12 January 2014

Matthew 3:13-17

"And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, the Beloved with whom I am well pleased.'" (v. 17)


In his Baptism by John, Jesus identifies with John's message and the revival movement it had created, to enrol as a member of the purified and prepared people of God.

Jesus is insistent that he needs to be baptised by John to "fulfil all righteousness"(verse 15) suggesting a divine requirement but John struggles to recognise the need for Jesus to receive his water Baptism. John does however recognise that Jesus brings a new situation, eclipsing his own preparatory ministry.

The Spirit descends like a dove and a voice from heaven reveals to the readers who Jesus is.

Verse 17 brings together two images from the Old Testament. From Psalm 2 there are the words from the royal coronation, "You are my Son; today I have begotten you" (verse 7) and from Isaiah 42, "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights" (verse 1).

The voice of heaven announces Jesus both as the Son who serves and as the king who rules with justice and humility.

To Ponder

  • In what ways do we live as people who serve?
  • How do our lives please God?

Bible notes author

Deacon Eunice Attwood

Eunice is a Methodist deacon. She is a tutor in Pastoral Theology at the Queen's Foundation in Birmingham, and a member of the Centre for Ministerial Formation since 2012.