The Beloved Son | Dec 24

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17 ESV)

Jesus’ baptism by John is a sort of passing of the baton. With this action, Jesus officially inaugurates His earthly ministry, and as such, John’s work of preparing the way for Christ begins to come to a close.

Of course, John is not bothered by being overshadowed by Jesus. Knowing that Jesus is the Messiah, John attempts instead to be baptized by Jesus, and when his ministry dwindles because of Jesus’ rising ministry, John declares that “He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30)”, which I believe must be the heart of every disciple of Christ.

John did, of course, baptize Jesus at his Lord’s command, and in doing so Jesus affirmed the validity of John’s message. Yet in these final two verses of the chapter, we see something incredible happen. The heavens are opened up, the Spirit descends upon Christ like a dove, and a voice proclaims, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Thus, Jesus’ ministry begins with a heavenly affirmation that He is truly the Messiah. In being called the Son, God is identifying Jesus as the fulfillment of Psalm 2:7, and the LORD being well pleased with Him matches similarly to Isaiah 40:1.

We now see that Jesus has the direct validation of God the Father upon His work as the Messiah.


Prayerfully recall the beauty of the gospel as displayed in this verse: because Jesus lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died, in Christ we now have the good pleasure of the Father, not His wrath.


 

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