Three sixteens: let’s make a start with the Spirit – Matthew 3:16

baptismHas anyone ever noticed how many New Testament books have really significant verses land right at the place which has become chapter 3 verse 16 (just like the most famous, John 3:16). This is a curious coincidence which I intend to explore a little.

Matthew 3:16 says: “And when Jesus was baptised, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him”.

This is immediately followed by the voice of God acknowledging that Jesus is his beloved son, with whom he is well pleased.

This Spirit, descending on Jesus, comes at the public commencement and validation of his ministry. He will baptise others with the Holy Spirit and with fire, clear out the threshing floor, and gather in the wheat. This Spirit is not some warm fuzzy feeling, but a person of the trinity who brings down the Truth about Jesus and His mission – and this Truth will divide people! It does the same today. It will also save people.

The Holy Spirit is not characterised by timidity and fear, but by “love, power and self-discipline” or “sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). God has put his Spirit into our hearts, by which we cry, Abba, Father. We have received the spirit of sonship and are now heirs with Christ!  How astounding is the certainty of our hope, sealed with the Spirit as the deposit:

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Cor 1:21-22).

Such awesome truths are wrapped up in this, the first of the Three Sixteens – which begin the account of Jesus’s anointing and ministry. Only 26 to go!

Please listen to the song below which contains such a beautiful description of the change the Spirit brings in our lives. He changes both what we see and what we seek:

Spirit of the living God
Spirit of the living God
We only want to hear Your voice
We’re hanging on every word
Spirit of the living God
Spirit of the living God
We want to know You more and more
We’re hanging on every word
‘Cause when You speak, and when You move
When You do what only You can do
It changes us
It changes what we see and what we seek
When You come in the room
When You do what only You can do
It changes us
It changes what we see and what we seek
You’re changing everything
Writer(s): Fieldes Mia Leanne Cherie, Sooter Jacob Lee
From the Album “Deeper” (2016)

3 thoughts on “Three sixteens: let’s make a start with the Spirit – Matthew 3:16

  1. Isn’t it cool, awesome and amazing how the Spirit of God descended like a dove…… Jesus is amazing and so powerful that we can’t understand him properly……Why does he want that???/

    • I suppose if we could fully understand all the mysterious ways of God then that would make him only equal with us, in our understanding and ability. Would you be willing to trust your eternal future, and present existence, to a God who was only our equal?

  2. Pingback: Back to 3:16 – Your reason for hope (1 Peter) – sevennotesofgrace

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