Heaven Was Opened

Read: Matthew 3:13-17

The heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him. (v. 16)

Before a popular star takes the stage, there’s usually an opening act. An up-and-coming talent warms up the crowd. Then, with lights and fanfare, the main performer enters the stage and the waiting crowd roars. John the Baptist came before Jesus. After a time of preaching in the wilderness, the moment for Jesus’ arrival occurred.

Jesus came to be baptized by John. When Jesus rose out of the water, the Spirit of God descended upon him. If that weren’t enough, the direct voice of God declared, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (v. 17). This draws on and fulfills prophecy from Isaiah 42:1 where it says, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.”

As followers of Jesus, we won’t likely prophesy in the desert or eat locusts and wild honey. None of us will baptize Jesus. However, we can all help prepare the way for his second coming. We can proclaim the good news, submit to God and his Word, and disciple others. We all need to be ready. When Christ returns, another triumphant scene will make it really clear how special he is (see 1 Thess. 4:16-17). What a glorious day for Christians that will be!

As you pray, thank God for sending Jesus to change the world and human hearts.

About the Author

Steve Petroelje

Rev. Steve Petroelje is a specialized transition pastor who serves vacant churches and helps them assess health, pursue missional effectiveness, and conduct a pastoral search process. He is the past-president of the Words of Hope Board of Trustees.

This entry is part 7 of 15 in the series Prepare the Way