“A voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.'” (Mark 1:11)
We might think that the world-changing and history-making beginning of Jesus’ ministry would begin with a major announcement. We might expect that this would come out as a big deal — like when a nation’s president or prime minister is elected.
But the heavenly declaration that opens Jesus’ ministry is rather low key. It is also rather private — Jesus continues to gather disciples for the still growing kingdom.
What’s more, the heavenly power does not swoop in like a great eagle with exposed talons. Instead it is described as gently arriving like a dove. The Spirit of God, who had hovered over the waters of creation (Genesis 1:2), similarly graces the person of Jesus, giving us a sign that a new creation is getting under way and that this new effort will also be good, very good. Here in Mark we are given the heavenly insight that Jesus is the unique and truly loved Son with whom God is well pleased.
No matter what you think of yourself, here is a wonderful hint: God has come into the world with the loving intention of bringing about a new creation that includes you. What in your life needs to be re-created by the transformation and blessing of Jesus Christ? Jesus himself declares in verse 15: “The time has come … The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Thank you, God, for introducing me to Jesus and including me in what Jesus came to do. Help me to live as part of his new creation. Amen.