Read: Mark 1:4-11
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just 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 I am well pleased.”
This is My Son
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Andre was beaming with joy. Friend after friend and family member after family member came to visit in the hospital room. Even after 20 different visitors, the joy didn’t get old. Each time Andre held up his new baby boy like it was the opening scene from The Lion King as he announced to each visitor, “This is my son. His name is Ty.” Every single person knew without a doubt that Andre loved his dear son so very much.
Of course, the joy of that day didn’t last so long. Soon Andre was changing diapers that looked like an explosion had taken place. Not long after that, Andre was battling temper tantrums over toddler toys. A few years later, Andre was pulling out whatever hair he had left on his head trying to figure out how he and his wife could be better parents. He still loved his growing son Ty, but sin always makes our human relationships so difficult!
Today we hear about the famous story of Jesus’ baptism. What a spectacular event! The Son of God was present in the water of the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit was descending as a dove, and the Father declared from the heavens, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” As Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all present for this special event, everyone there that day and everyone who has read the story since then knows without a doubt that this Son Jesus is special and dearly loved by his heavenly Father.
But here’s something else special about this story. The relationship between Jesus and his Father was never strained by sin. There was never any sassy talk or temper tantrum for Jesus. There was never pouting or shouting and never any disobedience. There wasn’t one sin ever from Jesus! In the same way, there was never one time that the Father failed to show love to his Son Jesus. It was only a perfect relationship of love all the time between this Father and Son! If only we had perfect relationships like this in our lives!
Actually, we do! The marvel of this story is that Jesus stood there in the waters of the Jordan River for us. He came to be the perfect Son because we fail to be perfect. He came to live for us and then die for us to erase all our sins. He came to clothe us in all of his forgiveness and perfection so that we can have a new life and a new relationship with God. When the waters of your baptism touched you, God opened up the heavens once more and declared, “This is my son/my daughter, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Jesus has given to us a perfect relationship with his heavenly Father by his grace. It’s given to you in your baptism, and it’s a relationship that will last for all eternity. Praise God for his love!
Dear Jesus, thank you for coming to be my substitute and Savior so that I can become a baptized and dearly loved child of God. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- Who were the three persons of our God that were present at Jesus’ baptism?
- How does God act as a perfect father to us?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Have you been baptized? (Check with your parents.) When? Ask your parent(s) what that day was like.
- Your heavenly Father loves you and is pleased with you, just as he is with his Son Jesus. How can knowing that help you in your everyday life?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- What are ways that your family does already—or could in the future—celebrate and remember your baptism?
- Family discussion: What reminders of baptism and/or our three-in-one God do you have in your church or in your worship services at church? (Hint: Look for symbols or visuals in windows, on furniture, in a bulletin, etc.)
Hymn: CW 89:1,3-4 – To Jordan’s River Came Our Lord
To Jordan’s river came our Lord, The Christ, whom heav’nly hosts adored,
The God from God, the Light from Light, The Lord of glory, pow’r, and might.
As Jesus in the Jordan stood And John baptized the Lamb of God,
The Holy Spirit, heav’nly dove, Descended on him from above.
Then from God’s throne with thund’rous sound Came God’s own voice with words profound:
“This is my Son,” was his decree, “The one I love, who pleases me.”