‘My Beloved Son’  

There are three occasions in Scripture when God openly expresses His pleasure in His Son - Isaiah 42.1-4 (cited in Matthew 12.18), Matthew 3.17, and Matthew 17.5. Of course, that delight was always there, but in these instances the Father’s pleasure was overtly affirmed to mankind. These declarations can be considered Prophetically, Personally and Prospectively, as expressions of Divine Assessment, Approval and Anticipation, or, again, as focusing on Christ as the Servant, the Son, and the Sovereign. They would also bring before us examples of the Lord’s Dignity in Divine Service, His Delight in the Divine Will, and the Demonstration of Divine Glory.

Dignity in Divine Service. In Isaiah 42.1-4 the Lord is viewed as the perfect servant, and it is touching to see how this passage is quoted in what is commonly regarded as “the Gospel of the King”! Think of what the Lord Himself said: “…the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister” (Mt 20.28; Mk 10.35). We must observe, however, that even in His servant form there marked Him a dignity that was beyond anything man could display.

Among the doctors (Lk 2.46). The Lord is not acting disrespectfully here in any way, but, even at this early age (He is still the “youngster” from Nazareth!) He is at home in the place of divine learning as befits His divine person.

At Jordan (Mt 3.15). Look at the gentle way in which Christ answers John’s protest – “Suffer it to be so now”. The gentleness and dignity of the response are characteristic of the Lord.

In the Upper Room, mark the lowliness and meekness and yet the incomparable dignity with which He takes the basin and the towel and washes the feet of the disciples – even of Judas.

At Gabatha, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Is 50.6). With lowliness, and yet in holy majesty, He wears the crown of thorns, and when reviled He reviled not again (1 Pet 2.23).

At Calvary, although crucified, numbered with the malefactors, outcast, friendless, He is yet in control. Those who had cried for His crucifixion could not detract from His dignity as He gave Himself as a deliberate, knowing, sacrifice, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree, the One who was wholly devoted and committed to the service of God as none other before or since.

As there was a dignity about Him in His Father’s service, should there not be a dignity about us as we engage in our service for our Lord? There is no more noble Master, there is no higher service, and there should be no people more dignified than us.