December 4

Text: Matthew 3:17

And behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." (NASB)

Matthew viewed Jesus as confident in his identity.  Jesus was no pretender—he was genuine.  When, at his immersion, a voice from heaven declared that Jesus was God’s son who pleased God, Jesus did not say, “What are you talking about?”  John did not say, “You must be kidding!”  Those who witnessed that baptism did not say, “Those are words of blasphemy!”  Matthew recorded no doubting response.

There were numerous things that confirmed Jesus’ unique identity: the origin of Mary’s pregnancy, Joseph’s response in accepting Mary as his wife, the incident of the Magi, the Herod the Great incident, the ministry of John, and now the voice from heaven at Jesus’ baptism.

Jesus’ temptations serve numerous purposes.  They declared he was human—he could be tempted.  They declared the instructions given to Israel reflected God’s nature and thus Jesus’ nature.  They declared Jesus was God’s son not only by God sending him, but also by his embracing his mission—he was God’s son and he chose to function as God’s son.  He had no doubts about who he was.  It was okay with him to be who he was.  He willingly accepted the responsibility as well as the privilege.

The fact that Jesus accepted both the responsibility and the privilege of being God’s son is astounding!  Humans adore privilege but resent the responsibility of privilege.  Humans often say, “I would not be in that position for love nor money!”  Humans embrace privilege by saying, “I deserved that—that should have happened to me!”  Humans renounce responsibility by blaming someone else (“I would not have done that if he [or she] had not done what he [or she] did!”) or by saying, “My situation is unreasonable!”  We love to declare we are human in matters of responsibility and that we are special in matters of privilege.  We deserve privilege but hate the responsibility of a privileged position.

Matthew said Jesus accepted both.   Throughout his gospel, Matthew stressed how Jesus responded to and accepted responsibility.

Suggestion for reflection: How do you respond to salvation responsibility?  (Read Matthew 7:15-23.)

David's Home Page Previous Day Index Next Day

 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell