In Christ you are God’s Beloved Child

One day Jesus goes to the Jordan river to be baptised by John the Baptist. John does not want to do this at first, ‘I need to be baptised by you’ he protests. ‘And yet I want you to baptise me”, Jesus answers ‘for we need to do what God desires of us.’ When Jesus is baptised the heavens open and John sees the Spirit of God descending like a dove onto Jesus. A voice from heaven says: ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’97.

At this time Jesus and John are both 30 years old. It is almost certain that their earthly fathers have passed away. That makes what happens here even more impressive. According to Jewish tradition there was a special ceremony which took place at thirty years of age. It was the age at which you could become a priest98. And it was the age in which a young man was entrusted with the ‘son-ship’ in the family. A father would bend over his son and say: ‘This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.’ With these words a son would be accepted into his son-ship and he would receive the responsibility and the authority which belonged with this. Isaiah points to this: ‘For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders99.’

Joseph and Zachariah probably never got to say these words to their sons. They had already passed away. Now Jesus is confirmed in His son-ship by His heavenly Father in a touching way: ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased!’ These words probably really touched John the Baptist as well. ‘In Christ’ you are also standing in the Jordan river and God also says the same words to you: ‘You are my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased!’ He does not only call you His child, He calls you His beloved child forever and always.

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