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Luke 3:21-22 ESV

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Jesus’s ministry did not start until after He received the Holy Spirit. Up to this point He had not performed one miracle or preached one sermon. He did not yet have any disciples. He had done anything we might consider notable.

The Father already loved Him and was pleased with Him.

Let’s be honest: we don’t have any problem believing that the Father loved Jesus. When we are told the Father loves us too, that is hard for us to believe. But it’s true!

You may not have performed any miracles; you do not have to be a miracle-worker for God to love you.

You may not be a saint; God loves sinners as well as saints.

You may have made some mistakes; you don’t have to be perfect for God to love you.

You may be the most vile sinner you know; God still loves you.

There is only one man in the Bible, and all history, that was perfectly sinless–Jesus Christ. The rest of the Bible is about imperfect, sinful human beings like you and me.

God is never pleased with our sin, but He hates our sin, not us!

Noah got drunk (Genesis 9:20-21), Abraham was a liar (Genesis 20:2), Moses was a murderer (Exodus 2:12), David was an adulterer (2 Samuel 11:2-4), and Peter denied Christ (Matthew 26:69-75). These heroic saints were not perfect, but God loved them anyway. He loves us too, even though we are deeply flawed.

God demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son to atone for our sins.

Romans 5:8 ESV

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus even said that God loves us just as much as He loves Jesus! In His High Priestly prayer, Jesus prayed …you sent me and loved them even as you loved me (John 17:23b, ESV).

God really does love each one of us. He created us, and He does not want any of us to perish, but instead reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9, ESV). All who repent–who turn away from sin toward God–will receive the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus did.

Our Father will say to all who repent, You are my beloved son [or daughter]; with you I am well pleased.