Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Whether at work, school, or home, we are constantly graded, compared against others, and rated. The boss gives us our annual review. The teacher hands out report cards. The son informs mom that her mac and cheese isn’t as good as what Dylan’s mom makes.
It is interesting how these “ratings” can affect our day, isn’t it? If they’re good, we feel good. If they’re lousy, we feel lousy. If they’re nothing special, then we are tempted to feel that we’re nothing special.
How’s your approval rating with God? How have you been keeping up with those Ten Commandments? Remember, they’re not God’s suggestions; they are his commands. How’s it going between you and your neighbor, all your neighbors? Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
If we’re going to talk comparisons, why not go all the way and, as God says, compare ourselves to him? “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Will I ever meet with God’s approval? Will God ever say of me, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased”?
This is what makes Jesus’ baptism, as well as our own baptism, so special. God, in his grace, has connected me to Jesus. God has given me faith in Jesus as my Savior. Jesus has taken away all my sins and gives me his perfection and holiness. When God looks at me, he can say, “This is my son, my daughter, whom I love! With him, with her, I am well pleased.” Approval ratings don’t get any higher than this. God be praised!
Dear Jesus, when doubts of my worth come, drown them in the waters of baptism and remind me of your love for me in Jesus. Amen.