Matthew 3

Jesus Baptized

MATT 3:13-17    MARK 1:9-11      LUKE 3:21-23      JOHN 1:29-34


MATT 3:13 – Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.  {Similar to Mark 1:9}

[from Galilee to Jordan] – “Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan” (Mark 1:9), “in Bethabara beyond Jordan” (John 1:28).  Jesus walked 125km/80mi for 4 days south from Nazareth to Bethabara.



MATT 3:14 – But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

[I have need to be baptized of thee] – Why?  So that he could receive the Holy Ghost of Matt 3:11 and produce the fruits of the spirit (Gal 5:22-26).



MATT 3:15 – And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

[thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness] – In other words, “This is the way we should carry out God’s plan of righteousness.”  This was a symbol of Jesus’ death (burial) and resurrection.  By choosing to be baptized, Jesus made a statement, saying, “I accept the difficult path that will lead to my death and resurrection”.  If it was important enough for Jesus to be baptized, shouldn’t it be as important for His followers?



MATT 3:16 – And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:  {Similar to Mark 1:10, Luke 3:21-22 & John 1:32}

[out of the water] – Does this imply sprinkling or immersion?

[heavens were opened] – The clouds parted where the Holy Spirit came down from.

[like a dove] – In a bodily shape like a dove (Luke 3:22).  All 4 gospels record this event with the same description.  Everyone saw the Holy Spirit coming down onto Jesus, and everyone heard the voice.  The dove is a symbol of peace (Matt 10:16).

[lighting upon Him] – G2064, “to come”.  It landed and set on Him, not going inside of Him.  “It abode upon him” (John 1:32).  Abode = G3306, “Stay, remain”; Upon = G1909, “on, upon”.



MATT 3:17 – And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  {Similar to Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22}

[a voice from heaven] – The voice of Father God came from the sky where the clouds parted for everyone to hear.  Everyone saw the clouds parting; compare to Paul’s experience in Acts 22:9.

[This is my beloved Son] – This was a fact since His birth.  It was said here because he had now left or “hated” his earthly mother and adoptive father (Luke 14:26).  Baptism is the act of “rebirth”, which means death to the old life, and being born again with God as the Father (John 3:3-5).  If we have died to ourselves, our old family is gone, and only God is our true father; which is why Jesus said, “call no man on earth father except God” (Matt 23:9).  This marks the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  This fact is what Satan would immediately challenge 40 days from here (Matt 4:1-11).

The Trinity: Separate Beings – Trinity isn’t a term found in the bible, but means Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19 & 1Jn 5:6).  There’s a common confusion of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost all being the same person, but they are three separate people with three separate bodies and spirits.  If they were all the same, then it would mean that Jesus came out of the water while His own spirit descended onto Himself with the body of a dove while at the same time acting as a ventriloquist, he called from the sky and said “this is my beloved son, who is actually me, and I’m pleased in myself”.  Jesus had his own body and spirit, because without a spirit, His body would be dead (James 2:26).  The Holy Spirit (which is a spirit), descended IN THE BODILY SHAPE of a dove (Luke 3:22).  Jesus now sits on the right hand of the Father (1Pet 3:22).  Yes, it does refer to Jesus’ position of authority as God’s “right hand man”, but literally, God the Father sits on a throne in body (Rev 5:7) and Jesus’ human body was brought back to life (Rev 1:18) and Jesus literally, in human body, can/does/will sit at God’s bodily right hand.

[in whom I am well pleased] – Similar to Isa 42:1.  Why was God pleased?  Because Jesus being baptized was a way of saying, “Father, I am willing to die and go to the grave (going under the water) so that humanity might be saved through resurrection (being pulled up out of the water).


Go back to Matthew – Owen’s Bible Study Notes

Kent Owen

Author: Kent Owen

After college I lived in China for 5 years, working as an English teacher and foreign marketing manager. Now i'm an insurance salesman, but my real passion is Christ and learning the bible.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment