Week 3: Day 3 (January 15, 2019)
1. Read below:
Baptized for Service
What does the coming of the Spirit to Jesus mean to Matthew? Although no fulfillment text is cited, we can assume that the Evangelist would have regarded messianic texts such as Isa. 11:2 “And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him.” The same text is probably alluded to in the messianic psalm attributed to Solomon: “For God has made him powerful in Holy Spirit” (Pss. Sol. 17:37). Similarly, Isa. 42:1, perceived as messianic, may well have been so understood in the first century: “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him, he will bring forth justice to the nations.” While for Matthew Jesus was already Messiah at his conception, here at the Jordan, after he has consecrated himself to the messianic task, he receives divine empowerment through the visible conferral of Holy Spirit. By this power he will be able to attack Satan’s forces and thereby exhibit the proximity of the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 12:28). The words of the heavenly voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved, in whomI am well pleased,” confirm the application to Jesus of the prophecy of Isa. 42:1: “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my Beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased.”
The opening section of the Gospel is devoted primarily to the question, Who is Jesus? Incomplete answers have been provided: Jesus is son of Abraham and ultimate Son of David, and as such the Christ (Messiah). His special relationship to God has been referred to in two scriptural quotations, Isa.7:14 and Hos. 11:1, but here finally the identification is made explicitly by God himself, who acknowledges Jesus as “my Son, the Beloved.”
This is also one of two places in the Bible where we get to see the presence of the trinity. In creation we see all three, Father speaking everything into existence (Genesis 1), Jesus (John 1) everything was made through him and gave life to everything that was created, the hovering of the Spirit over the waters (Genesis 1). In the baptism we see, of course, Jesus being baptized, God speaking and the dove hovering over Jesus.
2. Comment: What are your thoughts on Jesus' baptism? What did you learn about God in these Scriptures? Other comments/questions.