By Brooke Holt
“Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.” The Collect, The First Sunday after Epiphany, Book of Common Prayer
Take a moment to think through how you would answer the question of “who are you”? Would your answer reflect your job, your roles in the family, your status, or your relationship to the Lord? As Jesus was baptized, Matthew tells us that the heavens opened, the Spirit descended like a dove to rest upon him, and a voice from heaven declared, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17).
Jesus’ identity was pronounced by his father. Jesus was and is the beloved Son and the one in whom the Lord was pleased. When Jesus would face the temptations in the desert, he would recall these words of his Father and remember his identity. When the crowds rejected him, when people misunderstood him, or when they wanted to declare him to be the earthly king, Jesus would remain steadfast in this identity. No matter how people viewed him or responded to him, the truth remained – Jesus was and is the beloved Son and the one in whom the Father is well-pleased.
You, too, are the beloved son or daughter of the Lord, and you, too, are the one in whom the Father is well-pleased. That is God’s truth for you. Your identity has been declared by God himself, and there is nothing and no one who can change your identity or his delight in you. You may not feel it; you may not acknowledge it; nevertheless, God’s truth remains. And before you start with your list of why this would not be true for you, let me remind you of why you are God’s beloved son or daughter and why the Father is pleased with you – Jesus.
It is not because of what you have or haven’t done. It has nothing to do with how you have followed God’s law, prayed, served, or even studied his Word. It has everything to do with your relationship to his Son. Through Jesus, you have this identity as beloved and one in whom the Lord delights. It is his gift to you. The question becomes: will you receive his truth and live from this glorious identity?
Spend some time today asking the Lord to confirm your identity as his beloved son or daughter, to help you to sense his delight in you. Then, repent of the ways you have denied this truth and clung to your own identities and self-declarations. You are the beloved of the Father, and you are the one in whom he is well-pleased.
Is that how you see yourself, “the one in whom God delights”? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
The Crucified Life small group Christian study is designed to reflect upon the Seven Last Words of Christ from the cross and what they mean for us today. Walk the road of Calvary with Jesus in order to grow closer to Him. The Crucified Life small group study examines human suffering as it is mirrored in Christ’s suffering on the cross and what His seven last words say to a hurting world. Find out incredible insights into these words as Jesus teaches us, even in death, how we can use our suffering and triumph over it for His glory. Begin your Crucified Life today.
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