9About that time, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10While he was coming up out of the water, Jesus saw heaven splitting open and the Spirit, like a dove, coming down on him. 11And there was a voice from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness."
I was having a conversation with somebody the other day, and the topic of parents and punishment came up. She said that the worst punishment her parents could give her was telling her they were very disappointed with her. To her, that's worse than being yelled at or having privileges taken away. It's true, isn't it? Having a parent say, "I'm very disappointed," just pierces our hearts.
We like praise. We like approval. We feel really good when somebody we look up to notices something we've done and says, "I'm proud of you."
Now imagine how great it would be if that, "I'm proud of you," comes not from a parent or a teacher, but from God! In today's passage, that's exactly what happened to Jesus. He was being baptized. (In those days they did it by totally submersing the person in the river.) We he came out of the water, God's booming voice came from Heaven saying, "With you I am well pleased." Wow! That must have been awesome.
So, why was God so proud of Jesus? Jesus hadn't started his ministry yet. He hadn't started healing people or preaching God's word. He really hadn't done anything especially fabulous at this point. All he did was show up to be baptized.
And there it is. When Jesus got baptized, he made a decision to dedicate his life to God, and God was well pleased.
You are also a child of God. And you have the ability to hear, "I'm proud of you," coming from God, too. Every time you make a decision to dedicate your life to God, God is pleased. God is pleased that you are reading this devotion and reflecting on the Scripture right now. God is pleased when you spend time in prayer. God is pleased when you share your beliefs with others.
If today's devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.