Today’s Reading: Matthew 3:13-17
Daily Lectionary: Ezekiel 36:13-28; Romans 4:1-25

And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. This is My beloved Son… Believing Jesus is the son of Mary and Son of God is not about what you see. It’s not, despite what people may think about Christians, wish fulfillment. Jesus doesn’t rise out of the Jordan River so He can dedicate Himself to jiggling the world back into its proper place. The world’s woes are beyond repair. There are just too many failures.

In the same way, before you die, your wealth, reputation, and piety no more guarantee you health or happiness than they do exemption from death. As we read in Matthew’s Gospel, when God’s promise is proclaimed it stays light years away from reliance on success or on any other exercise of earthly power. It relies, instead, on a power that works through His Son, and His failure, loss, and death. It breaks loose among you in earthly words, water, bread, and wine. God’s promise changes the way you think, how you view the world, and history: life, death, and everything in between.

In God’s time, the time when God’s Word became flesh, when it was time for Jesus to bring in His Father’s kingdom, Israel’s time and all our time were reconciled and restored by Jesus. He is God’s promise on two legs, standing in the Jordan. Baptized by John.

The only distinction between the now in which your time is in His hand and the now in which it is so disastrously in your own is faith. God’s declaration, “This is My beloved Son,” can only be believed. It can’t be known, felt, or seen. It can’t, by any efforts of yours, however good or however successful, be rendered visible, tangible, or intelligible. Death, you see, is absolutely all of the resurrection we can now know. Baptized into His death so we may walk in newness of life. His blood shed for you. The rest is faith that believes all God’s promises in Jesus are for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Mark how the Lamb of God’s self-off’ring Our human sinfulness takes on In the birth waters of the Jordan As Jesus is baptized by John. Hear how the voice fro heaven thunders, “Lo, this is My beloved Son.” See how in dove-like form the Spirit Descends on God’s Anointed One. (Mark How the Lamb of God’s Self-Offering LSB, 600:1)

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