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Advent Day 5

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: (17) And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matt 3:16-17).

While the angel of the Lord revealed Emanuel as God with us among His people who would deliver them from their sin (Isa 9:6a; Matt 1:23a,b), God publicly announced Jesus as His beloved Son in the account of His baptism in Matt 3:16-17. All of the Gospels record the baptism. Central to the accounts brings to bear God’s anointing of Jesus as the Messiah.

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Isaiah 40:3, 5 point to the revealing of the Lord’s glory in His divine nature, the Lord Himself, for all humanity to see in the wilderness alongside the river Jordan (Mat 3:1; Mark 4:1). In the isolation of a dry and arid place, Jesus’ baptism occurred. “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed” (Isa 40:5a NKJV). Son reflects a messianic title. God confirmed Jesus as His begotten and beloved Son, the express image of Himself and embodiment of the one God of Israel for all humanity to see as Emmanuel (Ps 2:7). Hall and Bernard (1993) explained Jesus while on earth “voluntarily took on the form of a servant, but His divine nature did not change” (Doctrines of the Bible; Matt 3:15; 12:17-18; 17:5). This led to a fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant addressed in Jesus’ genealogy in Matt 1:1; namely, Jesus blessed all nations because of His judgment on the cross for both Israel and the Gentiles.

In John 1:33-34, the author extended Jesus’ identification with “Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God” (John 1:33-34 KJV). The Spirit of God descending like a dove provided the sign for John the Baptist to which he bore record of Him as the Son of God. On the other hand, the voice from heaven in Matt 3:17b provided a sign to the people. Both signs validate Jesus, the Son of God, having the same nature and very character of God and perfect humanity without sin. They simultaneously manifest God as Father, Holy Spirit, and incarnate in the Son. Thus, the heavenly voice and dove bear witness to Jesus as Messiah and Son of God to Israel, the incarnation of the one true God.

Jan Paron, PhD

12.3.20

(Excerpt from The Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew)