Learn by Topic: Baptism


Father Ryan Erlenbush offers three reasons why the heavens open up at Jesus’ Baptism:

If, then, our Lord was always perfect in grace and did not grow into closer union with God but was always in perfect union with the divinity, and if the heavens were always opened to our Savior; why, then, did the heavens open to him at his baptism?
If the heavens were already opened to him, how could they be opened to him anew? The heavens were opened as a sign for our benefit, for the baptism of Christ is a cause of grace in us.
Aquinas (that is, the Angelic Thomas) gives three reasons:
1) To show that it is a heavenly power which sanctifies baptism and effects the grace of baptism in all those who are baptized.
2) Baptism is the “door of faith”, by which faith we gaze upon the things of heaven.
3) Finally, heaven is closed to us before we are baptized. Thus, because baptism is the opening for us to the way to heaven, the heavens were opened as a sign for us at the baptism of our Savior.


When Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove (Luke 3:15-16, 21-22).

Question:  Did Jesus grow in Grace as a result of His Baptism? (more…)

Short answer:  To inaugurate His mission to take on the sins of the world by identifying with all sinners and their sins.

What is amazing about this?

  • There is a preconceived plan for the Incarnation; Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit have developed a plan to deal with our sins.
  • The Baptism was something planned for a very long time; Isaiah some 700 years earlier predicts that John the Baptist will be born (Mal 3;1-4) and that the Suffering Servant will bear Man’s sins (Isa 53).
  • Jesus, the Son of God, being totally righteous, would agree to be baptized like a common sinner.

Longer (and very comprehensive) answer by Jimmy Akins called “Why was Jesus Baptized?”, see below: