Praying - This circumstance is omitted by the other evangelists; and it shows,
1.That Jesus was in the habit of prayer.
2.That it is proper to offer up special prayer at the administration of the ordinances of religion.
3.That it is possible to pray in the midst of a great multitude, yet in secret. The prayer consisted, doubtless, in lifting up the heart silently to God. So “we” may do it anywhere - about our daily toil - in the midst of multitudes, and thus may pray “always.”
In a bodily shape - This was a real visible appearance, and was doubtless seen by the people. The dove is an emblem of purity and harmlessness, and the form of the dove was assumed on this occasion to signify, probably, that the spirit with which Jesus would be endowed would be one of purity and innocence. The “Holy Spirit,” when he assumes a visible form, assumes that which will be emblematic of the thing to be represented. Thus he assumed the form of “tongues,” to signify the miraculous powers of language with which the apostles would be endowed; the appearance of fire, to denote their power, etc., Acts 2:3.
He condescended to this great sacrifice, not that sin in man should become a virtue, not that sin might be made righteousness. He took the steps that man is required to take in conversion. He went forward in baptism, and when He came up out of the water He kneeled down and offered up such a prayer to His Father as Heaven had never heard before.—Manuscript 25, July 14, 1887, “A Peculiar People.” UL 209.7Read in context »
Tidings of the wilderness prophet and his wonderful announcement, spread throughout Galilee. The message reached the peasants in the remotest hill towns, and the fisher folk by the sea, and in these simple, earnest hearts found its truest response. In Nazareth it was told in the carpenter shop that had been Joseph's, and One recognized the call. His time had come. Turning from His daily toil, He bade farewell to His mother, and followed in the steps of His countrymen who were flocking to the Jordan. DA 109.1Read in context »
Many of those gathered at the Jordan had been present at the baptism of Jesus; but the sign then given had been manifest to but few among them. During the preceding months of the Baptist's ministry, many had refused to heed the call to repentance. Thus they had hardened their hearts and darkened their understanding. When Heaven bore testimony to Jesus at His baptism, they perceived it not. Eyes that had never been turned in faith to Him that is invisible beheld not the revelation of the glory of God; ears that had never listened to His voice heard not the words of witness. So it is now. Often the presence of Christ and the ministering angels is manifest in the assemblies of the people, and yet there are many who know it not. They discern nothing unusual. But to some the Saviour's presence is revealed. Peace and joy animate their hearts. They are comforted, encouraged, and blessed. DA 136.1
The deputies from Jerusalem had demanded of John, “Why baptizest thou?” and they were awaiting his answer. Suddenly, as his glance swept over the throng, his eye kindled, his face was lighted up, his whole being was stirred with deep emotion. With outstretched hands he cried, “I baptize in water: in the midst of you standeth One whom ye know not, even He that cometh after me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose.” John 1:26, 27, R. V., margin. DA 136.2
The message was distinct and unequivocal, to be carried back to the Sanhedrin. The words of John could apply to no other than the long-promised One. The Messiah was among them! In amazement priests and rulers gazed about them, hoping to discover Him of whom John had spoken. But He was not distinguishable among the throng. DA 136.3Read in context »