At the baptism of Jesus, something truly remarkable takes place! This is how it is described in the gospel of Matthew…
Behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”Matthew 3:17, ESV
All three members of the Trinity were present for the momentous occasion. God the Son was in the water being baptized, God the Holy Spirit was descending like a dove and resting on God the Son. God the Father was speaking out loud with a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
It is an amazing moment!
The communion of all three Persons of the Trinity at Jesus’ baptism is truly remarkable. But, for today, let’s simply focus on the remarks made by God the Father.
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
What exactly had Jesus done up to this point that would cause the Father to speak, “I am well pleased” over Him?
We actually don’t know very much about Jesus’ youth. We have only a few short sentences to work off of.
We know that He was born of a virgin, that He was circumcised at the end of eight days, and that He was presented at the Temple (see Luke 2, verses 1-24), but that was not really His doing. His parents were responsible for all of that.
We know that as a child Jesus grew and became strong, and that He was filled with wisdom (see Luke 2, verse 40), but again, that was not really His doing.
We also know that at age 12 Jesus stayed behind after the Passover Feast in Jerusalem, and His earthly parents did not know where He was. They were on their way back to Nazareth when they realized He was not with them.
It is not clear whether this incident was accidental or intentional on Jesus’ part, but we do know that by the time Mary and Joseph finally found Him, He was sitting among the teachers in the temple, which He referred to as “His Father’s house”. He was listening to the teachers and asking them questions. We are told that all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers (see Luke 2, verses 41-49).
The last thing we really know for sure about Jesus prior to His baptism was that He went back with His parents to live with them in Nazareth, and was submissive to them while growing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men (see Luke 2, verses 51-52).
Now, that’s not a lot to go on.
That is pretty much the entire biography of the boy Jesus, as we know it.
He had not yet spent 40 days and nights fasting and praying in the Judean wilderness. He had not yet turned water into wine. He had not yet trained His disciples, taught in the synagogue, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, made the deaf hear, the mute speak, and the crippled walk. He had not yet performed any miracles (that we know of) and had not yet died on the cross for all of mankind as the ultimate act of submission to the Father’s redemptive plan.
At the point of His baptism, He had not yet accomplished even one of these tasks (that we know of). Still, in this amazing moment, the Father speaks over Him, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
This remark from heaven speaks to me in a profound way, and perhaps it is speaking to you today, as well.
Do you know that the Father is pleased with you?
His delight in you, like it was with Jesus, has nothing to do with what you HAVE or HAVE NOT yet done. It has everything to do with the fact He loves you.
He created you. He cares for you. He sustains you. He will lead you in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake (see Psalm 23:3).
Today, may we operate out of the fact that we do not have to earn God’s pleasure. We already have it! May that fact move us, like it did for Jesus, towards a life of full submission, surrender, service, and celebration.