14 But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me?
Chrysostom: Since John’s baptism was to repentance, and therefore shewed the presence of sin, that none might suppose Christ’s coming to the Jordan to have been on this account, John cried to Him, “I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?”
Pseudo-Chrysostom: That Thou shouldest baptize me there is good cause, that I may be made righteous and worthy of heaven; but that I should baptize Thee, what cause is there? Every good gift comes down from heaven upon earth, not ascends from earth to heaven.
Hilary: John rejects Him from baptism as God; He teaches him, that it ought to be performed on Him as man.
15 And Jesus answering, said to him: Suffer it to be so now. For so it becometh us to fulfill all justice. Then he suffered him.
Jerome: Beautifully said is that “now,” to shew that as Christ was baptized with water by John, so John must be baptized by Christ with the Spirit.
Or, suffer now that I who have taken the form of a servant should fulfil all that low estate; otherwise know that in the day of judgment thou must be baptized with my baptism.
Or, the Lord says, Suffer this now; I have also another baptism wherewithal I must be baptized; thou baptizest Me with water, that I may baptize thee for Me with thy own blood.
Pseudo-Chrysostom: In this he shews that Christ after this baptized John; which is expressly told in some apocryphal books.
Remigius: “It becometh us to fulfil all righteousness,” that is, to give an example of perfect justification in baptism, without which the gate of the kingdom of heaven is not opened. Hence let the proud take an example of humility, and not scorn to be baptized by My humble members when they see Me baptized by John My servant. That is true humility which obedience accompanies; as it continues, “then he suffered Him,” that is, at last consented to baptize Him.
Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. I (London: Rivington, 1842).