This is stunning. God Himself spoke. And the message? God is very well pleased with His Son. I can count on it. God has said it.
On three special occasions, the Father spoke from heaven: at the Messiah’s baptism, at the Transfiguration, and as Jesus approached the cross. In the past, God spoke to His Son; today He is speaking through His Son.
And behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” | Matthew 3:17
The Father’s statement from heaven seems to be an echo of Psalm 2:7 — “I will declare the Lord’s decree. He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”
Acts 13:33 informs us that this “begetting” refers to His resurrection from the dead, and not to His birth at Bethlehem. This statement ties in perfectly with the Lord’s baptismal experience of death, burial, and resurrection. “God has fulfilled this for us, their children, by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second Psalm.”
But the Father’s statement also relates Jesus the Messiah to the “Suffering Servant” prophesied in Isaiah 40–53. In Matthew 12:18, Matthew quoted from Isaiah 42:1–3, where the Messiah-Servant is called “My beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased.” The Servant described in Isaiah is humble, rejected, made to suffer and die, but is also seen to come forth in victory. While the nation of Israel is seen dimly in some of these “Servant Songs,” it is the Messiah, Jesus, who is revealed most clearly in them. Again, we see the connection with Jesus in death, burial, and resurrection.
Finally, the Father’s statement approved all that Jesus had done up to that point. His “hidden years in Nazareth” were years of pleasing the Father. Certainly, the Father’s commendation was a great encouragement to the Son as He started His ministry.
- Matthew 3:17 —And behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
- Matthew 17:5 —While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”
- 2 Peter 1:17 —For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”