Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while he prayed, the heaven was opened. , NKJV.
When Jesus came to be baptized, John recognized in Him a purity of character that he had never before perceived in any man. The very atmosphere of His presence was holy and awe-inspiring. Among the multitudes that had gathered about him at the Jordan, John had heard dark tales of crime, and had met souls bowed down with the burden of myriad sins; but never had he come in contact with a human being from whom there breathed an influence so divine. All this was in harmony with what had been revealed to John regarding the Messiah....
Jesus did not receive baptism as a confession of guilt on His own account. He identified Himself with sinners, taking the steps that we are to take, and doing the work that we must do. His life of suffering and patient endurance after His baptism was also an example to us.
Upon coming up out of the water, Jesus bowed in prayer on the river bank. A new and important era was opening before Him ().
Never had angels listened to such a prayer. They were solicitous to bear to the praying Redeemer messages of assurance and love. But no; the Father Himself will minister to His Son. Direct from the throne proceeded the light of the glory of God. The heavens were opened, and beams of light and glory proceeded therefrom and assumed the form of a dove, in appearance like burnished gold. The dovelike form was emblematical of the meekness and gentleness of Christ.
The people stood spellbound with fear and amazement. Their eyes were fastened upon Christ, whose bowed form was bathed in the beautiful light and glory that ever surround the throne of God. His upturned face was glorified as they had never before seen the face of man. The thunders rolled and the lightnings flashed from the opening heavens, and a voice came therefrom in terrible majesty, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” ... Jehovah's voice assured Christ of His Sonship with the Eternal ().
The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. It tells us of the power of prayer—how the human voice may reach the ear of God, and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven.... The light which fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation. The voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased ().