“One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, ‘You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.’” (Luke 3: 21-22, NLT)
Can you hear that powerful voice “from heaven” saying, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy”? Can you imagine? Imagine. God’s words convey a dual expression of divine love and joy. Jesus was God’s “dearly loved Son.” We only need to chew on this concept for a few seconds to begin to understand both the depth of love and the depth of sacrifice involved here. (Btw, here, at Jesus’ baptism, God unmistakably certified Jesus as his Son and the Holy Spirit also appeared. The Trinity made an appearance! For those who wonder how God can be ‘three in one,’ Jesus’ baptism captures the Trinity in action, expressing one mind and purpose yet in three distinct ways).
A hymn from the early church describes the momentous significance of Jesus coming from heaven to the dusty roads of Judea: “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).
The sacrifice was immerse, and it was undertaken with purpose and conviction. We don’t know at what point in life Jesus fully understood his mission to die for the sins of all humanity. However, we do know that it was clear to him during his three years of traveling and teaching, for three separate times he told his disciples he was going to die and rise again. The events that unfolded did not take Jesus by surprise. He came to do what God had planned from ages past.
Jesus brought his Father great joy because he willingly took upon himself human form in order to die for sinful humanity – for us. The Father looked upon his human Son, fresh from the waters of baptism, and spoke from heaven of his love and joy for all to hear. “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” How joyful God was!
Pray and praise God for the extraordinary gift of his Son.
Ask him to help you pursue the godly, worshipful life that makes him rejoice over you.
In Christ, Jesus live in you, you also can bring joy to God. God, is a Joyful God.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.