Jesus chose to be baptized in order to show those who would follow him the way to begin their discipleship journey. This was the way representatives of the kingdom of God were to launch their ministries. Though Jesus – perfect and sinless – did not need to be “born again”,Â he taught that all who would seek after God must be “born of the water and the Spirit”. Â You must be born again. And His water baptism showed how by example.Â
â€œRabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.â€ 3 Jesus answered him, â€œTruly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.â€ 4 Nicodemus said to him, â€œHow can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?â€ 5 Jesus answered, â€œTruly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:2-5
Jesus was already doing supernatural signs and miracles. Nicodemus got it – someone extraordinary was in their midst – Â “no one can do this unless God is with him.”
For Jesus – God as a man – to submit to any human ritual was an act of humility. Over and over again the Son of God humbled himself. At the river Jordan he humbled himself to let John baptize him in the river.
It was at this moment of obedience to the Divine Directive that the heavens opened up and declared to all: “This is my beloved Son with whom I am delighted and well pleased.”
Boom! Validation and Affirmation with a capital V and A.
There’s just nothing better than hearing the very voice of God say – “I’m happy with what you’re doing. Your choices please me.” Imagine what that would feel like if it was you! That would beÂ exhilarating!
Of course, any of us can choose to act in such a spirit of obedience that the Lord would respond similarly. Probably not audibly with a voice from heaven, but still, just to know that you have the pleasure of God in your corner, that’s a pretty wonderful thing.
I really like to use this word “beloved”, even if seems to be a bit old-fashioned. It means “adored, much loved, cherished, treasured, prized, highly regarded, admired, esteemed”. Â
ThoseÂ areÂ good sentimentsÂ I hope to impart.
For my wife, when addressing her I stretch it out to all three syllables, “My Be-love-ed”.
To my son, when we’re on the phone, it’s the two-syllable version, “Hello beloved son!”
For our choir, I’ll write them an e-mail and my salutation frequently is “Hey there Beloved Choir!
My friend, if you’re walking with Jesus, know that you are beloved. Feel His affirmation. God will always validate those that fully obey Him.
Remember that He is “well pleased and delighted” with you!
About Season Of Light
I am writing a devotional series called â€œSeason of Lightâ€ (#SeasonOfLife) during the beginning of 2016, focusing on the 40 day season of Epiphany (from January 6 â€“ February 10). Weâ€™ll explore the major biblical themes ofÂ the beginning of Jesus ministry, and Iâ€™ll comment as the Holy Spirit inspires. This is for the purpose of growing in our relationship with the Lord. My desire â€“ my hope and prayer for you â€“ is that yourÂ heart may expand and your spirit grow brighter as we seek to be filled with the knowledge and presence of God. So, I invite you to join me on the â€œSeason of Lightâ€ journey!
Often Iâ€™ll be inspired by a scripture from the Daily Audio Bible readings and use that as a writing prompt. Hereâ€™s theÂ DAB readings for January 12:
Genesis 26:17-27:46; Matthew 9:1-17; Psalms 10:6-18; Proverbs 3:9-10
Our church is also on a reading plan of four chapters per day, starting in the New Testament. Today is Matthew 10-13.