Matthew 3:13-17

Why would Jesus be coming from Galilee to see John? Where was Jesus from?

Jesus was from Nazareth and likely was traveling generally south and east to John. Nearly the length of the Jordan River between the sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.

The preceding verses concerning Jesus is at the end of Chapter 2. How much time has passed since then to Chapter 3 Verse 13?

Recall that Joseph was apprehensive about going back to Judah because of the ruler, Archelaus, son of Herod (Matthew 2:22). The Herodian tetrarch was formed by Augustus in 4 AD. Archelaus was removed from power in 6 AD. So, Jesus, being born in the year 4 BC, would be 8-10 years old when moving to Nazareth. The events at Verse 13 are about 22 years later if Jesus went to Nazareth in 4 AD.

About how old was Jesus and John at Verse 13?

Jesus was thirty years old when he went to see John.

Why would anyone go to John to be baptized by him?

This would involve the cleansing and purification of the people based on their confession and repentance from sins. Consider Leviticus 5:5, Leviticus 26:40, Number 5:7, and Psalm 32:5.

Why would Jesus need to be baptized?

Jesus tells John it is necessary to fulfill all righteousness. Some would say that this is done to set the example for the institution of baptism in His name. But baptism according to the preaching of John was according to the repentance from sins and in the name of Christ is for the remittance of sins. Christ was not in need of either repentance or remission of sins.

By what standard or law would Jesus be baptized?

Jesus lived as a man subject to the Law of Moses.

John says he has need to be baptized by Jesus. What would such a baptism of John by Jesus entail?

John’s point is to show humility to the One by whom all righteousness is known to the world.

What is the “fulfillment of all righteousness”?

Some say Jesus was baptized to mark the beginning of His ministry. This is close. Christ is subject to the Law of Moses. The scriptures tell us Jesus was brought up in compliance of all ordinances of the Law (Luke 2:21-24, 27, 41) in which He continued as He grew. Prior to a priest beginning his work for the day or taking on tasks of his responsibilities he had to be cleansed by completed washing. He also had to put on clean specifically prescribed attire. This action of Christ symbolically represents the action of Christ showing Himself ready to be the High Priest and King of the kingdom of Heaven. It is accomplished by the washing which represents the leaving behind of the concerns of the physical and pertaining one self fully to the concerns of the Spirit.

Who is fulfilling all righteousness?

The Lord is fulfilling all righteousness.

What is recognized by Jesus in John by Jesus asking permission to be baptized by John?

It recognizes,

a.   the willingness of John to complete the expectations of God

b.   the humility of John to do the work under the conditions necessary to convict others unto a humble response to God’s invitation of repentance

c.   the authority of John to speak the word of God

d.   the respect that the disciples of John rightly have for the preacher

What does Matthew mean by “the heavens were opened”?

This is not explicitly described but is likely referring to an opening of cloud cover to dramatically visualize the engagement of the Father from above in the event of Jesus’ baptism and commitment to the obedience of the Father’s commands. Luke says that while He was praying and the people were being baptized this opening of the heavens occurred (Luke 3:21). The other point of view is that of the Lord’s. The “heavens opening up” is also used at the death of Stephen when Stephen says he was able to see into heaven and noted Christ sitting at the right hand of God.

What does Matthew mean by “the Spirit of God descending as a dove”? What does the phrase “lighting on Him” mean?

Cross referencing to Luke 3:22 is helpful for this question. The indication of the Spirit descending as a dove is to give a visualization of the event. This way the disciples are witnesses to the event. Matthew gives the physical description of this event. Lighting on Him is an expression of an animal of flight landing on an intended perch. Therefore, the appearance of a dove lighting on the Lord presents the intention of the Father in targeting Jesus as opposed to anyone else.

Whose voice is coming out of the heavens?

It is God the Father’s voice.

Who is claiming Jesus as their Son?

It is God the Father.

Why should the Father be well-pleased in the Son?

Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, was obeying the Father.  He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, having become in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, having become obedient until death, even the death of a cross.  Because of this also God highly exalted Him and gave Him a name above every name.  

Philippians 2:7-9


What was done that made the Father well-pleased?

Jesus, in being baptized by the prophet of God, had by action committed himself to the purpose of the Father. It wasn’t enough to be the Son of God. It wasn’t enough to be born miraculously by the will of God. It wasn’t enough to be God in the flesh.

And confessedly, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in flesh, was justified in Spirit, was seen by angels, was proclaimed among nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

I Ti 3:16


Understand that is wasn’t even enough to be the very Word of Life.

And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, glory as of an only begotten from the Father, full of grace and of truth. 

Joh 1:14


Jesus acts out an example to each and every one of His followers.  If you are going to be accepted by the Father as His child through faith, you have to do the works that are expected.

for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God prepared that we should walk in them

Eph 2:10


Why is it significant that the Father states Jesus is His Beloved Son?

The text is more accurately read, “This is My Son, the Beloved”. The beloved being a title or moniker. This is intended to recall the prophets, namely, David and Solomon. A particularly reference would be Psalm 2:7. Psalm 2 concerns the Anointed of Jehovah. This Anointed One of Jehovah is to preside over holy Mount on Zion. This makes the definitive connection between Jesus and the Beloved spoken in prophecy.

Reference Psalm 2 for study with regard to the subject text.

How does David show himself a type unto Christ in the context of Matthew 3:13-17?

David presents himself as an example by the combination of being the anointed king of Israel and the faithful servant of God. In 1 Samuel 16, David was anointed by Samuel and still humbly served Saul. The assessment of David is a person who, despite making mistakes, repented from his sins and showed faith. In contrast Saul did not. Recall Acts 13:22:

And removing him, He raised up to them David for a king, to whom He also said, witnessing, "I found David" the son of Jesse "to be a man according to My own heart, who will do all My will."

This was stated on account of David’s willingness to follow God and show his commitment in action. David shows a type to Christ not in perfection of this commitment but in the ability to continue despite any contention from Satan, the world and other enemies.

Also reference 2 Samuel 7:8-17.

Similar wording is used by the Father to refer to another son in 2 Samuel 7. Who was the son?

In 2 Samuel 7:12-17 God makes clear that David shall not build a house for Him but David’s son will. He is speaking of Solomon directly but also speaking of Christ prophetically.

How are the statements in 2 Samuel 7:14-16 foreshadowing of Christ?

He speaks to a kingdom that is under His creation and ownership. It will also involve a house built not for the purpose of housing but for the purpose of supporting the name of God. Prophetically, that house is the church. Someone might ask, in Verse 14, Nathan says that when David’s son sins God will correct that son. So how can that represent the Christ since Jesus never sinned. This should be understood as sin from the perspective of those that were against Christ. In other words, Jesus did not transgress a law of God the Father but laws of the Jews. In this God uses man’s punishment for His own means unto grace to all men.

Do the statements of Jesus to John in Matthew 3 relate to God’s words in 2 Samuel 7?

Yes, indirectly. God was speaking to David about the selected person to fulfill the type of Israel and the temple. That comes through Jesus and the church. Christ and His church are the means by which salvation is made available to the world. Without the righteousness of the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36) then the sacrifice that makes possible the addition of forgiven sinners to the church can not take place. If the church is not here then the dwelling place, or house, of the truth of God doesn’t exist (1 Timothy 3:15). To fulfill all righteousness, Christ needed to show His commitment to the will of the Father beginning from this baptism through the day of Pentecost and the establishment of His church (house of God from 2 Samuel 7). All members of the Lord’s church much show the deeds of righteousness by faith.