13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, 「I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?」 15 But Jesus answered him, 「Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.」 Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, 「This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.」
Because He is the supreme Preacher, His sermon is accordingly the highest sermon, and no more sublime sermon has come into the world than this one, which the almighty, eternal, merciful God delivers concerning His equally omnipotent, beloved Son, saying, 「This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.」 For everything depends on the beloved Son, and everything is done for the sake of the dearly beloved Son alone; it is about Him that God the Father preaches. Therefore, there can be no more sublime sermon than this sermon about the Son of God, Jesus Christ. So, likewise, the greatest Student and Hearer of this sermon is the Holy Spirit Himself, the Third Person of the divine Majesty. These are all sublime indeed—Preacher, Sermon, and Hearer—and there can be none greater.
But now you may say: 「Oh, yes, I believe that the Baptism of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, was adorned and honored in this way, so that the divine Majesty Himself was present as the supreme Preacher, and the Holy Spirit as the greatest Student and Hearer, together with the host of the dear angels of God. But what help is that to me? What good does it do me? Christ is God’s Son, begotten of the Father in eternity, conceived by the Holy Spirit without sin and born true man of the Virgin Mary. That is why it was such a glorious occasion, to be sure. But I am a poor sinner, conceived and born in sin. Therefore, because of my sin, surely my Baptism will not be such a glorious occasion?」
You should by no means speak or think like this—as if, because you are a sinner, you should despise or lightly esteem your Baptism, as if it were not as glorious as Christ’s Baptism or as if you refused to accept Christ’s Baptism. No, you should not act that way; it would do no good. Rather, you should not separate your Baptism from Christ’s Baptism. You must come with your Baptism into Christ’s Baptism so that Christ’s Baptism is your Baptism and your Baptism Christ’s Baptism, in every respect one Baptism.
For Baptism is a washing in which we are cleansed from our sins, exactly as we sing in the Nicene Creed: 「I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins.」 ——Martin Luther (A Sermon of Dr. Martin Luther, Delivered in Halle on the Day of Christ’s Epiphany, 1546. From Matthew 3 [:13–17], on the Baptism of Christ) (AE 58:361–362)