The Baptism of Jesus is a good example of the variety within the four gospel accounts. In John the event is hardly mentioned, and in Matthew a conversation--admittedly quite short--is recorded.
And what about this difference? In Matthew, the voice from heaven says, “This is my beloved Son.” (The same sentence appears in Luke.) In Mark the voice says, “You are my beloved Son.” So which one was it?
If you came to this website to find out what happened on the day Jesus was baptized, you came to the wrong place. You even came to the wrong accounts.
The four accounts are gospel accounts. Their ancient title is ‘The Gospel According to ______,’ and the word ‘gospel’ means good news, not any news
Perhaps you may differ, but I do not believe that the main purpose of the four accounts was to tell what happened. Simply put, that’s not as important as something else.
Even more important is a message of salvation. Even more important is a message that Jesus took care of what was necessary for us to be saved.
Certainly you may find this strange, but there is the possibility that God, the Father, changed the words so that Jesus heard the words “You are” and the other people heard “This is my.” It may have been a miracle.
Even more of a miracle is that Jesus was there—on earth. He is the One who is both true God and true man. That, in itself, is the miracle of miracles.
But then, that he wanted to get baptized with a baptism for sinners, you could consider that another miracle as well. The Son of God should be highly exalted. He should be washed in the finest perfume—or whatever you would do for the person who should be the most highly exalted in the world.
But that was not for him. John the Baptist told him basically the same thing; and Jesus still wanted to go through with a sinners’ baptism.
This baptism starts him on a very particular road, a road of sin and suffering.
And the four accounts give slightly different perspectives of that road. In Mark, Jesus is basically on that road by himself, and so the saying from heaven fits that (“You are….”). In Matthew and Luke, Jesus is on that road with others—teaching in Matthew and leading in Luke, and so the saying fits that as well. All four accounts work together.
Whatever perspective we have, Jesus is still doing his act of salvation for others.