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The Father’s Approval

Matthew 3:17 (ESV) … “and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

On three special occasions, the Father spoke from heaven: at Christ’s baptism, at the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:3), and as Christ approached the cross (John 12:27–30). In the past, God spoke to His Son; today He is speaking through His Son (Heb. 1:1–2).

The Father’s statement from heaven seems to be an echo of Psalm 2:7—“The Lord hath said unto Me, ‘Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.’ ” Acts 13:33 informs us that this “begetting” refers to His resurrection from the dead, and not to His birth at Bethlehem. This statement ties in perfectly with the Lord’s baptismal experience of death, burial, and resurrection.

But the Father’s statement also relates Jesus Christ to the “Suffering Servant” prophesied in Isaiah 40–53. In Matthew 12:18, Matthew quoted from Isaiah 42:1–3, where the Messiah-Servant is called “My beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased.” The Servant described in Isaiah is humble, rejected, made to suffer and die, but is also seen to come forth in victory. While the nation of Israel is seen dimly in some of these “Servant Songs,” it is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who is revealed most clearly in them. Again, we see the connection with Christ in death, burial, and resurrection.

Finally, the Father’s statement approved all that Jesus had done up to that point. His “hidden years in Nazareth” were years of pleasing the Father. Certainly, the Father’s commendation was a great encouragement to the Son as He started His ministry.[1]

Does the Heavenly Father give approval of our lives? Ask God today to help you live in such a way that your life meets with His approval.

[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, pp. 17–18). Victor Books.


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