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Matthew 3:15

    Matthew 3:15 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And Jesus answering said to him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffereth him.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But Jesus made answer, saying to him, Let it be so now: because so it is right for us to make righteousness complete. Then he gave him baptism.

    Webster's Revision

    But Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffereth him.

    World English Bible

    But Jesus, answering, said to him, "Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffereth him.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 3:15

    To fulfill all righteousness - That is, Every righteous ordinance: so I think the words πασαν δικαιοσυνην should be translated; and so our common version renders a similar word, Luke 1:6. The following passage, quoted from Justin Martyr, will doubtless appear a strong vindication of this translation. "Christ was circumcised, and observed all the other ordinances of the law of Moses, not with a view to his own justification; but to fulfill the dispensation committed to him by the Lord, the God and Creator of all things." - Wakefield.

    How remarkable are the following words of Creeshna (an Incarnation of the Supreme God, according to the Hindoo theology) related in the Bhagvat Geeta, p. 47. Addressing his disciple Arjoon, he says, "I myself, Arjoon, have not, in the three regions of the universe, any thing which is necessary for me to perform; nor any thing to obtain, which is not obtained; and yet I live in the exercise of the moral duties. If I were not vigilantly to attend to those duties, all men would presently follow my example. If I were not to perform the moral actions, this world would fail in their duties: I should be the cause of spurious births, and should drive the people from the right way. As the ignorant perform the duties of life from a hope of reward, so the wise man, out of respect to the opinions and prejudices of mankind, should perform the same without motives of interest. The wise man, by industriously performing all the duties of life, should induce the vulgar to attend to them."

    The Septuagint use this word often for the Hebrew משפת mishpat, judgment, appointment. And in Ezekiel 18:19, Ezekiel 18:21, the person who δικαιοσυνην και ελεος πεποιηκε - hath done righteousness and mercy, is he who sacredly attended to the performance of all the religious ordinances mentioned in that chapter, and performed them in the genuine spirit of mercy. Δικαιωματα is used 1 Maccabees 1:13, 49; 2:21, and in Hebrews 10:1, Hebrews 10:10, to denote religious ceremonies. Michaelis supposes that כל חק kol chok, all religious statutes or ordinances, were the words used in the Hebrew original of this Gospel.

    But was this an ordinance? Undoubtedly: it was the initiatory ordinance of the Baptist's dispensation. Now, as Christ had submitted to circumcision, which was the initiatory ordinance of the Mosaic dispensation, it was necessary that he should submit to this, which was instituted by no less an authority, and was the introduction to his own dispensation of eternal mercy and truth. But it was necessary on another account: Our Lord represented the high priest, and was to be the high priest over the house of God: - now, as the high priest was initiated into his office by washing and anointing, so must Christ: and hence he was baptized, washed, and anointed by the Holy Ghost. Thus he fulfilled the righteous ordinance of his initiation into the office of high priest, and thus was prepared to make an atonement for the sins of mankind.

    Then he suffered him - In the Opus Imperfectum, quoted by Griesbach, there is the following addition, which, at least, may serve to show the opinion of its author: Et Johannes quidem baptizauit ilium in aqua, ille autem Johannem cum Spiritu. "Then John baptized him with water, and he baptized John with the Spirit."

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 3:15

    Thus it becometh us - It is suitable and proper. And though you may feel yourself unworthy, yet it is proper it should be done.

    All righteousness - There was no particular precept in the Old Testament requiring this, but he chose to give the sanction of his example to the baptism of John, as to a divine ordinance. The phrase "all righteousness," here, is the same as a righteous institution or appointment. Jesus had no sin. But he was about to enter on his great work. It was proper that he should be set apart by his forerunner, and show his connection with him, and give his approbation to what John had done. He submitted to the ordinance of baptism, also, in order that occasion might be taken, at the commencement of his work, for God publicly to declare his approbation of him, and his solemn appointment to the office of the Messiah.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 3:15

    3:15 It becometh us to fulfil all righteousness - It becometh every messenger of God to observe all his righteous ordinances. But the particular meaning of our Lord seems to be, that it becometh us to do (me to receive baptism, and you to administer it) in order to fulfil, that is, that I may fully perform every part of the righteous law of God, and the commission he hath given me.