“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” — Matthew 3:17
After brief insights into Jesus’ genealogy, virgin birth, rejection by a false king, and worship by wise men from the East, we fast forward about 30 years to a man named John the Baptist.
John is Jesus’ cousin. He is six months older than Jesus. And he has been filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb. As L.A. Barbieri puts it in the Bible Knowledge Commentary, John is “the ambassador of the King.” He goes before Jesus, preparing the way.
His main goal is to show Israel how they much prepare to enter the kingdom of heaven, a kingdom in which God rules and reigns on earth, from Jerusalem, as foretold many times by the prophets.
The people had to “repent.” They had to acknowledge their sin and turn to God. This repentance was demonstrated by baptism and ultimately by “fruits meet for repentance” (v.8). They could not just expect it by virtue of being born children of Abraham. They had to believe like Abraham.
And then, we find, Jesus coming to John. He ask John to baptise him (not for sin) but to “fulfil all righteousness” – to be the ultimate fulfilment of what righteousness is.
When Jesus is coming up out of the water, we have the ultimate anointing of God’s chosen King. All three persons of the Godhead are present – God the Son in the flesh on earth being baptised, God the Spirit descending on Jesus like a dove, and God the Father speaking with a voice from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Jesus is the promised King. Jesus is the beloved Son. Jesus is the anointed One of God. Jesus is the righteous One. May we prepared our hearts to receive Him, to worship Him, and to serve Him.
Have you repented and turned in faith to Jesus? You cannot enter His kingdom and His salvation without repentance and faith.