Matthew 3:14. But John forbade him Out of modesty he would have declined the service, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee To receive a larger measure of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit from thee, and comest thou to me on such an occasion as this? It has been questioned, how John knew him to be the Christ, before the Spirit descended on him? But this question will be easily resolved, if it be considered that John was a prophet filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. No doubt he knew by a secret intimation from that Spirit, that he, who then came to him, was the person on whom the Holy Ghost should descend, and on whom he should abide in so large a measure, or, rather, without measure, that he might impart him to others, such matters being frequently imparted to prophets by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Thus Simeon, having been told that he should not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ, had an intimation given him in the temple that the child Jesus was that Christ, Luke 2:26-32; as had, also, Anna the prophetess. And Samuel, being told by God that on the morrow a man should come to him to be captain over his people Israel, 1 Samuel 9:15, when Saul appeared, he had another intimation given him respecting the person, the Lord saying, Matthew 3:17, Behold the man of whom I spake to thee. Just so the Baptist, being to testify, when he baptized with water, that another should baptize them with the Holy Ghost, God tells him that of this he should see an evidence by the visible descent of the Holy Ghost upon Him who, from his fulness, was to impart this Spirit to all true believers; and when our Saviour came to be baptized, God tells him again, this was that very person.
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