With You I Am Well Pleased
"In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'"
- Mark 1:9-11
There surely could not have been a greater moment in John's ministry than to baptize Jesus. Though Jesus was John's cousin, he was also the anointed one sent by God. John knew that Jesus was the one for whom he was preparing the way. Jesus went under the water like every other man and woman that John baptized, but when Jesus came out of the water, the heavens opened, the Spirit came down like a dove, and a voice came from the heavens declaring that Jesus was the beloved Son, in whom the Lord was well pleased.
For the onlookers of this baptism, it had to have been an amazing sight to behold. These Israelites had not even heard a prophetic voice for four hundred years and now the sky was opening, the Spirit was descending, and they audibly heard the voice of the Lord. Jesus was clearly designated as God's beloved Son. Jesus ministry had not yet begun; nevertheless, the Father was delighted in him. The Father's delight was not in the performance of Jesus but the person of Jesus. Of course, Jesus would go on to live a perfect life, to completely surrender to the Father, and to perfectly obey the Father. But at the time these words were spoken from heaven, Jesus had not performed a healing, had not preached a sermon, and had not recruited a single disciple. And still, God was well pleased.
Here is the amazing gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: God the Father now looks at you through the lens of his Son Jesus Christ. When he looks down from heaven, he sees you clothed in the righteous robe of Jesus. He sees your sins washed away and the imputed righteousness of Jesus. Not only that, but he speaks these words over you: "You are my beloved son (or daughter); with you I am well pleased." Just like Jesus at his baptism, you haven't earned this love and affirmation from the Father. It is a gift of his Son.
Do you live as one whom the Father loves and in whom the Father is well pleased? Do you feel his approval, or do you still seek to earn his approval? If you are in Jesus Christ, you are accepted, loved, and delighted in by the Lord. Receive this truth today. Live in this truth today. It is the greatest gift you will ever receive!Reflection:
Can you take some time to marvel at the fact that God is well pleased with you and that he calls you his son or daughter?