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Matthew 3:15-17 The Passion Translation (TPT)

15 Jesus replied, “It is only right to do all that God requires.”[a] Then John baptized Jesus.[b] 16 And as[c] Jesus rose up out of the water, the heavenly realm opened up over him[d] and he saw the Holy Spirit descend out of the heavens and rest upon him in the form of a dove.[e] 17 Then suddenly the voice of the Father shouted from the sky, saying, “This is the Son I love, and my greatest delight is in him.”[f]


  1. Matthew 3:15 Or “fulfill all righteousness [complete every righteous requirement].” This was the presentation of the Lamb of God as the sacrifice for sins. It was important that John publicly wash the Lamb of God and fulfill the requirements of the law, proving to Israel that the Lamb that was soon to be offered was spotless and without blemish. There are four baptisms in this chapter: (1) John baptizing with water, (2) Father God baptizing Jesus with the power of heaven, (3) Jesus will baptize believers with the same Holy Spirit, (4) the baptism of fire.
  2. Matthew 3:15 Jesus would have been about thirty years old, the age when Levitical priests were ordained and qualified to serve. This was his ordination as the High Priest over the household of faith. Jesus’ baptism was a form of dedication. Like Solomon, who dedicated the temple, John now dedicates the temple of Jesus’ body, the dwelling place of God. In a sense, John was the true high priest who was ordaining his replacement. Jesus was not repenting, but offering himself as God’s sinless Lamb.
  3. Matthew 3:16 There are Latin manuscripts and external evidence dating to Jerome indicating that the Hebrew Matthew included this sentence: “A great light flashed from the water, so that all who had gathered there were afraid.” (Diatessaron and Romanos Melodos, First Hymn on the Epiphany, XVI.14.7–10.)
  4. Matthew 3:16 See also Acts 7:56.
  5. Matthew 3:16 The dove is a symbol for both meekness and purity. Two gentle animals are pictured at the baptism of Jesus, a dove resting upon a lamb. If you want the presence of the Dove you need to have the nature of the Lamb. The implication is that the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus and never left him.
  6. Matthew 3:17 Or “In him I find my delight.” See also Ps. 2:7; Isa. 42:1. The church historian Jerome affirms that additional words were spoken by the Father: “My Son, in all the prophets I was waiting for you, that you might come and I might rest in you. For you are my rest and my firstborn Son, who reigns forever!” (The Gospel of Matthew for the Hebrews and Commentary on Isaiah Chapter 4. Throckmorton: 14 fn. Nicholson: 43. OMG II: 156 et seq.)
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
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