A Relational God

Mark 1:10-12

by John Houmes

When Jesus rises out of the baptismal waters of the Jordan, something amazing happens.

And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (ESV)

This is Jesus’ first act of public ministry. As we read yesterday, Jesus is baptized to identify with repentant sinners, even though he is not a sinner and has no reason to repent.

But when he is raised up from baptism, we find out something quite beautiful about the nature of God:

God is relational.

And not just relational, but as Tim Keller says, “instead of self-centeredness, the Father, the Son and the Spirit are characterized in their very essence by mutually self-giving love. No person in the Trinity insists that the others revolve around him; rather each of them voluntarily circles and orbits around the others.”

This moment lets us know something about Jesus. He is completely loved, supported and empowered in his mission by the other members of the Trinity. He isn’t scrounging for attention and trying to prove something. Rather, he is secure in his Father’s love and equipped by the Spirit to do what he has been called to do. He so trusts the other members of the Trinity that he submits to the Spirit as he is led into the wilderness for a time of trial and hardship.

This should cause us to do a double-take at his call to us to enter into relationship with Him.

You see, as Jesus calls us into discipleship, we are also being invited into relationship with the Father and Spirit. We repent from living as if the world revolves around us. We turn to the Three-in-One God, and we find that He is relational, self-giving, full of love, and worthy of our trust.

Prayer: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, help me to understand you better. Your nature and your ways are so different than mine. Help me to understand your love and respond with trust.