Saturday, March 21, 2009

Matthew 3:13–17

Matthew 3:13–17: The Baptism of Jesus

Synopsis

The last passage introduced John the Baptist. In this passage, Jesus comes to him to be baptized. John is a little taken aback by this; he should be getting baptized by Jesus, and Jesus is coming to him? But Jesus tells him to “[l]et it be so now” to “fulfill all righteousness (verse 15 (ESV) ). So John agrees, and baptizes him.

As Jesus comes up out of the water, the heavens open up, and the Spirit of God descends—“like a dove” (verse 16 (ESV) )—and a voice says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (verse 17 (ESV) ).

Thoughts

I’ve developed a habit, when doing my readings these days: First I go through the passage, and put in my thoughts, and then once I’ve done that, I look at the ESV Study Bible notes, to see if they have something interesting to add to what I’ve thought of—which is usually the case—or if they can clearly explain something I didn’t understand. In this case, I went ahead and read the ESV Study Bible first, because I wanted to know what they’d say about Jesus telling John that he was letting himself be baptized to “fulfill all righteousness.” What they said is that, “Although he needed no repentance or cleansing, Jesus identifies with the sinful people he came to save through his substitutionary life and death.”

Other than that, this is a straightforward passage. It’s nice that God the Father gave such a clear sign that this is His Son. As humans, we kind of need that.
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