Epiphany 1 Friday
“And when Jesus had been baptized, he immediately went up from the water. And look, heaven opened up above him. And he saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove and co me over him. And look, a voice from heaven said: This is my dear Son with whom I am well pleased.”
Here you have the declaration and the testimony from heaven by the Father and the Spirit. Here Christ becomes a different man, not on account of his person, but on account of his office. He is glorified from heaven before John. Here John saw the sign the Father had promised to him, John 1:34: the Spirit descending like a dove. Additionally, he heard the voice of the Father. This is the Savior who sets us free from sins, death, devil, and hell. Now we are to learn here how we are to come to God. If you want to be a dear child before the Father, you must become so through Christ, through the dear Son himself who sits in the Father’s lap, to whom alone the Father looks, without whom he receives no one; and what pleases the Father, pleases the Father through this Son. Therefore, if you want to come to the Father, you must cling to the dear Child, must sit on the back of this Child. For the Father’s voice from heaven annuls all human claims: No matter how pretty goodness and holiness appear, they must be gone. Everything but the dear Son is worthless before the Father; the Father loves only the Son. Therefore, if you want to be loved and appreciated by the Father, run to the Son’s lap; then you will get to the Father. Accordingly, Paul says in Ephesians 1:5 that we have been predestined to adoption through Christ. Without this Christ, we are God’s enemies. Now, if you cling to Christ by faith, you remain in friendship with God; you also become loved and appreciated like Christ; and you become one with the Father and the Son. But where there is no faith in Christ, there is only wrath. No goodness, no power, no free will, no praying, no fasting, or any other work helps. All is lost. For this is surely an excellent, powerful, mighty verse: “This is my dear Son.” Everything written in Scripture is contained in and comprehended by this one verse, just as all things have been put into Christ’s hand, drawing it all together, so that it is subject to him, as Paul says in Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:16-17. For he who says: “This is my dear Son,” while pointing to Christ alone and while having no one else to point to or to name, shows with sufficient clarity that no one else is the dear Son. But those who are not the dear Son are certainly children of wrath and disfavor. For if there were more dear Sons than this one, he should not highlight and put forth this one in this way by saying: This is my dear Son; he should not have his eyes set only on this one; he should not boast that he knows no one else. For these words sound as if he had looked around carefully, but found no one else besides this one, so that he now says: He is the one. As if he wanted to say: “There is at last one who pleases me and who is my dear Son.” The others are all not like him. But we should not understand the Father’s words to prove that Christ is true God…He would have been and remained God’s Son forever, as he was God’s Son from eternity, even if these words had not been spoken from. He neither gains nor loses anything here. But we must realize that such glorious praise and honor is said of Christ for our benefit, as he says in John 12:30.