The Objection of John

I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me? – Matthew 3:14

This week I had the pleasure of having my artwork chosen for the second year in a row to be displayed at my church. This year, my church’s “Call to Artists” is an opportunity to create artwork in response to our current series on the book of Matthew. I chose the Objection of John, which I define as the key moment when John the Baptist initially objects to Jesus’ request to be baptized.

John the Baptist heralds the coming of the Messiah, and understands the majesty and power of Jesus more than anyone. After John tells everyone that someone greater than himself is coming, who should show up but Jesus? John baptized with water for repentance, and undoubtedly saved countless people from death, so why should the Son of Man, who can walk on water and has nothing to repent, be baptized by water by someone lesser than himself?

In this drawing, I wanted to convey the chaos of our sinful lives, and how John was working hard to save us from the storm and point us to Christ. And yet, Jesus approaches on dry ground. The water and storm has no power over him and cannot touch him, but he chooses to take the same path as us and enter the boat. On John’s face is written in Greek:

Ἐγὼ χρείαν ἔχω ὑπὸ σοῦ βαπτισθῆναι, καὶ σὺ ἔρχῃ πρός με;

“I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?”

Imagine John, having just said that he isn’t even worthy to hold Jesus’ sandals, now being asked to help the God of the Universe fulfill all righteousness.

Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. – Matthew 3:15

If you would like to see my submission from last year, you can check it out below:

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