When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying,heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22
Unfortunately identity theft is a common problem in our cyber-connected society. Whether we have been a victim or not, we are all aware of the danger. However, there is a more subtle and widespread form of identity theft of which we are not conscious. Our true identity is found in God, the one who created us. Yet many of us spend countless hours striving to create for ourselves an identity that does not originate from our heavenly father.
One thing Jesus shows us is that our core identity is that we are God’s beloved children. At the time of his baptism, prior to his “public ministry” beginning Jesus receives the following message from God – “you are my son who I love, I am very pleased with you.” Before Jesus accomplished anything spectacular, before he worked any miracles, his heavenly father reminds him of his true identity. Jesus’ baptism is a turning point in his life. He will never go back to being an obscure carpenter from Nazareth. The remainder of his life will be lived out in public, all of his actions scrutinized by the leaders. He will hear all sorts of other voices, beginning with his temptation in the desert, which will attempt to divert him from the core truth of his identity: he is God’s beloved.
You too are God’s beloved. In the midst of the barrage of other voices clamoring for us to align our identity, I hope you can hear the voice from heaven speaking the truth. We are not what do, we are not what others say about us, we are not what we have. Our true identity is not found in success, popularity or power. We are God’s beloved children, and he is pleased with us. Is it any wonder we call the message that Jesus shared “the good news?”