Before we look at this most significant identity-shaping event of Jesus’ life, we need to consider where it happened… in the wilderness. Consider the context and you’ll catch the profound content of what’s about to happen. The prophet Isaiah’s words were well-known to the average Jewish person of the day:
A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God’ (Isaiah 40:3).
They were expecting a Savior leader to appear some blessed day.
The Fulfillment of This Prophecy Could Not Be More Precise
The word “wilderness” here is translated from the word arabah in Hebrew. Throughout the Old Testament, arabah is used to specifically describe this very place where John was about to perform Jesus of Nazareth’s baptism: The distinctly dry and harsh region along the Jordan River. Don’t miss the significance. This prophecy of Isaiah, foretold roughly seven hundred years before the birth of John the Baptist, was not only specific to John the Baptist’s identity as the one who would pave the way of Jesus’ ministry, but it was also specific to the exact regional site in which this prophecy would take place, i.e. the desert of the Rift Valley along the Jordan River.
As John dipped Jesus into the Jordan river, Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah in the arabah (wilderness) region, just as Isaiah said He would. The fulfillment of that prophecy couldn’t get more specific!
Now for the pinnacle of this event:
As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you and I well pleased.” (Mark 1:10-11)
With these words, Jesus was sent off on his way to save the world. And rightly so, imagine if you heard these words from the Heavenly Father spoken about you!
These are Words For You Too, If You Have Put Your Trust in Jesus
But wait, for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ, you are called a son of God, and heir of God. Have you ever heard a message more profound? By simply putting your faith in Jesus, you are at once adopted in to God’s family as a son or daughter. If you have put your faith in Christ, these words Jesus heard, are words that you can hear from the Holy Spirit too. God loves you.
I am convinced that if I can just simply believe that I don’t have to prove myself to God, that God loves me, that I too can be sent off on my way, as an ambassador to bring salvation to the world through the proclamation of the Gospel. And I can do it in freedom, joy, and perseverance.
Identity Check | Put Your Name Here
Today, if you haven’t put your faith in Jesus Christ, do it now. You’ll never regret that decision. And if you do know him, then make your starting point today, listening to those personal and specific words…. “(Put Your Name Here)… You are my Son/Daughter, whom I love; with you and I well pleased.”
- Find a quiet moment and pray these words to the Heavenly Father: “Thank you for loving me Father, I don’t have to prove myself to you, you love me exactly the way I am.”
- Do you believe you don’t have to prove yourself to God?
- Tell a trusted soul-friend what you experienced in your soul while you prayed that Scripture-prayer in belief.
- Please share your comments below!