Claimed

Mark 1:11 “And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’”

In case we couldn’t figure it out from all that we see Jesus do during his ministry, here the heavenly Father comes right out and says it: “You are my Son.” Jesus is the very Son of God. But this also tells us more. God is claiming Jesus as his very own here.

When we claim something as our own, when we say, “This one’s mine,” that can have a selfish connotation. It can mean we are unwilling to share.

But it can also mean that something, or someone, is dear to us. It means so much to us we would never let it go. Remember this scene out of the movie “Toy Story”? Woody the cowboy, and Buzz Lightyear the astronaut, are Andy’s favorite toys. To show this, Andy has written his name on the bottom of their feet. Woody and Buzz belong to him, and he treasures them like no other toys he owns.

When Jesus was baptized, and God called down from heaven, “You are my Son…” he was claiming him as his own. Wrapped up in that claim was already a heaping helping of the words that followed, “whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” The Father had every reason to claim and to love this Son of his. Jesus, and only Jesus, perfectly pleased our Father in heaven with everything he did. He followed God’s will uncomplaining through a life with few comforts, a life filled with persecution, leading to an excruciating death on a cross. All this he did just so that he could give that love, that perfection, and that payment for sin away to you and me. As Jesus sets out on his earthly ministry, God professes his love for him. He proclaims Jesus’ own perfection, for all of us to hear. So, we can see and know him as our Savior sent from heaven.

Then, how can we not notice something else God is saying about our baptisms? We may not hear heavenly voices, but if we could, we would hear God claiming us as his own, professing his love for you and me. We may not be sons in the same way that Jesus was and is, but in our baptisms he adopts us as his children by faith. He is perfectly pleased with us as Jesus purifies us from every sin.

And so, heaven has opened to us, not only to show us our Savior, but to show us what a difference the simple application of water in God’s name has made in our lives. Now heaven is truly open, not only to show us, but to receive us.

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