For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds


Matthew 3:13-17; The Baptism of Jesus (Symbolism)

posted by Mike Nappa

The baptism of Jesus was a revelatory moment in history, and is generally considered the moment that “marks both His inauguration as the servant Messiah and the dawning of a new age of the Spirit.”

In that context, it’s significant that Matthew records the physical manifestation of all three Persons of the Trinity as being present. God the Father spoke from the heavens (Matthew 3:17); God the Son stands, dripping wet, beside the Jordan River (3:16); God the Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove and rests on the Son (3:16). This triune appearance of divinity is never again repeated in the gospel accounts.

Theologians theorize that this inaugural moment of baptism carried such significance for three reasons. It symbolized that: “1) Jesus joined with the believing remnant of Israel who had been baptized by John; 2) He confirmed the ministry of John; and 3) He fulfilled the Father’s will.”

Matthew 3:13-17; The Baptism of Jesus

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