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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 3 - Verse 17

Verse 17. A voice from heaven". A voice from God. Probably this was heard by all who were present. This voice, or sound, was repeated on the mount of transfiguration, Mt 17:5; Lu 9:35,36; 2 Pe 1:17.

It was also heard just before his death, and was then supposed by many to be thunder, Joh 12:28-30. It was a public declaration that Jesus was the Messiah.

My beloved Son. This is the title which God himself gave to Jesus. It denotes the nearness of his relation to God, and the love of God for him, Heb 1:2. It implies that he was equal with God, Heb 1:5-8; Joh 9:29-33; Joh 19:7.

The term Son is expressive of love; of the nearness of his relation to God, and of his dignity and equality with God.

Am well pleased. Am ever delighted. It implies that he was constantly or uniformly well pleased with him; and in this solemn and public manner he expressed his approbation of him as the Redeemer of the world.

The baptism of Jesus has usually been considered a striking manifestation of the doctrine of the Trinity, or the doctrine that there are Three Persons in the Divine Nature.

(1.) There is the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, baptized in the Jordan, elsewhere declared to be equal with God, Joh 10:30.

(2.) The Holy Spirit, descending in a bodily form upon the Saviour. The Holy Spirit is also equal with the Father, or is also God, Ac 5:3,4.

(3.) The Father, addressing the Son, and declaring that he was well pleased with him. It is impossible to explain this transaction consistently in any other way than by supposing that there are three equal Persons in the Divine Nature or Essence, and that each of these sustains important parts in the work of redeeming men.

In the preaching of John the Baptist, we are presented with an example of a faithful minister of God. Neither the wealth, dignity, nor power of his auditors, deterred him from fearlessly declaring the truth respecting their character. He called things by their right names. He did not apologize for their sin. He set it fairly before them, and denounced the appropriate curse. So should all ministers of the gospel. Rank, riches, and power, should have nothing to do in shaping and gauging their ministry. In respectful terms, but without shrinking, all the truths of the gospel must be spoken, or woe will follow the ambassador of Christ.

In John we have also an example of humility. Blessed with great success; attended by the great and noble, and with nothing but principle to keep him from turning it to his advantage, he still kept himself out of view, and pointed to a far greater personage at hand, So should every minister of Jesus, however successful, keep the Lamb of God in his eye, and be willing—nay, rejoice—to lay all his success and honours at his feet.

Everything about the work of Jesus was wonderful. No person had before come into the world under such circumstances. God would not have attended the commencement of his life with such wonderful events if it had not been of the greatest moment to our race, and if he had not possessed a dignity above all prophets, kings, and priests. He was the Redeemer of men, the mighty God, the Father of eternity, the Prince of peace, (Isa 9:8) and it was proper that a voice from heaven should declare it, that the angels should attend him, and the Holy Spirit signalize his baptism by his personal presence. And it is proper that we, for whom he came, should give to him our undivided affections, our time, our influence, our hearts, and our lives.

{z} "Son, in whom" Psa 2:7; Lu 9:35; Eph 1:6; 2 Pe 1:17

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