A lady contacted me yesterday about explaining Baptism to a Jew…God gave me these verses. I felt the necessity to share a little data base for further study…
John 2: And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews,
These waterpots where Jesus turned the water to wine…were used after the water was sifted through the ashes of a Red Heifer by a Levite…and thus used in ritual purification (baptism). Jesus’ Apostles baptized more than John…
John 3:25…Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.
John 4:When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
Baptism was Jewish ritual and washing for purification of people, pots, vessels, etc. – Jewish Law and ritual purification was traditionalized and changed under God’s Covenant of Grace
Hebrews 6:Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms,
Jewish rituals were to be voided…as were ordinances of the Law
Hebrews 9:10…Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation
Mark 7:8…For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do (traditions of men)
John baptized with water to allow backslidden Israel to be eligible to worship Christ as Messiah… John’s baptism was ordained by God and spoken of by the Prophets. John’s authority came from God but never violated Jewish Law. John was the last record of a Levite in the Bible
In Josephus’s Antiquities of the Jews
Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod’s suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God’s displeasure to him.