Reflection on Matthew 3:13-17




When Jesus had been baptised, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.


Jesus comes to the Jordan River where John is baptising. John at first disagrees with Jesus’ request to be baptised. “I should be baptised by you,” he says.

John baptises Jesus. As Jesus comes up from the water, the heavens open and the Spirit of God comes down on Him in the form of a dove. A voice from heaven affirms, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”


The Son of God is baptised by a man, filled with the Holy Spirit and affirmed by the voice of the Father. This passage confirms the doctrine of the Trinity, but it also confirms the partnership that God establishes with human beings. Jesus could not baptise Himself. He voluntarily submitted Himself to the hands of a man.

God rarely acts alone; He chooses to work through people. His Kingdom is not merely the forceful use of power separate from humanity. He achieves His purposes at he hands of people who submit themselves to Him.

The heavens were opened to him” suggests a connection between heaven and earth. The normal barriers that separate the physical from the spiritual are pushed aside. Jesus had full communion with the Father in the person of the Holy Spirit.

We have that same opportunity also as we have the Holy Spirit in us. The heavens are open to me today.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, “May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” May the kingdom of heaven be open to me to allow me to fulfil your purposes in me today.

God is still opening the heavens to us. He is still filling people with the Holy Spirit. He is still partnering with ordinary people, inviting them to be a part of His Kingdom.


Today, Lord, I choose to believe in an open heaven with all your blessings pouring into the world through me. Fill me with your Spirit. May your will be done through me and in me. Amen.


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