Summary: “The Triune God” is shown in the 1) Baptism of the Son (Matthew 3:13-15), 2) Anointing of the Spirit (Matthew 3:16), and the 3) Confirmation by the Father (Matthew 3:17).
This week, in the magazine entitled Faith Today, an articled recounted a special advance screening of the movie entitled: The Shack. “We need you to get the word out about this movie,” a PR rep enthused. “We wanted to handpick the key influencers we know will be using their social media to promote it.” The PR company was aware the movie had been controversial. But, they claimed, it contained “an incredible message about the hope of God,”. And so we would need to “be brave and courageous” in talking about the film and in taking our friends to see it if we hoped “to see more Christian movies like this one come to Canada.” Yet, many have been clear on its content: Tim Challies said: “To watch The Shack is to watch human actors play the roles of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” (Tim Challies www.Challies.com). Or as Adam C. Peiser put it, the movie: is “Suggestive of some unbiblical theology about the nature of God and the unique truth of Christianity.” (Adam C. Pelser www.Equip.org) (http://digital.faithtoday.ca/faithtoday/20170506?pg=42#pg42)
The public presentation of who the members of Godhead are and what exactly they do are of Great importance. In the Gospel of Matthew, after an eternity of glory in heaven and some thirty years of virtual obscurity on earth, the Messiah-King is manifested publicly for the world to see and know. As “the voice of one crying in the wilderness,” John the Baptist had faithfully prepared the way for the King, even as Isaiah had prophesied (3:3; Isa. 40:3). The herald of the King had announced the coming of the King, and now the King Himself appears for His coronation. Speaking immediately to a Jewish audience, Matthew outlines in clear terms the divinity of Jesus as Israel’s King. The gospel writer has given us the King’s ancestry (Matthew 1:1–17), His arrival (Matthew 1:18–25), His adoration (Matthew 2:1–12), His attestation (Matthew 2:13–23), and His announcement (Matthew 3:1–12). Now, continuing in Chapter 3, we see His anointing, His coronation. But in highlighting Jesus as Israel’s Divine King, the writer also highlights the divinity of each of the members of the Godhead.
In an effort to try to explain profound divine truths, to limited human minds, pastors, writers, artists, teachers and parents have used analogies, comparisons, stories or reductionist language to explain the nature of the Godhead. The failure in using these means is in the limitation of the vehicle itself. Every one of these is faulty. They each misrepresent or fail to present transcendent biblical truth. The effects of each effort are represented in heresies throughout Church history. As we study the biblical presentations of the Triunity of the Godhead we see the only true and accurate explanations of the nature of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In Matthew 3:13-17, we see the true annunciation of each of the members of the Godhead. They are shown as being distinguished but not separated. As clearly as in any passage in Scripture we see here the revelation and the working of the Trinity-the Son, the Spirit, and the Father. We see them as distinct persons, yet acting in complete harmony. “The Triune God” is shown in the 1) Baptism of the Son (Matthew 3:13-15), 2) Anointing of the Spirit (Matthew 3:16), and the 3) Confirmation by the Father (Matthew 3:17).
“The Triune God” is shown in the:
1) Baptism of the Son (Matthew 3:13-15)
Matthew 3:13-15 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented (ESV)
We will first look at some of the details of the baptism and then at its significance. We are not told the exact time to which the then refers, and Matthew no doubt uses the term simply to show the general sequence of events. We cannot say how well John knew Jesus at this time. He certainly knew of Jesus. Their mothers were relatives, and Jesus’ mother, Mary, had visited John’s mother, Elizabeth, before John and Jesus were born. There is no biblical record of any contact between Jesus and John during the next 30 years. John tells us, “I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God” (John 1:33, 34).( Albrecht, G. J., & Albrecht, M. J. (1996). Matthew (pp. 41–42). Milwaukee, WI: Northwestern Pub. House.)Jesus has spent his nearly three decades of earthly life in quiet obscurity. Galilee was the backwater of Israel, so Matthew’s choice of wording here implies a “coming out,” and a readiness to begin public ministry (Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 39). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.).