Tuesday, July 30, 2013

That's My Boy!

This is my Son, whom I love;
with him I am well pleased. Matthew 3:17

Four times in the New Testament the Father audibly voiced His approval of Jesus. Matthew seventeen describes the events that occurred at the Transfiguration. Peter, James and John saw Jesus glorified. They watched Him converse with Moses and Elijah. In the midst of this awesome experience they heard the Father speak. “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Matthew 17:5. It’s easy to see why God was so happy. Jesus’ ministry was in high gear. People were healed and delivered; the dead were raised; the good news of the kingdom was preached and people were transformed. Jesus, in conjunction with the Father, impacted lives every where He went. In our terminology, He was a mover and a shaker. He was gittin’ it done.

The other time God spoke these words was at Jesus’ baptism. At that time, Jesus wasn’t in public ministry. As a carpenter He hadn’t worked a single miracle or preached a sermon. The water that became wine was still just water. The madman of Gadara was a raving lunatic. The lame man at the pool of Bethesda watched for help to enter the water when it stirred. The boy with epilepsy continued to throw himself in the fire when he experienced a fit. No one knew about the kingdom of God or had heard one word about it. Jesus hadn’t done anything to counteract the depravity and misery that ran rampant all around Him. That’s the point.

God’s dramatic demonstration of His love and approval of Jesus at this juncture in His life teaches us an important lesson, if we pay attention. God’s love for us is based on who we are, not what we do. God is pleased when we obey and do what he tells us to do but His feelings toward us aren’t based on our accomplishments. If we ever doubt how He feels about us, the bible reminds us: “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16.

God doesn’t love us because we do all the right things all of the time. He loves us because He can’t help Himself. That’s why He created us. He wanted a family. He knew before He ever set His plan in motion that man would fall, so He devised a way to win us back. The solution would be based on what He did, not on what we could accomplish. Like any parent, He delights when we listen and obey but that’s not the foundation of His unconditional love toward us.

           If you've ever felt as if you’ve missed the mark and disappointed God, join the club. Then go back and read Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11 and Luke 3:22. Remember at that point in His life Jesus was only a carpenter from Galilee and not the miracle worker Who took the nation by storm. Still God was pleased with Him. Let the concept of God’s love which isn’t performance based permeate your being. If you listen closely you’ll hear Him say, “That’s my boy (girl)!”

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/6665694069/">Lawrence OP</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a

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