“Jesus’ reaction to John’s preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins was a crucial turning-point. He could have kept his distance, an innocent young man conscious of unbroken faithfulness to God, looking with pity on the thousands of ordinary people who were overwhelmed by the realization of their own moral inadequacy. But instead of looking down on them from afar, secure in his own guiltlessness, Jesus plunged into the waters with them and lost himself in the crowd. He threw away his innocence and separateness to take on the identity of struggling men and women who were reaching out en masse for the lifeline of forgiveness.
“It was at that moment when Jesus had thrown away his innocent individuality in exchange for that identity of needy, failed, struggling human beings that “the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased’ (Luke 3:21-22).”
–Martin L. Smith, A Season for the Spirit