by Nathan Edwardson, Lead Pastor
In the Gospel of Luke, one of the most significant stories is the baptism of Jesus. In fact, I believe this profound moment in Jesus’ life sets the stage for the rest of the story.
One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As Jesus was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
Luke 3.21, 22
While Jesus is baptized, the heavens are ripped open, the Holy Spirit comes upon His life, and the Father speaks, “You are my dearly loved Son.” Before Jesus does anything great, before He walks on water, before He calms the storm, before the crowds surround Him, before He drives our demons, before He heals the sick, before He raises the dead, and before Jesus does any great miracles, His Father speaks with great passion, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
The Father loves Jesus, not because of what He has done, but because of who He is. Before Jesus has done anything great, He is enveloped in His Father’s love. Jesus is loved. Knowing this deep love, Jesus lives FROM the love of His Father. As Jesus lives out the call on His life, He is consumed with His Father’s love. Jesus lives FROM the love of His Father. Jesus has nothing to prove. Jesus is not living for His Father’s affection. Jesus is loved first. The Father is pleased. And from that place, Jesus lives to please His Father.
Through the years, I have found that many Christians are living FOR the voice of Father, and not FROM the voice of Father. So many Christians are working and striving FOR Father’s love, rather than enjoying and living FROM Father’s love. In these weeks to come, as we follow Jesus as a community through the Gospel of Luke, my prayer is this: may we encounter His love. May we know God’s burning love for us. May we know God’s jealous love for us. As Paul writes in Ephesians 3:18, “may we understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.” We are loved.