February 08, 2015

Beloved Son

Matthew 3:1-6, 13-17

A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

—  Matthew 3:17

In a muddy little river in the desert, Jesus was baptized by his cousin John. To the Medi­terranean world at that time, this was an insignificant, unnoticed event. But this scene along an isolated bend of the Jordan River portrayed a key moment in God's plan of salvation for our fallen world.

Jesus didn't need John's baptism of repentance. Unlike those gathered at the Jordan—and us—Jesus was not conceived and born in sin. John must have known this, because he hesi­tated to baptize Jesus.

So why did Jesus insist on receiving John's baptism?

In this baptism at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus acknowledges John as the final prophet of the Old Testament preparing the way for the Messiah. And although Jesus was without sin, he identified with the sin and shame each of us face apart from God, shame that ultimately resulted in his death on the cross for our sake.

Because he accepted the shame of our sin, we hear the Father's voice as Jesus came out of the water: "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

Because Jesus took on the shame of our rebellion against God, now God says to you and to me, "You are my child." Keep this in mind today as you seek to please God!

Jesus, God’s beloved Son, by taking on the shame of our sin, you have made us God’s children. Help us today to please you and the Father, to your glory. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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