As Jesus was being baptised, Luke notes that he was praying or talking to his heavenly Father (Luke 3:21). Throughout his gospel, Luke makes a special emphasis on Jesus’ life of prayer – one of close relationship with his Father (Luke 6:12; 9:18, 29; 11:1; 22:41).
After being baptised, the Father spoke to him Jesus and said, “You are my Son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22).
This is probably a private and personal experience between Jesus and the Father. The voice speaks directly to Jesus. Luke does not record any reaction or response from the crowd, as in other cases when such events occur more publicly (e.g. Acts 9).
Jesus has developed a close relationship with his heavenly Father beginning as a child (age 12). Jesus was obedient and he did those things that pleased his Father.
This statement by the Father indicated that Jesus had:
- Identity - “my Son”.
- Acceptance - “whom I love”.
- Approval - “well pleased”.
This endorsement of the Father is like a personal commissioning of Jesus, not making him something he wasn’t before but recognising that the much loved Son will launch out into actively exercising the authority he possesses.
Jesus’ relationship with his Father was the source of his strength and the foundation of his life. This enabled him to stand firm even when his identity was attacked by others (“If you are the Son of God ...”) and or when others did not accept or approve of him. Jesus was not shaken because he was not dependent on nor did he base his life on the opinions of other people. Jesus' relationship with his Father is the source of his confidence and direction for his ministry.
The relationship that Jesus had with the Father is not for him alone. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called into the same intimacy and security of the Father’s love.
1. Identity – we are the children of God, his sons and daughters. He is our Father and that makes us special, important and significant ... simply because we are his. We are not slaves or simply servants of God. We are sons, daughters and heirs of the promises.
2. Acceptance – God’s love for us is not based on our goodness or our performance. It is a love given as a free gift, even though it is undeserved. This is the power of grace.
3. Approval – as we obey God and follow his ways, we can also know his pleasure and approval. Obedience pleases God. However, obedience isn’t to be done out of self-effort to try earn God’s love but rather as a response to the grace he already has shown us.
Following Jesus Christ and living God’s way will put us in situations where people may not accept us or give us their approval. They may laugh and even mock us. Unless our roots are deep and strong in the Father’s love, we will falter at those times, compromise our faith and lose our potential impact. May your life be rooted and grounded in the Father’s love (Ephesians 3:14-19), not rejection, insecurity, inferiority or fear.
- See who you are – a son/daughter not a slave.
- Believe what God says about you.
- Take captive every contrary thought and bring it under submission to Christ.
- Live with this truth as your daily foundation.