"You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased." Mark 1:11
The baptism of Jesus was a decisive event in His life, for it marked the beginning of His public ministry. “Here and now He really begins to be the Christ,” observed Martin Luther. Of course, He was the Christ when He was born, but now He began His office as Christ. Jesus’ baptism opened the door to His work as the Messiah, the world’s Redeemer, the sinner’s Substitute.
Sinners need baptism as the washing of regeneration, as the sacrament that works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believes the promises of God. Jesus, the sinless One made sin for us, was already at this stage the vicarious Savior. He submitted to a sinner’s baptism that He might fulfill for them all righteousness by which they are saved. By being baptized Jesus did more than set an example; He did His work as our Redeemer.
It was for this that the Father sent His Son into the world. We recall the heavenly dialog as Paul Gerhardt reconstructs it in a hymn: “ ‘Go forth, My Son,’ the Father saith, ‘And free men from the fear of death, From fear and condemnation.’” And the Son replies, “ ‘Yea, Father, yea, most willingly I’ll do what Thou commandest. My will conforms to Thy decree, I do what Thou demandest.’” From Jordan’s waters to Calvary’s cross Jesus is obedient.
The Father was pleased with His Son in His newly assumed role as the Redeemer. He declared for all the world to hear: “You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased." Jesus is God’s Son and our Savior. For this we have the Father’s testimony.
Like Jesus’ baptism, so also our own baptism elicits the testimony of God – of the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. His testimony is: “You are My child; you are dear to Me.”
PRAYER: O Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, help me to fulfill my vow to be faithful to You to the end. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)