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  • Writer's pictureDr. Roger D Duke

Insights into the Gospel from "The Leather Journal" of Dr. Phil Newton.

"The Leather Journal"

The Father is Well-Pleased, Mark 1:11!

“And a voice came out of the heavens: ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased” (Mark 1:11).

Four centuries of prophetic silence broke as John the Baptist came preaching a gospel of repentance. He came as the messenger preparing the way for Messiah (vv. 2–4). The Messiah, God the eternal Son, lived in faithfulness doing the ordinary things of humanity, yet living uniquely as no other human had done—without sin. For thirty years He ate, drank, slept, learned, grew, worked, built relationships, attended synagogue, and prepared for the day His ministry would begin at the baptism by John. No sermons that we know of were preached, no oracles delivered from heaven, just the carpenter’s son plying His trade until the Father was ready.

That day came as the perfect, spotless Son identified in baptism with those He came to save. John had prophesied His coming. While he was revered among the people, John made clear that he was unworthy to even untie the thong of Messiah’s sandal (v. 7). Messiah would come baptizing in the Holy Spirit (v. 8).

John baptized Jesus. The Holy Spirit visibly descended upon Him. Then the divine voice of the heavenly Father spoke, “This is My beloved Son.” This One, not another. This One who had been born of the virgin, who as a boy in Jerusalem plied the religious leaders with questions and comments, who lived in submission to His parents in their peasant home, who worked as “the carpenter” of Nazareth, who patiently prepared for the mission the Father had given Him. “This is My beloved Son.” This One had been eternally loved by the Father, lived in the Father’s bosom, enjoyed the richness of divine fellowship, lived in perfect unity with the Godhead, in whom the Father found every pleasure. “This is My beloved Son,” the Father announced so that all might hear His joy and pleasure in the Son.

Then the Father addressed the Son: “In You I am well-pleased.” No one had ever heard that benediction upon his life. No one had ever lived to the infinitely perfect pleasure of the Father. But the One John held under the Jordan that day, this One alone had the Father loved uniquely and found everything He did, every thought, every attitude, every word, every response, every relationship, every duty perfectly fitting the divine pleasure.

Can you even begin to imagine the Father’s pleasure? Think of that moment when the Voice broke through earth’s atmosphere and common people throughout Judea watched as John raised Jesus from the water. Oh, just an ordinary day? No, the Son of the Father had perfectly fulfilled everything that pleased the infinitely holy Father. And now, no ordinary day, but one uniquely planned when the Son would begin His public ministry that led Him to the cross. That day the waters covered Him and anointed Him in the picture of death and resurrection for the mission established before the world began, through which God would save an innumerable multitude through the ages to be called by His name, and whom He would forgive, reconcile, and count righteous forever. The Son would suffer the abuse of godless people, but far more, He would suffer for this redemptive work the wrath of the One to whom He was well-pleased. “In You I am well-pleased.” What a day! What an announcement! What a mission! What a Savior! And the One who fully pleased the Father, by grace, we call our Lord.

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