Matthew 3:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 3:17, NIV: And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'

Matthew 3:17, ESV: and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3:17, KJV: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Matthew 3:17, NASB: and behold, a voice from the heavens said, 'This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'

Matthew 3:17, NLT: And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.'

Matthew 3:17, CSB: And a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased."

What does Matthew 3:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Perhaps as an act of obedience to God, or as foreshadowing of His sacrificial death, Jesus asks John the Baptist to baptize Him in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:13–16). In the moment that Jesus resurfaces, He sees the heavens open and the Holy Spirit descend "like a dove," to rest on Him in a bodily form (Luke 3:22).

It is unclear if only Jesus and possibly John the Baptist saw the action in the heavens and the arrival of the dove-like Holy Spirit (John 1:32). It seems clearer that all who were present at Jesus' baptism heard the voice of God, however. Matthew quotes God's voice as saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

All three members of the Trinity are involved in this moment. God the Son, in human form, is joined by God the Holy Spirit in dove-like form, while the voice of God the Father calls down from heaven. This is one of the most potent examples of the mystery of the Trinity in the Bible.

What God says in this moment makes the claim of the Bible crystal clear: Jesus is the Son of God. This firmly confirmed to all who heard it that Jesus is the Messiah, sent by God to fulfill the prophecies and begin to establish His kingdom on earth.

The tenderness of God the Father toward Jesus reveals His character. He describes Jesus as beloved and says that He is well pleased with Him. God's love, even for His own Son, is central to who He is. It also adds heartbreak to the sacrifice God is making in offering the life of Jesus for the sins of humanity.