A valuable principal we can to learn from this story is that if there are unconfessed sins in our lives, they can hinder us from 'seeing the Lord'. We need to repent of our sins and turn from them and receive forgiveness (1 John 1:9). By repentance of our sins, we 'prepare the way' for Jesus to operate in our lives!
1 John tells us that if we confess our sins, we not only receive forgiveness for them (1 John 1:9), but they are washed and cleansed from us.
Simply acknowledging our sins is not enough, as John clearly rebuked the Pharisees for not living up to their confessions in Matthew 3:7-8, "But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to be baptized, he denounced them. 'You brood of snakes!' he exclaimed. 'Who warned you to flee God's coming judgment? Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God.'" (NLT)
Water baptism and repentance was also preached and practiced in the early church as well, as we can see in Acts 2:38, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."