Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord

Posted on January 10, 2020 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Luke 3:21-22 (NKJV)
3:21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
Considering Wednesday’s reading and the fact that John was baptizing “for the remission of sins,” we might wonder at the sinless Jesus going out to John to be baptized. While St. Matthew’s account addresses John bringing this very objection, St. Mark’s Gospel does what it usually does and allows the bare action of God to inform our belief: “Then a voice came from heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
It is obvious that Jesus didn’t need Baptism to bring Him forgiveness. The Father was well pleased in His perfect righteousness before Jesus’ Baptism, and now proclaims this status in terms of Jesus actively standing in our place. The Father was pleased in the Son, and would have been forever. By taking on manhood, though, the Son is now well pleasing as Man and for mankind. This is God’s Son who was “born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal. 4:4-5). The Son states His mission: “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28, Mark 10:45). In this action, as in all others, in Jesus the Father is well pleased; therefore, we may believe that in all that Jesus does or suffers to be done to Him, the Father’s pleasure is to be found—and found for us.
We pray: Lord Jesus, we thank You that You fulfilled all righteousness for us, keeping every Commandment, paying for every sin by Your holy Passion, even perfectly receiving Baptism so that every defect in our understanding or trust was atoned for by You! Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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