And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
This declaration at the baptism of Christ was repeated later on in his ministry at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5). Thus God owns his Son and bears witness to him. Let us consider what the heavenly voice teaches us about him.
I. THE NATURE OF CHRIST AS THE SON OF GOD. It will not profit us much to plunge into the fourth-century speculations concerning the Divine Sonship of Christ in order that we may know him in so far as he has been revealed to us. In metaphysical considerations about the mystery of the being of the Son of God we may lose all living perception of what he is really in his life among us. The broad fact is what is most important to us. Christ is the Son of God. He is not one of God's sons as we may be through him, as in a natural sense we all are because "we are also his offspring" (Acts 17:28). He is the Son of God in a supreme and unique sense. Now, this is not merely a sublime truth of theology. It has important bearings on religion.
1. To know the Son is to know the Father, of whom he is the Image (John 14:7).
2. If the Son is our Friend, the Father cannot be our Enemy; for they are "One" (John 10:30). Therefore our fellowship with Christ carries with it our reconciliation to God.
3. Christ is able to save the world. The Divinity of Christ implies his unlimited power. So great a Saviour is equal to the tremendous task of redeeming a whole fallen world.
II. THE HAPPY RELATIONS BETWEEN CHRIST AND HIS FATHER.
1. He is God's beloved Son. This truth seems to belong to the very nature of Christ. It throws light on his permanent relations with God. God is love, and Christ is good and worthy of love. Through all eternity the love of the Father is directed to the Son. But now we see Christ on earth, incarnate, a Man, and in lowly estate. Yet God does not fail to own or cease to love him. He is known to his Father, though he may be despised by men. Surely this must have been a cheering and sustaining influence for Christ in the midst of his hard and toilsome life. In a lower way may not the same be true of us? God recognizes his human family; he owns all his earthly children. The shame of outward conditions does not blind his eye. Rejected by men, his children are still owned and loved by God; and it is better to be loved by God than to be praised by the world.
2. God is well pleased with him. This further truth seems to refer to the immediate condition, to the recent action, of Christ. Jesus has just been baptized; he had persevered in spite of the flattering resistance of the Baptist; he had felt that he must fulfil all righteousness; he had consecrated himself to his great work. God is well pleased with Christ for this.
(1) The obedience of the Son pleases the Father. If, like Christ, we delight to do God's will, he will delight in us.
(2) The good pleasure of God signifies his approval of Christ's work. This mission of saving the world that Christ has just consecrated himself to is well-pleasing to God. Thus God accepts the redeeming work from the first. Now the sacrifice of Christ, being acceptable to God, must be efficacious for man. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.