In contrast to the tendency of the early Christian texts to emphasize Jesus’ sinlessness, there are a number of indications suggesting that Jesus possessed a consciousness of personal sin. The most convincing source for this is the baptism of Jesus by John. By means of the exegetical criteria of embarrassment, counter-tendency and the criterion of historical context plausibility, I try to show that Jesus of Nazareth came to John to be baptized by him because he recognized himself as a sinner who was subject to the wrath of God and needed forgiveness. In this he was no different from other baptizands. I argue that, like every other baptized person, he also confessed his personal sins, this being an essential part of John’s baptism as “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,” though we do not know whether it was a ‘free’ spoken confession of sin or a standardized prayer. However, in both cases the person baptized combined his or her personal sins with those of his people and asked God for the forgiveness of both.