When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22 [NKJV]
Today I am back to Luke and the passage is the instantiation of Jesus’ ministry through Baptism and the Holy Spirit coming down on Him from Heaven. Capped by the voice of God the Father. This is such a pivotal moment in all of the bible as recorded in all four gospels.
Some interesting points:
- The baptizing that John the Baptist was performing on all of the Jews who came was a Baptism of Repentance. It is cool that even though Jesus was without sin, He decided to take His place with sinners. At the beginning of His ministry, He publicly identified himself with the sinners He came to save.
- Only in Luke does it say that the Dove came down on Him while He was praying which would have been after His baptism.
- The symbolism of the dove is puzzling, as the dove was not an accepted symbol of the Holy Spirit. Rather the dove stood for Israel. However, there is no doubt that here it is a sign of the coming of the Holy Spirit. What happened at Jesus’ baptism led Christians to see the dove as a symbol of the Holy Spirit; they did not take the symbolism from Jewish or Hellenistic sources. The fact that Luke was there in person, the mention of ‘a physical dove’ descending has credence.
No real ‘Application’ to takeaway today. I am just dwelling on the divine start to Jesus’ ministry.