When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
In contrast to Matthew’s much larger description of Jesus’ baptism, Luke moves right to the result of the baptism. Jesus was baptized and prayed, and when He did the heavens opened, the Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form the Father spoke, and everyone knew about it: Jesus was the Messiah.
Well, I guess that just about cinches it, don’t you agree?
It might be useful for us to be reminded that Luke was writing to a much different audience than Matthew, who was writing to a predominantly Jewish audience. As a result, Matthew gets into the history of Israel, the prophecies concerning the Messiah and so forth, while Luke, writing to a largely Greek audience skips much of the Israel part, and gets right to the result that has affected his readers: Jesus really is the Messiah, God incarnate… Period.
Interestingly, as a first century historian, Luke then gives the genealogy of Jesus, and so we can see that this is the “official” beginning of His story. Again there is a great contrast to Matthew’s genealogy, for although Matthew shows us every way possible that Jesus = son of David, Luke simply demonstrates that Jesus inherited the royal kingship of David through adoption by his heir Joseph.
So, the ministry of Jesus has finally begun at the end of chapter 3; what will He do first? See you next time!