Imagine it. Someday we too will join the countless throng in heaven. We will be shoulder to shoulder with people from every corner of the world…all from different races, languages, and customs. Yet we will have one thing in common…one thing that joins us together forever…one thing that wipes away every diversity. His name is Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)
God didn’t have to do it. He didn’t have to send His one and only Son to suffer unspeakable torture and death on a cross. But God did. Titus 3:4-5 tells us, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.” It is only because of God’s immeasurable grace and mercy…and His incomprehensible benevolence towards us that we are able to call ourselves sons and daughters of the Most High King. God didn’t have to do it…but He did.
Jesus told His disciples in John 14:9, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father.” He was trying to explain to them that He was the perfect expression and image of their heavenly Father. And even today, the notion of the Trinity…the Three in One…Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a difficult concept to wrap our minds around. Each is a flawless part of the whole…each equally important…each deserving honor, glory, and praise.
This week ended the 5 year journey of my son’s family adopting a beautiful little girl from Haiti. The moment this orphan’s feet hit USA soil she was a legal citizen and officially theirs. Another word for son-ship in this verse is adoption. We all have the opportunity to be legally adopted by our Heavenly Father. But for some, they see God only through the lens of their biological father…a man that might have been absent, abusive, or angry. Despite the faults and failures of your earthly father…your Heavenly Father will be loving and involved. He is not to be feared for retaliation. He is just and will never leave you. He will accept you just as you are, and will love you unconditionally. God is your Daddy, which is what the word Abba means…and He’s wanting to be that Daddy in your life you may have never had.
It tells us in John 1:12-13, “Yet to all who receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” When we are born again into the family of God we become His children. And just like little children we learn by our Heavenly Father’s example. We’ve all seen tiny toddlers attempting to mimic adult actions…it’s how children learn to do things…they model and copy their parents. We are to be imitators of God…modeling our lives after Him, and living as His beloved children.
Why was Jesus so insistent that John the Baptist baptize Him? Why would the Son of God need to submit to it at all? First for credibility…a sinless Jesus could identify with all sinners by humbling Himself to baptism. Secondly for obedience…Jesus demonstrated His total submission to His Heavenly Father in baptism. Finally for new beginnings…for this was the first step in the start of His public ministry here on earth.
The 12 year-old Jesus wasn’t being disrespectful to His parents when He asked this question. He was simply incredulous that they had not realized where He was destined to be. For this young Jesus had already taken on the obligation and duty of His Heavenly Father…as seen in Psalm 69:9, “…for the zeal for Your House consumes Me…”