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GOD’S WORD FOR MAY 14 ~ ~ Matthew 3:16-17 ~ ~ “ When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Continuation of excerpts from the book by John Piper, “The pleasures of God”. The Chapter is about the Father taking pleasure in the Son.

Again the Father speaks words of endearment and delight about His son on another occasion. At Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit of God descends like a dove while the Father says from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” Matthew 3:17. The image is very different. Not a flaming sun of intolerable brightness, but a soft, quiet, vulnerable dove—the kind of animal poor people offered for sacrifices in the temple God’s pleasure in His Son comes not only from the brightness of His majesty but from the beauty of His meekness.

The Father delights in His Son’s supremacy and in His servanthood. “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand” (John 3:35) “Behold My servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights (Isaiah 42:1). Matthew quotes this Old Testament testimony of the Father’s joy and connects it with the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the meekness of Jesus’ ministry.

Matthew 12:18-20 ~ ~ “Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen,
My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He will declare justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out,
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory;”

When a reed is bent and about to break, the Servant (Jesus) will tenderly hold it upright until it heals. When a wick is smoldering and has scarcely any heat left, the Servant will not pinch it off, but cup his hand a blow gently until it burns again. Thus the Father cries, “Behold, My Servant in whom my soul delights!”

The worth and beauty of the Son come not just from His majesty nor just from His meekness, but from the way these mingle in perfect proportion. When the angel cried out in Revelation 5:2, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break the seals?” the answer came back, “Weep not; look, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered so that He can open the scroll and its seven seals” (Rev. 5:5) God loves the strength of the Lion of Judah. This is why He is worthy in God’s eyes to open the scrolls of history and unfold the last days. But the picture (still) is not complete. How did the Lion conquer? Jesus is worthy of the Father’s delight not only as the Lion of Judah but also as the slain Lamb.

In Jesus Christ, meet:

Infinite highness and infinite condescension;

Infinite justice and infinite grace;

infinite glory and lowest humility;

infinite majesty and transcendent meekness;

deepest reverence toward God and equality with God;

worthiness of good and the greatest patience under the suffering of evil;

a great spirit of obedience and supreme dominion over heaven and earth;

absolute sovereignty and perfect resignation;

self-sufficiency and an entire trust and reliance on God.”

(These beautiful attributes of our Savior, when we meditate on them, will speak to us in many ways.)

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