Jan Johnson
Jan Johnson

WisBits Archive

May 2007

What God Says to You

While meditating on the baptism of Jesus, I wondered how Jesus felt when he heard God say to him, "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased" (Mark 1:11). Did Jesus feel pleasure? Honor? Delight?

Imagine having God say such a thing to you. Unlike much of the encouragement given today, this was not a shallow compliment or an effort to build someone’s flagging self-esteem. God meant it: “You are my wonderful son; you make me very glad!” (N. T. Wright’s translation).

Many people have never heard such words from a parent and so they’re not likely to think they’d ever hear that from God. Are you open to God saying this to you?

When most people describe what they think they’ve heard from God, it’s more often a scolding or a nudge to do something. But this passage tells us that God is not shy about saying, “Atta boy!” or “Atta girl”—even to you and me. Now and then you’re bound to do something loving and kind—are you willing to hear God say this to you then? After all, God is able to see who we are “in Christ.” Especially at your baptism, God must have said (or perhaps will say), “You make me very glad!”

Think of a time recently when you did do something loving and kind. Shut your eyes and imagine God saying these words to you, starting with your name: “_____, you are my wonderful child; you make me very glad!”

Several times throughout the day, try remembering it and saying it again. This is not fantasy or a daydream. This statement is a reality of life in the kingdom of God, which is more real than the chair you’re sitting in.

Grace and peace,


© Jan Johnson


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