John Chapter 4 verse 2 corrects a misapprehension which the Pharisees had – they heard of baptisms among the disciples of Jesus, and incorrectly assumed that it was Jesus who was performing the baptisms. John the Evangelist points out that Jesus himself didn’t actually baptise, he permitted his disciples to baptise on his behalf.
Here are some consequences of Jesus using his disciples to baptise, perhaps you can think of others:
- John the Baptist had been baptising his own disciples in the Jordan. Jesus’s action of using his own disciples to baptise others showed the difference between himself and John.
- It raised the status of his disciples to that of John.
- It showed honour to his disciples.
- It was part of their training for service, as one day he would not be there to baptise, but they were to carry on making disciples.
- It demonstrated to the world that his disciples were able to act in his name and with his full authority. He treated what they did as if it had been done by himself.