Matthew 3:17
And a voice from heaven said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!"
Christ the Beloved Son of GodW.F. Adeney Matthew 3:17
Baptism of JesusMarcus Dods Matthew 3:13-17
The Baptism of JesusW.F. Adeney Matthew 3:13-17
The Baptism of Jesus by the Holy GhostJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 3:16, 17
The Heavenly Attestation of the Sonship of JesusP.C. Barker Matthew 3:16, 17
This declaration at the baptism of Christ was repeated later on in his ministry at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5). Thus God owns his Son and bears witness to him. Let us consider what the heavenly voice teaches us about him.

I. THE NATURE OF CHRIST AS THE SON OF GOD. It will not profit us much to plunge into the fourth-century speculations concerning the Divine Sonship of Christ in order that we may know him in so far as he has been revealed to us. In metaphysical considerations about the mystery of the being of the Son of God we may lose all living perception of what he is really in his life among us. The broad fact is what is most important to us. Christ is the Son of God. He is not one of God's sons as we may be through him, as in a natural sense we all are because "we are also his offspring" (Acts 17:28). He is the Son of God in a supreme and unique sense. Now, this is not merely a sublime truth of theology. It has important bearings on religion.

1. To know the Son is to know the Father, of whom he is the Image (John 14:7).

2. If the Son is our Friend, the Father cannot be our Enemy; for they are "One" (John 10:30). Therefore our fellowship with Christ carries with it our reconciliation to God.

3. Christ is able to save the world. The Divinity of Christ implies his unlimited power. So great a Saviour is equal to the tremendous task of redeeming a whole fallen world.


1. He is God's beloved Son. This truth seems to belong to the very nature of Christ. It throws light on his permanent relations with God. God is love, and Christ is good and worthy of love. Through all eternity the love of the Father is directed to the Son. But now we see Christ on earth, incarnate, a Man, and in lowly estate. Yet God does not fail to own or cease to love him. He is known to his Father, though he may be despised by men. Surely this must have been a cheering and sustaining influence for Christ in the midst of his hard and toilsome life. In a lower way may not the same be true of us? God recognizes his human family; he owns all his earthly children. The shame of outward conditions does not blind his eye. Rejected by men, his children are still owned and loved by God; and it is better to be loved by God than to be praised by the world.

2. God is well pleased with him. This further truth seems to refer to the immediate condition, to the recent action, of Christ. Jesus has just been baptized; he had persevered in spite of the flattering resistance of the Baptist; he had felt that he must fulfil all righteousness; he had consecrated himself to his great work. God is well pleased with Christ for this.

(1) The obedience of the Son pleases the Father. If, like Christ, we delight to do God's will, he will delight in us.

(2) The good pleasure of God signifies his approval of Christ's work. This mission of saving the world that Christ has just consecrated himself to is well-pleasing to God. Thus God accepts the redeeming work from the first. Now the sacrifice of Christ, being acceptable to God, must be efficacious for man. - W.F.A.

Heavens were opened unto Him.
1. Great in the Object.

2. Great in the Person.

3. Great in the Mysteries.


1. Jesus of .Nazareth.

2. The Holy Ghost miraculously exhibited.

3. The Holy Father.


1. Here was salvation embodied in Jesus Christ.

2. The Holy Ghost falls on Him.

3. The Holy Father's solemn attestation of the sufficiency of Christ and His salvation.


1. We view Him as our Federal Head and Representative.

2. In this capacity He received the Holy Ghost.

3. In this character the Father delighted in Him, and also in His people.

(1)What a practical view of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.

(2)Have we a personal interest in this great work?

(3)Let the power of these truths be seen in our lives.

(F. Close, M. A.)

I. Demonstrate from Scripture the Tri-unity of the Godhead.

II. Prove Christ's perfect union in the Godhead, as the true ground of Christian faith.

III. How GREAT A BLESSING THIS GLORIOUS DOCTRINE IS FOR ALL GOD'S PEOPLE. There may be mines of precious wealth, of minerals, gold, silver, jewels, in a domain only partially known; so with this doctrine. God the Father planned the way of redemption. God the Son willingly came to accomplish our salvation. And God the Spirit guides us into all truth. The whole Trinity joins in man's salvation.

1. How great the condescension of Jehovah thus to reveal the nature and perfections of mercy.

2. How much all revelation testifies of God the Father's delight in His beloved Son.

3. How God is well pleased in the soul's salvation by Christ.

(J. G. Angley, M. A.)

I. Christ's SUBMISSION to the ordinance of baptism.

1. Jesus humbly waits upon the Baptist. The fortitude with which to meet publicity.

2. He is privately discovered to John.

3. The Saviour meekly persists in His obedient resolution. How lovely this conflict of humility!

4. Jesus at last receives the sign from His forerunner.

II. The HONOURS Christ received at His baptism.

1. The opening of the heavens.

2. The descent of the Spirit followed.

3. The proclamation of the Father closed the scene of wonders.

(J. Bennett, D. D.)


1. The dignity of His Person.

2. The endearedness of the Son.

II. THE FATHER'S COMPLACENCY IN THE SON. Complacency takes place.

1. In Creation: "All things were made by Him."

2. In redemption: "He hath made us accepted in the beloved."

3. The Father is well pleased with Christ in His incarnation and mediation.

4. He is well pleased with Him in all His people.

(H. Budd, M. A.)Here we have(1) the rising of the morning star, John the Baptist;(2) The more glorious rising and shining of the Sun of Righteousness Himself;(3) A messenger from heaven. The Spirit of Christ is a dove-like Spirit. The dove was the fowl offered in sacrifice; so Christ offered Himself without spot unto God.(4) A voice from heaven. As the Holy Ghost manifests Himself in the likeness of a dove, so God the Father in a voice. This voice speaks God's favour to Christ.

1. Expresses the relation He stands in to Him.

2. Expresses the affection the Father hath to Him. Observe God's favour to us Is Him. He is My beloved Son, IN whom I am well pleased. Consider what God is out of Christ, and what God is IN Christ.

I. WHAT GOD IS OUT OF CHRIST to the sinner.

(1)An angry God;

(2)a threatening God;

(3)a dishonoured God;

(4)a distant God.


(1)A reconciled God;

(2)a promising God;

(3)a glorified God;

(4)a near God.

(Ralph Erskine.)

A gentleman, passing a church with Daniel Webster, asked him, "How can you reconcile the doctrine of the Trinity with reason?" The statesman replied by asking, "Do you understand the arithmetic of heaven?" The application is evident.

(Anon.)The heavens are never shut while either of the sacraments is duly administered and received; neither do the heavens ever thus open without the descent of the Holy Ghost.

(Bishop Hall.)

1. The Person that did hear witness.

2. The manner how He testified to the honour of His Son.

3. The authority of that voice from heaven.

4. The Person to whom the witness is borne.

5. What is witnessed of Him in respect of Himself.

6. What is witnessed of Him in respect of our consolation, we the beloved in Him.

(Hacket.)As the Father sent His voice from heaven to earth, let our lips be full of prayers, that we may send our voice from earth to heaven.


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