J. Lathrop. D. D.
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
1. Our subject suggests to us that the Spirit of Christ usually comes to the soul in a mild and gentle manner. His operations are as His fruits, dove-like, sweet, and kind. The benevolent and friendly nature of the dispensation which Christ was about to introduce, was intimated in the manner of the Spirit's descent. The law, which was a ministration of death and condemnation, was delivered to the people with circumstances of terror and amazement. As His manner of teaching, so the doctrines which He taught were kind and gracious.
2. Our subject farther teaches us, that they only are led by the Spirit of God, who are of a dove-like temper. It is absurd then to impute to an uncommon influence of the Spirit any error of conduct, excess of passion, extravagance of zeal, or bitterness of censure; for the Spirit comes like the dove.
3. Our subject reminds us of our obligation to adorn with good works our Christian character, and to recommend to the choice of others the religion which we profess. We should resemble the dove, whose wings are covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold. The beauty of religion much depends on our maintaining the more amiable and engaging virtues; such as charity, peaceableness, humility, and meekness.
4. Our subject teaches us our obligation to labor for the increase of Christ's Church — not only to enter into it ourselves, but also to encourage others to come and join themselves to it.
(J. Lathrop. D. D. .)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,