1:11 my beloved Son. This is the first use of the key word “love” in Mark’s gospel. Similarly, the first use of “love” in Matthew and Luke are their renditions of the same event (Matthew 3:17; Luke 3:22). Thus God has emphasized thrice over, as it were, that His love for His Son is the very definition of love. In fact, the Father loved the Son before the creation of the world (John 17:24). How profoundly significant, therefore, is the first occurrence of “love” in John (the gospel in which love is mentioned more often than in any other book of the Bible) when we are told that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16) that we might be saved! This becomes even more remarkable when we note that the first occurrence of “love” in the Old Testament is when God told Abraham to offer up “thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest” (Genesis 22:2) as a sacrificial offering, thus providing a beautiful type of the sacrificial love of the heavenly Father for His Son.


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