“And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’” vs. 17
The gospels, in their varying accounts of Jesus, present many different perspectives on his life and ministry, but they all agree that his baptismal experience was particularly important. There are some differences in the details of the gospel record but each implies that this was the moment of his call, or to put it another way, the birth of his messianic self-consciousness. As Matthew tells it, immediately following his baptism Jesus received an amazing epiphany: he was the chosen one of God!!! In an auditory vision he was powerfully affirmed as the beloved son of God, one in whom God was well pleased. That good news changed his life, giving him a mission and a purpose. As Christians we have continued to see that same unconditional affirmation as the primary message of baptism. Our life in Christ begins with a declaration that we are much loved children of God. Whether we deserve it or not, God’s love is poured out on us and we are assured that the Spirit of God will never depart from us. It’s obviously true that some could care less about God’s love or their own baptism. They may not even believe in God. But countless others rejoice in their baptisms and, like Jesus, understand it as a summons, a call to love and serve in a broken world.
Thought for the Day: How do I know the Spirit of God is with me?