Matthew 3:16-17. 16 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; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
It’s probably safe to assume that many reading this today have, or have had in the past, some sort of “daddy issues” (or maybe “mommy issues”). The relationship of a parent to a child is so formative, so powerful, and therefore can be so damaging. The words spoken by a father to their child can bring life or death, they can make you or they can break you. Many of us grew up never hearing “I love you,” or “I’m proud of you,” from a father. Or such affirmation only came when we had earned it with good grades or accomplishments.
It’s also very safe to say that Jesus never had any “daddy issues.” How do we know? Because of what happened at his baptism. Matthew records for us this simple yet profound event. A declaration of love for all the world to hear – This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
At his baptism, Jesus didn’t become the Son of God. Son is his eternal identity. And beloved is his eternal status. But at his baptism, Jesus, the eternal Son, is being ordained into ministry. He is not becoming the Son of God, but he is, as the Son, being declared to be the Servant-Messiah of God. The Father is telling the world that it is his Son who fulfills all the promises made by God throughout all the Old Testament.
When the Spirit of God descends on Jesus, and we hear the Father declare that he is well pleased with Jesus, we can hear the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming Servant of the Lord.
Isaiah 42:1. Behold my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my Spirit upon him;
And when we hear the Father publicly declare Jesus to be his Son, we can hear the Davidic covenant being renewed.
2 Samuel 7:14. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son.
And we can hear Jesus declared to be the Psalm 2 Messiah of God, come to rule the nations.
Psalm 2:7-8. 7 I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
And when we see the heavens opened up, we can see clearly that Jesus is the ladder of Jacob, the ramp to heaven, the door to God. The eternal Son is the one who has torn open the heavens and come down to rescue mankind as the prophet declared.
Isaiah 64:1. Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains might quake at your presence—
But above all, we can hear the Father’s own deeply personal love for his Son. Love spoken over him BEFORE his ministry even began. Before he had accomplished anything. Before the wilderness temptations. Before the miracles. Before the sermons. Before the cross. Unconditional love and affirmation bestowed on the Son by the Father because of who he was, not because of what he had done. And it is from this empowering unconditional love of the Father that Christ will enter into his life of sacrifice for us, and submission to his Father by the power of the Spirit.
And if there’s one thing that God wants you to know today from your own baptism of the Spirit into union with Christ, it is that you too are deeply loved by the Father. Loved unconditionally. Accepted without accomplishment. The Father is pleased with you because of who you are, not because of what you have done.
“To live is Christ” means we have no “daddy issues.” Hear the Father speaking to your heart today as he did to Jesus – You are the son, you are the daughter, who pleases me, and I will love you forever. May the Father’s delight in us produce the same sacrifice and submission that guided the life of the eternal Son, as we live joined to his God pleasing life.
Do you have “daddy issues” with God? Do you trust his love for you?
You in Christ
In Christ God is as pleased with you as he is with Jesus. How does this calm your heart today?
Christ in you
How can you live from the Father’s love today rather than living for the father’s love?
Playlist: Songs of sonship.