“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:.. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.“ Matt. 3: 16, 17.
We should notice, in these verses the peculiarly solemn circumstances by which the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ was attended. Such a baptism never will be again so long as the world stands.
We are told of the presence of all three persons of the blessed Trinity. God the Son, manifest in the flesh, is baptized; God the Spirit descends like a dove, and lights upon him; God the Father speaks from heaven with a voice. In a word, we have the manifested presence of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. We may regard this as a public announcement that the work of Christ was the result of the eternal councils of all the three persons of the blessed Trinity. It was the whole Trinity which, at the beginning of the creation, said, “Let us make man,” it was the whole Trinity again which, at the beginning of the Gospel, seemed to say, “Let us save man.”
We are told of “a voice from heaven” at our Lord’s baptism; “the heavens were opened,” and words were heard. We read of no voice from heaven before this, except at the giving of the law on Sinai. Both occasions were of peculiar importance. It therefore seemed good to our Father in heaven to mark both with peculiar honor. At the introduction both of the Law and Gospel he himself spoke. “God spake these words.” (Exodus 20:1)
How striking and deeply instructive are the Father’s words: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” He declares, in these words, that Jesus is the divine Saviour, sealed and appointed from all eternity to carry out the work of redemption. He proclaims that he accepts him as the mediator between God and man. He publishes to the world that he is satisfied with him as the propitiation, the substitute, the ransom-payer for the lost family of Adam, and the head of a redeemed people. In him he sees his holy “law magnified and made honourable.”Through him he can “be just and yet the justifier of the ungodly. (Isaiah 42:21; Romans 3:26)
Let us carefully ponder these words. They are full of rich food for thought; they are full of peace, joy, comfort, and consolation for all who have fled for refuge to the Lord Jesus Christ and committed their souls to him for salvation. Such may rejoice in the thought that, though in themselves sinful, yet in God’s sight they are counted righteous. The Father regards them as members of his beloved Son. He sees in them no spot, and for his Son’s sake is “well pleased.” (Ephesians 1:6) J.C. Ryle