Is the baptism of Matt. 3:11 (administered by John) the same as the baptism spoken of in Mark 10:38 where Jesus asked “Can ye …be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
No, in Mark 10:38 Jesus is not referring to literal water baptism as administered by John. Although anyone may be immersed in literal water, the baptism Jesus speaks of is spiritual and one not everyone is willing to undergo. Few are willing to take up their cross and deny themselves as Jesus did (Luke 9:23), a step necessary to being His follower. Jesus did only that which pleased His heavenly Father, including His baptize and ultimately the giving up of His natural life. If we are to be baptized as He, we must be willing to live a life wholly devoted to the service of God.
The rite of baptism as practiced by the apostles was only symbolic in nature. The rite itself didn’t and could not purify one’s heart or cleanse one’s life from sin and evil and thus, could never bring salvation. It was a visible symbol of the inner cleansing which will ensure salvation.
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