February 6 I Tuesday
“At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’” —Matthew 3:16-17
After the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, the Father openly proclaims three things about the Son for all to hear: “You are Mine,” “I love You” and “I am pleased with You.” This is what every child wants to hear from their parents. They want to know they belong and are wanted, that they are loved and that their very existence is pleasing to their parents. Deep down this is also what we want from our Heavenly Father. We want to know He accepts us, loves us and is pleased with us, but sin prevents us from experiencing these things first hand.
This was the whole reason Jesus came to earth. He became a man so He could sacrifice Himself in our place, experiencing separation from God, and judgment for our sin so we would not have to. He identified with us so that after His work on the cross, we could identify with Him in receiving all the benefits of His relationship with the Father. His death and resurrection were not just the means of restoring our broken relationships with God, but of joining Him in being accepted by God, loved by Him and knowing He is well pleased with us.
We did not earn these privileges, but are blessed to receive them because of Christ. Paul writes in Galatians 3:26-27, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” He elaborates later saying God sent Jesus so “we might receive adoption to sonship” (4:5). The word “sonship” is important here. Paul is not referring to our genders, but our position before God. Jesus is the one and only Son of God, but we are all adopted as sons of God when our faith unites us with Christ. As sons, we receive all the privileges of sonship, including justification before God, His Spirit indwelling us, and inheriting eternal life in relationship with Him both now and in heaven.
None of this guarantees an easy life. Immediately following Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan for 40 days. God may also call us to walk difficult paths with Him, but our adoption as sons of God means He has given us everything we need by His indwelling presence to make it through trials and temptations. We are His because of Christ, loved by Him and pleasing to Him. Just as we cannot guarantee an easy life for our children, we can take comfort in the fact that God will not leave us to struggle on our own.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your work on the cross that allows me to be a son of God—belonging, beloved and pleasing in Your sight—and for walking with me throughout life’s trials. Thank You, Lord.