Last time, we read that beautiful, touching and oh so desirable commendation found in Matthew chapter 3 verse 17 where the Father said, "This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." We talked about those precious words coming to Christ before He began His formal ministry. How could this be?
What do we know about Jesus' life on earth up to this point? We know that He grew up as a carpenter, living with half-brothers and sisters who didn't have the slightest idea who He was.
We know that Jesus knew who He was and that He was to be about the things of His Heavenly Father. He was also faithful to His earthly father's business, but that was secondary to His heavenly Father's business to seek and save the lost.
Jesus lived under His heavenly Father's timetable, not pushing ahead or running before the Father. Rather, He did what He was supposed to do as the Son of Man: He lived "in subjection to" His earthly parents and "kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." That's all we're told until Jesus' baptism, and we need to leave it with this: the Son pleased the Father.
When we write or teach about biblical incidents, I believe we need to be very careful to say only what God says. After all, if more details, explanations, feelings, or thoughts were necessary for us to comprehend the situation more thoroughly or to have the truth become even more practical, applicable, going even deeper into our being, then wouldn't God Himself have told us? Of course He would have!
God is very clear. His revelation is complete. He has given us everything in the completed canon of the Old and New Testaments that we need for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness so we can adequately handle every situation of life. His Word is pure truth and unadulterated; and it is all the revelation we need for our sanctification.
We can imagine what is not written in the Bible, but it is just that — imagination, supposition and nothing more. To me, it becomes shaky ground when we go beyond the whole counsel of Scripture (Acts 20:27). We pit one person's imagination or "revelation" (as some claim) against another's; and in doing so, we imply that God's Word is insufficient.
Oh such revelations are popular, such imaginations make delightful reading, captivating listening as the author or speaker lets loose. It gives a speaker not only stunning messages but power and authority. They have the revelation, the anointing, or as some say, "a message delivered by angels."
But what is the end result for the reader or listener? We tend to choose the speaker, the writer who touches our emotions, embraces our circumstances, salves our wounds, encourages or excuses our frailties. We look to teachers who claim special revelation from God, and we become followers of those who tickle our ears just the way we like them tickled (2 Timothy 4:3). In the process we become more and more dependent upon them to explain God to us. This is not to be, especially if we want God to be pleased with us.
What do we know about the beloved Son with whom the Father was well-pleased? We know, according to the Gospel of John, that Jesus never acted or spoke apart from the Father. What the Father did and said was enough. Jesus lived in total dependence upon the Father.
The second time the Father spoke from heaven to those standing around Jesus, He said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased." Then He added, "Listen to Him!" The Son listened to the Father and we are to listen to the Son-the message of the Two is one, and it is everything we need.
Now what if, Beloved, you feel the Word of God is not enough? Could it be you don't know enough of the Word? Do you need to discipline yourself? To get off milk and on meat? To grow spiritually?
Jesus grew, and Jesus pleased the Father. His dependence upon His Father is so evident. As you read through the Gospels, you find Jesus repeatedly withdrawing to spend time with the Father — communing in prayer.
We know, don't we, that nothing else really matters in comparison to pleasing Him. How we concur with the Apostle Paul whose ambition was to be pleasing to God, whether in this body (on earth) or out of this body and in Jesus' presence.
O holy Father, as we come to wait in Your presence, words fail us. We are overcome by the longings within to know that we are pleasing to You, to live in total dependence upon You and Your Word, and thus, to hear the words your Son heard from Your lips.
You know far better than we do how critical it is to our total well-being to know that we are bringing You pleasure. We were created for this.
Father, I cannot express the passion of others' hearts; I cannot enter into their intimacy because it is so very personal. So I step aside now...no more words of mine; they are not necessary. Here are their words when at last their mouths can form them...
Did you take Vasile’s challenge? He took a God-ordained trip with a Pakistani taxi driver on an unmarked road to Kabul and used it to share the hope of Jesus Christ with someone who knew the Koran but had never heard the gospel.
It was Mohammed’s birthday and Pakistani students at Precept Ministries Institute of Training on evangelism begged their teacher Vasile to stay off the streets. “It isn’t safe. To kill or persecute a Christian out of love and respect for Mohammed is a great honor. We know you look like one of our people—you’re dressed like us. But even the tribe you look like you come from is hated because they are nothing but a bunch of bandits. People might try to hurt you just because of that. But if they find out you’re a Christian, you’ll be dead! Don’t go. Don’t take the chance.”