The Father’s Blessing


After that time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised 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 (Mark 1: 9-11).

Jesus was about to step out of phase one of His earthly life and into phase two. His public ministry would put Him in the limelight and set Him up against the most powerful religious leaders of His nation. He was God but He was also a man. He had purposefully chosen to put aside the privileges and power of deity and subject Himself fully to His humanity. This made Him as vulnerable as any other human being to all the experiences and emotions of being a man.

What He was about to do needed all the resources at His disposal if He was to succeed. Up to this point He had lived a sinless life through infancy, childhood and early adulthood. He was now at His prime, trained in the schools of His day, equipped with a thorough knowledge of the Word of God, and aware of His commission from the Father to represent Him to His people.

There were two more things He needed to take on the world, the flesh and the devil and to overcome. He needed the power of the Holy Spirit since He had set aside His own divine power. He also needed affirmation from the Father as to His identity and His track record so far. He could not carry on without the assurance that He was clothed with divine power and that He was who He claimed to be.

When He came up out of the Jordan River, having taken another step of obedience on His journey to perfect humanity, both the Holy Spirit and the Father joined together to provide the equipment He needed to complete His task. Matthew recorded that Jesus reassured John that it was right for him to baptise Him because He had to do the right thing.

What was the right thing at that moment? By allowing John to baptise Him, He identified Himself with sinful humanity; He identified with John’s message and He was initiated into His priestly office. But, wait a minute; He was not a Levite. He was born of the tribe of Judah. He was a descendant of King David. Ah, but He was designated a priest in the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 5:10).

At that moment the Holy Spirit came upon Him, alighting on Him as gently as a dove. A visible appearance? Apparently, yes. Why? Was it to reassure Jesus, or was it to identify Him as Messiah to the crowd? It seems that this manifestation was specifically for John’s benefit.

Then John gave this testimony: ‘I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him. And I myself did not know Him, but the one who sent me to baptise with water told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.’ (John 1:32-34).

Of course John had to know that he had the right man! God would not have left that to chance. But, as much as John needed reassurance, Jesus needed the Holy Spirit. Without His anointing He would have been no different from any other man,

He also needed the Father’s blessing. What does this mean? There are three basic elements to a father’s blessing without which a child enters adulthood without an identity, without security and without the favour of his father in him.

God the Father clearly fulfilled all three elements – which Jesus sorely needed as He navigated a very difficult path to the cross.

  1. The Father acknowledged Jesus as His Son. 2. He affirmed His love for His Son. 3. He declared His pleasure in His Son.

Without this affirmation, Jesus could never have accomplished His mission to perfection. Equipped with His Father’s blessing, He could face anything because He knew who He was and He knew that He had His Father’s backing all the way. The Father had established His unity with the Son, and the Son upheld that unity to His very last breath.

What an example for human father’s to follow! We live in a world of fatherless people – having biological fathers, but never having received their father’s blessing, not knowing who they are and that they are loved and accepted, no matter what. It’s no wonder that the world had gone haywire!

Earthly fathers could take a leaf out of the Father’s book!

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Luella Campbell

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