The one baptism of Ephesians 4:5 is not the baptism of suffering: “But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”  They said to Him, “We are able.” So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with…”  Matthew 20:22,23

On this occasion the mother of James and John (the sons of Zebedee) came to make a special request of the Savior. With her sons by her side, she asked that her sons be given a special place in the kingdom of Christ. The question of Jesus concerning whether James and John could drink of the cup of which He would drink reminds us of the earnest request of Jesus to the Father, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)  The context of this passage clearly shows that the cup to which Jesus referred was the cup of suffering and death which He was about to endure. This understanding harmonizes with the statement of Jesus recorded in Luke 12:50, “…I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!”


The scope of the baptism of suffering is so narrow in its emphasis and application that it cannot possibly be the “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5 which is in force today.