Awhile back a blog dedicated to Biblical theology was discussing what it meant for Jesus’ baptism to “fulfill all righteousness.” One of the commentators brought up Broughton Knox’s take on the passage. Know writes:
In other words, Jesus said that it was right for him to identify with John’s messianic movement, for John’s baptism was “from God” (Matt 21:25) and Jesus would not stand aloof from it but ‘while all the people were being baptized’ (Lk 3:21) it was suitable that Jesus too should be baptized. It was the ‘right thing to do’. It was right for John, who was sent from God to baptize with water (John 1:33) to baptize Jesus and so include him in the movement along with all other God-fearing Jews who were awaiting the kingdom, and it was right for Jesus to accept John as the God-sent leader at that time and so accept baptism at his hands. In this way it was appropriate for both of them that John should baptize Jesus and that Jesus should identify with John’s message in the way that God had ordained, i.e., by being baptized by him in water, for God had sent him to baptize with water (John 1:33). That is, the baptism of Jesus was a baptism of discipleship, for at that time John was the leader. When the providence of God removed John from the leadership through Herod shutting him up in prison, then Jesus took over the leadership, preaching the same gospel. However, it would seem that he dropped the rite of baptizing with water, though his disciples revived it on the day of Pentecost.
What do you think of this interpretation? What is your interpretation of this intriguing and perplexing passage?