The Father's Delight
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One of the first places in Scripture that the Fatherhood of God is displayed is in Matthew 3 when Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized. There’s John, ribcage-deep in the Jordan River. His camel hair clothes are sopping wet.
He’s baptizing people right and left as He teaches, preaches, and prepares the way for the Lord. Suddenly, up walks Jesus and says, Hey, baptize Me. And John’s like, Wah-what? You got that backward, Jesus. You need to baptize me! So, they talk back and forth, but finally, John relents and plunges Jesus into the Jordan River and brings Him up again. Jesus is baptized to identify with sinners in their redemption, new and clean.
Scripture tells that when Jesus comes up out of the water, the heavens open, the Holy Spirit descends like a dove and alights on Jesus, and a Voice from heaven gives a startling and altogether wonderful announcement. Do you know what it was?
The announcement was big news to all those gathered by the Jordan that day. Many of the folks who were gathered around John the Baptist must have already known this thirty-year-old man, Jesus of Nazareth. He was Joseph’s kid, the carpenter’s son. Jesus had grown up in a little village not far away. They must have remembered Him playing as a boy, running down the side streets. They’d seen Him in the synagogue and marketplace, fully grown. And now, after Jesus is baptized by John, God the Father goes on record, speaking in an audible voice at the baptism service. And what exactly did God say?
Hey everyone, sorry I’m late but I was at the AARP Convention. Did the kid do okay?
Or, Hey boy, You better get in that river and get dunked like I told You to.
Or, Can’t you just feel a sense of peace and tranquility in the universe today?
The Father calls out: THIS IS MY SON, WHOM I LOVE! WITH HIM I AM WELL PLEASED!
It’s like He is saying I’m God, and that’s My kid! I love Him a lot. With Him I am well pleased. How crazy is that? If God’s going to call down from heaven, surely He’s going to give a full sermon. Surely, He’ll dazzle us with His theological omniscience.
Just simple fatherly delight.
We just need to soak in that concept. We need to stay there, to bask in it, to enjoy it. See, by the Jordan River that day, God the Father showed that His relationship with Jesus wasn’t a contract. It wasn’t the signing of a theological treatise. It wasn’t a list of principles to agree with, or a bunch of rules to follow. It was a connection. A family connection. A real, heart-to-heart life connection where the Creator of the universe acknowledged His Son. Yes, God is all knowing and all powerful and all wise, and He’s holy and just and perfect, and there is a just wrath awaiting those who reject His truth and grace. But here’s what Jesus reveals most about Him—God is a loving Father. We see it clearly as God the Father pulled back the curtain and showed us this amazing relationship with the Son whom He dearly loves. And God extends a similar kind of relationship to us. A relationship where He is our Father, and we are His sons and daughters. God loves us, and God is even proud to call us His own.
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