John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, had spent much of his life preparing the way for the Messiah. John had known He would come. But he may not have known the Messiah would in fact be One he knew well.
It was not until after John met Jesus as Messiah that he realized he had a lingering memory of the first time he became aware of Jesus. He was in his mother’s womb when a young pregnant Mary had come to visit his mother. The Power coming from Mary’s womb had overtaken the womb in which John was growing and he leaped for joy!
But his joy on that day was nothing compared to the day God revealed His Full Power in Jesus. One day Jesus came to the Jordan River where John was baptizing people … and John suddenly knew. God revealed to him that He was in the Presence of the Messiah!
John felt deeply humbled. His record of service suddenly meant nothing. He only saw his need to be washed clean by the Master. But the Master was asking him to baptize Him. John protested. Jesus insisted. How could this be? Why would Jesus, Son of God, He, Who had no sin, need the ceremonial cleansing of sin? Because He was already beginning to carry the sins of the world … indeed even the sins of John the Baptist. Jesus’ Baptism was a preview of what was to come … the dirt of sin washed away … the resurrection from the grave to Glory!
Jesus disappeared into the water, submitted, totally dependent upon God, working through the hands of John, to bring Him up from what could have been a watery grave. And as Jesus came up out of the water, He saw the foretaste of all the Glory He had left behind. He saw Heaven open and He heard His Heavenly Father’s Voice, “This is my Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased!” (Matthew 3:17)
Do you long to hear those Words from your Father? Do you have a hard time believing you could ever be good enough to merit such public gushing from the Creator of the Universe? In fact, God has loved you all along since the first moment of your Creation. The first song you ever heard was God singing over you! The first Words He said about His Creation was, “It was good.” God loves what He has created. That includes you!
But God also recognizes our tendency to get dirty. Dirt is the foundational building block that connects us to our past. The first man was created from the dust of the ground. It was only after God breathed into that man the Breath of Life that he became alive. Without the Indwelling Breath of the Spirit, we quickly return to dirt.
When we surrender ourselves to the continuing Creation of God, He brings us up out of the water, not as mud, but as His Beautiful Creation, breathing in the Fresh Air of His Spirit. He opens Heaven itself … and says, “This is My child, Whom I love! I’m so pleased with you!”
God’s Love for you and His Pleasure in you begins with your surrender to Him. Surrender involves trust that He will hold you and bring you up to a new level of His Continuing Creation. Step into the water now with Jesus. Lay back in His Arms and trust Him to wash the dirt away. Feel the fresh breath of air as you come up out of the water and catch a glimpse of the Glory that awaits you!
This is My Son, Who I love;
with HIm, I am well pleased!
He will take great delight in you;
He will quiet you with His Love;
He will rejoice over you with singing!