Jesus is baptized too—but his baptism is unlike any others, and yet a template of all of us in Christ by faith, united with him. The heavens are open, the Holy Spirit descends on him in bodily form, like a dove. An extraordinary, miraculous sign that defies logical explanation. It soars above (not against) our humanistic-level thinking to stare into the face of the infinite. And also hear his voice: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (3:22).
This declaration by God the Father towards God the Son is extraordinary for many reasons. First of all, it declares the divinity of Jesus for all to hear. And then second, we hear modeled for us the archetypal father-son relationship of love and approval. God the Son is approved of by God the Father; he is loved by God the Father. And then third, we, united in Christ, his beloved, are included by faith in this divine love. If you need to know that God loves you—and we all do—then put your faith in Christ, build you relationship with Christ, and you will have God’s love set upon you. God has demonstrated his own love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Then comes Jesus’ genealogy. These genealogies are not so much family trees as they are resumes or CVs of someone’s authority and identity. Jesus, by adoption—“being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph”—has his identity traced to that of David, and finally to God himself.
Jesus is a real historical figure, fully human and yet also fully God. To be worshipped and adored, the beloved Son with whom God the Father is well pleased.
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