“A voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.”
Thursday, 14 January 2021
This is a pivotal moment in the life of Jesus. In one sense, he comes to his cousin John perhaps seeking a rite of transition from his hidden life into his public life. He does not need baptism as he is without sin, but he chooses to come. It may have been a daunting moment knowing that the time of his secluded life has come to an end. He now needs to live publicly as Son of God, an identity he has grown in awareness of.
As he comes out of the water, there is a visible and audible sign confirming his identity as Son of God. The descent of the Holy Spirit and the voice from heaven. This must have been a profound moment of consolation and strengthening for Jesus, who may have remembered it many times in his ministry. He now knows beyond a shadow of a doubt who he is.
Perhaps until that moment of affirmation, he would not have been ready to begin his public ministry. There have already been a few moments in scripture that affirmed Jesus’ special identity in some way – the annunciation to Mary, the presentation in the temple when Simeon and Anna recognise him, and to some degree the time when he was a young boy in the temple in Jerusalem. But for the most part, he probably had lived most of his thirty years grappling alone in prayer with the emerging awareness of who he was. So, this moment is a significant moment of grace and affirmation.
Are there key moments in my life where affirmation and grace have confirmed God loves me? And I am living my true calling?