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.’
Seven months ago (and thankfully, pre-Covid), my husband and I were married. The weekend was beautiful and as special as one might expect. But one element of our wedding weekend was surprisingly touching for me: my fathers’ speech at the rehearsal dinner. He spoke of his love for me, he reminded me of God’s provision throughout my life, and he blessed the union that was about to take place. I wept as he spoke, knowing that I was his special and beloved daughter; my dad was very well pleased with me. Months later, I still find myself dwelling on his loving and affirming words. The blessing that I received that day mattered deeply and has affected the way I view myself as a believer and a wife.
On Sunday, we remembered the blessing that Jesus received from God the Father at the beginning of His earthly ministry. We read that after He was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and God the Father spoke the following words: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Tim Keller says of this moment, “When Jesus comes out of the water, the Father envelops Him and covers Him with words of love. …while the Spirit covers Him with power” ( Jesus the King, 2011, Keller). What a powerful picture of the commissioning of Jesus—that God Himself would speak a blessing over Him as He begins the work He was sent to do.
Let us also be reminded that we, too, have received a blessing from God because of Jesus Christ. We see through the gospels that Jesus took on the wrath of God for our sins—for our very souls. In a moment so dark and lonely upon the cross, Jesus was aware that God the Father had turned His face away. Jesus cries out, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” Christ was forsaken so we could be saved, and because of His sacrifice, we can receive through faith the spiritual blessing that Jesus had. As Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”
Whatever challenges you may face this week, take heart in remembering that because of Christ, you have received a spiritual blessing; because of Christ, you are a son or daughter in whom the Father is very well pleased.