“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
In this remarkable verse, God the Father, speaking from heaven itself, introduces His beloved Son to the world. This is the first New Testament reference to “love,” just as the Father’s love for the Son was the first love that ever existed. As Christ prayed in the upper room: “. . . for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).
There are many other references to the Father’s love for the Son, including two to the voice at His baptism (Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22) and two more in the upper room prayer (John 17:23,26). One great reason for that love is the following: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life” (John 10:17).
The extent of the Father’s love for His blessed Son was all-encompassing. “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand” (John 3:35). Furthermore, “the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth” (John 5:20).
God also spoke of His “beloved Son” on the Mount of Transfiguration, as cited four times (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35; II Peter 1:17). Thus there are seven references in the New Testament to the Father’s heavenly testimony to His beloved Son. Similarly there are seven passages where the Son Himself testifies of that Fatherly love. In addition to the six cited above, Christ said: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you” (John 15:9).
Seven testimonies from the Father and seven from the Son! Surely the Father loved the Son with a perfect love. And yet—“Herein is love . . . that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10). Such love for unworthy sinners merits nothing less than total thanksgiving from us. HMM