by Robert Chamberlain

portrait of white pigeon

Photo by Garfield Besa on

and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Luke 3:22 ESV

Jesus had a unique baptism. What happened to Him when He was baptised hasn’t ever happened to anyone else, and never will. Didn’t He already have the Holy Spirit? Yes, but this was like His anointing, His commissioning, His equipping for His public ministry.

This is a very trinitarian verse. We have the Holy Spirit of God, we have the beloved Son of God, and we have the voice of the heavenly Father God. They’re all in harmony. The Holy Spirit descended on the beloved Son from the Father God like a seal of approval.

Baptism symbolises the washing away of sins. Jesus didn’t have any sins. So why was He baptised? In another gospel He said it was to “fulfil all righteousness”. In other words, in order to be our perfect substitute, He needed to model for us not just water baptism, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

We won’t have the Holy Spirit descending on us like a dove. But when we’re baptised in Him He does come to dwell in us. We do become dead to sin and alive to Christ, like the symbolism of going into the water/death and coming out alive/resurrected.

“Heavenly Father, thank You that when we trust in Your Son we recieve Your Holy Spirit. We praise You for Your beloved Son’s perfect obedience, and pray that we may follow His example in our lives. For the honour of Your name, amen”