Summary: This sermon is designed to help aid those individuals who struggle with being accepted by others.
Too often we as human beings seek outward affirmation from those around us. While there is nothing wrong with being liked or thought well of, there is a danger in seeking such types of affirmation.
As humans, we are relational beings and because we are of such species, it is natural to want to connect with others and not only connect but
connect in a positive way.
Again, there is nothing wrong with this type of mindset unless we allow our earthly connectedness to supersede our heavenly connectedness.
The two passages of scripture for today’s message serves as a reminder for all of us who purport to be people of faith where our priorities should lie.
In the Luke passage, we have an account where Jesus was being baptized by John the Baptist. During the course of his baptism something significant take place. The scripture reveals to us that as Jesus was in a mode of prayer, heaven reacted and the Holy
Spirit descended and rested on his body.
This particular act served as a powerful gesture for all who witnessed it that the God of Creation was well pleased with Jesus and wanted
all to be aware of that. As you recall, God the Father is quoted as saying, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22 NIV).
Wouldn’t that be so wonderful to have God affirm you publicly by letting others know that God was pleased with you as a servant? One can only imagine how the onlookers really felt as this powerful affirmation took place.
Why did God feel it necessary to affirm God’s own Son before humanity? While no human can ever truly understand the mind of God, there are some possible reasons behind what God did. Could it be that God knew that there would be some who would encounter Jesus but still not fully embrace his ministry? Perhaps it was a sign to remind Jesus that he had not forgotten about him and was affirming the work that he had begun
and would continue to do. Maybe it was a symbol for humanity to see that even God incarnate had a role to play in this life and needed assistance along the way to carry out God the Father’s wishes completely.
Whatever the reason behind God showing up in the manner that God elected to show up, it served its purpose both then and still continues to serve its purpose even now.
After Jesus’ baptism, he continued to carry out God’s plan for humanity with precision and assurance even when confronted by adversaries from a human standpoint as well as from Satan’s standpoint.
Regardless of his opposition, Jesus did not allow anything to deter him from completing his task in this life and all of humanity owes their lives to him for what took place through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
One could say that it was easy for Jesus to do what he did because he was the Son of God or God incarnate. Yes, he was both of those things but he was also human. He was an inhabitant in this life who faced all of the things that any other human faces. He
dealt with any issue that you and I have or will ever have to encounter. And, yes, he dealt with all of them successfully and without blemish.
So, as he did what was required of him as the passage from Luke indicated, he pleased God. God was so pleased that God affirmed Jesus before those who needed to hear the affirmation.
How many of us would be granted such a visit from God the Father? Would God the Father be able to say on our behalf what was said on behalf of Jesus, ‘You are my servant, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’
We all have family, friends, associates, and vocational relationships that we cherish. Normally we seek to be in good relations with our families, friends, associates and vocational colleagues. For the most part, we want to be liked and we others to respect
us for who we are. Sometimes we may even go out of our way to gain someone’s approval.
While all that is admirable, let’s focus on the theme for today’s message. Remember the theme, “When God is pleased, nothing else matters.” That’s a powerful declarative but it cannot be refuted if one actually looks at the core of that statement.
It was proven with Jesus and it can also be proven with us as well. As human beings we will seek to be in relationships with others and normally would want those relationships to be pleasant, but as some of you are aware by now, that is not always the case. There are some people I don’t care what you do and how you do it, it will never be good enough. There are others who purposely want you to seek their approval so they can utilize their perceived power position to influence you to act in accordance with their wishes.