…and when Jesus had also been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form, like a dove… (Luke 3:21b-22a).
For 30 years Jesus had grown and lived in obscurity in the northern region of Galilee, working as a carpenter, alongside His father Joseph. None of His neighbors knew His true identity. But now it was time to set aside those carpentry tools and reveal Himself to the people of Israel. The great Son of God made His way to the Jordan River to be baptized by His prophet John.
As He steps out of the water two amazing things happen. Something in the form of a dove comes down from above and lands on Jesus, while a voice from heaven thunders, “You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.”
The “dove” was the Holy Spirit who came down from heaven to set Jesus apart from all other Jews. It singled Him out as the “promised Messiah” (Hebrew) or the “Christ” or “anointed one” (Greek). The booming voice was that of God the Father; He declared His approval of Jesus’ life from childhood to this point.
Winning God’s approval is no small feat, for God is far stricter than any human father. He demands complete and perfect obedience in all our thoughts, words, deeds and desires. And that is exactly what Jesus accomplished. Every day of His life He completely obeyed God’s will. Now He goes to work completing His great mission to save all people from sin, death and God’s fiery judgment.
THE PRAYER: Almighty God, when the time was right, Jesus began revealing Himself to His people. Through this season of Lent reveal Him to me as well. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.