History of Baptism

Through Jesus, God commanded the Sacrament of Baptism.

The Old Testament

Under the old covenant, children born to Jewish parents were received into the community almost immediately after birth. They belonged to the covenant people, the sign of which was circumcision. Under the new covenant, children of Christian parents are similarly received into the community, and they receive the sign of baptism, which has now replaced circumcision.

Baptism of Jesus

John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. When Jesus came out of the water, a voice spoke from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove. In this way, Jesus was united with God’s will and found renewed strength to carry out His mission. Jesus is also united with all people who share God’s promise and bring their sins to the water of baptism.

The Command to Baptize

Later, on a mountain near the Sea of Galilee, Jesus gave this command to the disciples:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Matthew 28:19