonment, momentarily skipping Jesus' baptism and then circling back to it in verses 21-22.

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