“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:”
King James Version (KJV)
3:16 And Jesus being baptized - Let our Lord's submitting to baptism teach us a holy exactness in the observance of those institutions which owe their obligation merely to a Divine command. Surely thus it becometh all his followers to fulfil all righteousness. Jesus had no sin to wash away. And yet he was baptized. And God owned his ordinance, so as to make it the season of pouring forth the Holy Spirit upon him. And where can we expect this sacred effusion, but in an humble attendance on Divine appointments? Lo, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God - St. Luke adds, in a bodily form - Probably in a glorious appearance of fire, perhaps in the shape of a dove, descending with a hovering motion, till it rested upon him. This was a visible token of those secret operations of the blessed Spirit, by which he was anointed in a peculiar manner; and abundantly fitted for his public work.
Mt 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized. The baptism took place in the river Jordan, and was doubtless by immersion. Dr. Whitney, of the Church of England, on this passage, says: ``The observation of the Greek Church is this, that he who ascended out of the water must first descend into it. Baptism is therefore to be performed, not by sprinkling, but by washing the body.'' Dr. Schaff, the great Pedo-baptist scholars, says: ``While the validity of baptism does not depend on the quantity or quality of water, or the mode of its application, yet immersion and emersion is the primitive and expressive mode to symbolize the idea of entire spiritual purification and renovation.'' Dr. Schaff also says: ``The Greek word "baptize" is derived from a root that means "to dip", "to immerse".'' These views are endorsed by all the great Pedo-baptist scholars. Went up straightway out of the water. The Revised Version says "from the water", which is correct, as the preposition is "apo"; yet Mark uses "ek" in giving the same account (Mr 1:10), which the Revised Version correctly renders "out of". He went up, praying, as we learn from Lu 3:21. Lo, the heavens were opened unto him. The skies were parted, rolled back, so as to reveal, as it were, the throne of God. Spirit of God descending like a dove. In form, and not, as some suppose, in motion merely, which would convey no definite idea. It descended to anoint him to be Christ.