October 1, 2017
READ: Matthew 3:13-17
A voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy” (v.17).
Football fans around the world are known for being passionate about their teams, but Boca Juniors, a team from Argentina, may have some of the most enthusiastic followers. Besides typical expressions of support like wearing football shirts, colourful wigs and face paint, entire stadiums of Boca Juniors fans will even go so far as to set off fireworks simultaneously in an amazing pyrotechnic display, all to communicate one simple fact: “We love our team!”
This ‘over the top’ display of loyalty reminded me of the lavish way God the Father expressed His love during Jesus’ baptism. After Jesus emerged from the waters of the Jordan River, the heavens opened up and the Spirit of God in the form of a dove descended and settled on Jesus (Matthew 3:16). This in itself would have been an amazing sign of God’s favour. But the Father wasn’t satisfied with this remarkable display. Like an earthly father who simply can’t contain his pride, He declared from the heavens, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy” (v.17). The Father seemed to pull out all the stops to declare His passionate love.
This moment provides an important reminder of God’s character. It can be easy to slip into the perception that God is cold, distant and judgemental. We may even view Him as surveying all of creation with His arms crossed, just waiting for us to slip up. But Matthew 3 reveals the true nature of our Father: He loves His children and affectionately displays His love in every way possible!
Even more amazing is the fact that because of the work of Jesus, believers are now part of God’s family (Romans 8:14). Our heavenly Father feels the same way about us as He does for His Son! (1 John 3:1).
365-day-plan: John 20:24
Read Eph. 3:14-18 to see how Paul describes our growth in understanding the depth of God’s love.
How do you view God the Father and His love for you? How can you remind yourself of His loving character today?