The Baptism of Jesus

Before his Passion in Jerusalem, before his ministry of miracles, before calling his disciples, and before his wilderness temptations, Jesus was grounded as a person. Jesus was his Father’s Son, and his Father was well pleased in him.

“You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22)

Jesus had not done anything yet. No kingdom preaching. No kingdom miracles. No crowds had been gathered. No disciples had been called. Nothing. Jesus was a manual laborer from Galilee. And yet the Father was pleased with him.

You Are What You Do

Success and acceptance in our culture is entirely based on what we have done. You are what you do. You are where you work. You are the projects you oversee. And when these things are taken from us we lose who we are.

And certainly God has created us for work in the world, to bear his image in creative ways as we work with others within the world. Like those who built the Tower of Babel, our work has now become a way to build a name for ourselves (Gen. 11).

This is not the way of God’s kingdom. This is not the way of God at all.

Relationships always precede work.

Jesus’ baptism grounded him in a relationship that was impossible to break, a connection not based on tasks or actions. Jesus received his identity as a person separated from his work.

Jesus, the Person, comes before his (kingdom) Project.

In the Baptism of Jesus we remember that God receives us as people in his family rather than projects for his kingdom. We as people are more important to God than the projects we can do for God. As is commonly said, we are human beings, not human doings.

In our families, our jobs, our churches, and schools, are we living into our baptismal affirmation that we are children of the Father and our Father is well pleased with us? If so then your work will be a blessing to you and to others. If not, then all you do will feel like a curse and a burden.



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