On the Baptism, Confirmation, and Ordination of Jesus

Of the Seven Sacraments, only three confer a permanent character on the soul: baptism, confirmation, ordination. All Seven Sacraments are designed by God for the sake of our salvation. Jesus certainly did not need to be saved. But He nevertheless received three Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, and Ordination, so that He would have the same permanent character on His human soul that the members of His Body the Church also have. Moreover, as the High Priest of our most holy religion, it was fitting for Jesus to be ordained, just as His priests are ordained. It was not necessary, but it was fitting. For the path of salvation chosen by God depends in large part on the Sacraments. Jesus received those three Sacraments so as to show us the path of salvation. Jesus received those three Sacraments, so that the baptized, the confirmed, and the ordained might be like Him in all things but sin.

The baptism of Jesus by John was not like the other baptisms performed by John. Those other baptisms were for repentance; they were not formal Sacraments. But when Jesus was baptized, the Father spoke and sent the Spirit upon Jesus, making that particular baptism of John into the formal Sacrament. But I say more. In that same event — the sending of the Spirit on the human nature of Christ Jesus by the Father — Jesus also received the Sacraments of confirmation and ordination. In this way, Jesus marked out the path of salvation for us, received the same characters on the soul that we receive, and became a fitting example for us to imitate.

How could it be otherwise? No one can be a priest in the Church without receiving baptism, confirmation, and ordination. Jesus could have exempted Himself from that requirement. But He did not do so, because it was fitting for Him to follow the same path that He requires for His Body the Church, and for all the ordained of His Church.

Some claim that Jesus received only the baptism of John, not the Sacrament of Baptism. But the Church teaches that John’s baptism was only for repentance. Jesus did not need to repent, therefore He did not receive that type of baptism. And yet the Church has always called this event “The Baptism of the Lord”. So His baptism must have been the true Sacrament.

Jesus did not receive the other Sacraments. It would not make sense for Him to receive holy Communion, since Communion is Himself. He had no sins, and so He was unable to receive the Sacrament of Confession. Jesus never married, neither in an Old Testament marriage or a New Testament Sacrament of Marriage. And He did not receive Extreme Unction at His death.

Jesus received three and only three Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, and Ordination. And He received all three at the same time, when the Father sent the Spirit on Jesus, after His baptism by John in the Jordan.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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