Lesson for the Lord’s Day

And, lo, a voice from Heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:17

A wealthy businessman received a phone call in the middle of the night from the sheriff’s department. Dressing quickly, he made his way to city’s detention centre and told the officer in charge why he was there. The officer led him down a hallway and unlocked a huge steel door. They passed several cells until they came to the one at the end. The officer unlocked the cell door and allowed the man to enter. A young man sat on the cot, his shoulders slumped, his head down. He turned and gave his father an ashamed glance and hung his lead lower. The father sat beside the young man and said nothing for a few moments, then placed his hand on the lad’s shoulder. ‘Son,’ he said quietly, ‘I love you, but what you have done has made me very ashamed of your behaviour.’ This was not the first father to be ashamed of his son, and he won’t be the last. Our earthly fathers undoubtedly were ashamed of us at times. How wonderful to encounter a Son who never did and never could disappoint His Father!

It was just a baptism, a simply and brief ceremony conducted by a plain and rustic-clad baptizer. It differed from the dozens of other baptisms that John performed that day in few details, apart from John’s initial reluctance to proceed. But when it was over, something happened that was unique, unlike anything that John or his followers had ever encountered before: a proclamation from Heaven. John had been reluctant to baptise others, so that was not unique. But those others were questionable in terms of their repentance. Here was one in whom John saw no need for repentance. But he was persuaded to continue. And He was rewarded by having his conviction about Jesus conformed. Just a simple act of obedience and commitment, and Heaven spoke. The launch of Jesus’ ministry was not without Heaven’s confirmation. We don’t have an audible voice from Heaven in our midst today, but all of Scripture confirms Heaven’s approval of the Son.

No, Jesus had no reason to repent. But His desire was to fulfill all righteousness. From His baptism to his crucifixion and death, we see His commitment to His Father’s purpose. We who could never please the Father because of our sinful nature rejoice today that the Father accepts on our behalf the One Who did please Him. -Jim MacIntosh

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