I read this incident again a few days ago. This time, instead of leaving puzzled, I left with awe.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"
Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness" (Matt. 3:13-15a)
Jesus knew and John knew and you and I know that Jesus did not require baptism. Baptism, as John preached it to the people, signified repentance and cleansing of sin. So what was sinless Jesus' purpose in participating in this rite?
The first thing that struck me was a single word--righteousness. Jesus' first public act, the launching pad of his ministry, was to align himself with baptism to show how important sinlessness and righteousness was to him. God is holy!
I also saw this: He who desires to preach should be clean himself.