Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
The Spirit that descended on Jesus like a dove was to become, and became, when breathed abroad by Him, a consuming fire (ver. 16). Why, in its descent upon Him, was it the gentle brooding of a dove? May we not answer with a word, that in Him it encountered no sinful force, no mass of evil passion or unworthy disposition, to contend with; but only beautiful germs to develope, only rights, sympathies, and aspirations to encourage, and direct, and intensify? Yes; it found in Him only that which was accordant and congenial; the Holy Child to be expanded into the Holy Man; nothing contrary to it, the withstanding of which would have struck out a flame; nothing to burn against and burn up, in order to His perfecting; no false will of affections to be resisted by and to resist, until it was conquered. The Spirit from above just lighted and spread its wings, and sat brooding upon the Divine simplicity of the whole-hearted Nazarene. True, He had to endure in Himself a fiery baptism, as the result of the descent upon Him from above. But it was through His contact, thus Spirit-charged, with the bad element surrounding Him, that He suffered what He suffered; not through the contact of the Spirit with any bad element in Him. It met with nothing in Him to cause a painful flame; touching which it had to become a purging devouring fire. It abode upon Him like a dove brooding over its nest.
(S. A. Tipple.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,