The Anointing of Jesus (Matthew 3)

It was customary for a king to be anointed when his kingship was authorised. We can think of how Samuel anointed David to be king long before it was public knowledge. So Jesus came to John for the anointing rather than John going to Jesus. Even the initiative for the anointing came from Jesus, which is another reminder that he was in charge.

John was reluctant to baptise Jesus because he imagined it would be inappropriate for Jesus to be linked to confessing sinners. The truth was the opposite because it had been predicted of the Messiah that he would be numbered with transgressors. In going through John’s baptism, Jesus the King indicated the kind of people he had come to help – those who needed deliverance from their sins. This was the purpose of the Father and by obedience to it by Jesus all righteousness would be fulfilled.

In addition, we see Jesus revealing great humility here as he takes his place among the baptised. Zechariah had pointed out that the Messiah would be meek, and a meek person is humble. It would have been easy for Jesus to remove Caesar from his throne, but since only proud men sat on it, it would not have been a place for Jesus to sit.  

The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus as a dove. We know that a dove is a symbol of peace. What kind of King would Jesus be? We get a pointer to the answer in this symbol. He would be a King who would provide peace. The contents of what was involved in providing peace would be revealed in more detail, but it would include him providing peace between God and man and peace between humans. The basis of the peace would be his accomplishment on the cross, and then he would send out his ambassadors with his message of peace.

The heavenly Father sent a word of commendation about Jesus. As has often been observed, here we have the opinion of heaven on the years that Jesus lived in Nazareth. Every moment of every day he had pleased the Father. And the Father shows his delight here when he speaks about his Son.

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