May 8 I Saturday
2 Kings 4-6
“When all the people were being baptised, Jesus was baptised too. And as He was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven…” —Luke 3:21-22
For those of us who are Christian and are baptized, our baptism symbolizes a new beginning. When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, it marked a new beginning for Jesus; never again was He going to return to His carpenter shop in Nazareth. It was at this moment, after Jesus’s baptism, as He was praying when the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove and a voice spoke from heaven.
This particular event is rare, because it is one of the unique moments in Scripture when the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit––the three members of the trinity––are all acting together in three distinct roles at the same time. God the Father speaks from heaven, and His voice is audibly heard. God the Son is standing there in the Jordan River. God the Holy Spirit, in the form like a dove, descends on the Son. The whole Trinity is there to witness and to affirm the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus that is going to follow.
Throughout Jesus’s earthly life, God the Father spoke to Him audibly three times. The first occasion was at Jesus’s baptism. Luke tells us, “…as He was praying, heaven was opened…a voice came from heaven: ‘You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased’” (Luke 3:22). The second event was on the Mount of Transfiguration, when Jesus was with His disciples Peter, James and John. Luke describes, “As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning” (Luke 9:29). Then, there was a voice from heaven that said, “This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him” (Luke 9:35). The third incident was a few days before Jesus’s crucifixion, where Jesus said, “Father, glorify Your name!” Then a voice came from heaven saying, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again” (John 12:28).
What we find in common with these three occurrences of God the Father speaking is that they happened while Jesus was praying. In fact, as we read through the book of Acts, we will notice God the Holy Spirit speaking to people while they were praying. It is no coincidence that God speaks in prayer.
If we claim, “I never hear God speak,” then the question we must ask ourselves is, “Do I pray?” Praying is not presenting a celestial shopping list to God and telling Him what you want. Prayer, by definition, is more comprehensive than simply talking to God; it is being in communion with God. May we take time from our busyness to pray.
Prayer: God of Heaven, thank You that prayer is not a monologue, but a dialogue because You speak too. Incline my ears to hear Your words. In Jesus’s name, amen.