Draw Close to God

A Father Without Equal

Matthew 3:16, 17

“FATHER.” Few words evoke deeper emotions in humans. A father who truly loves his children helps them to thrive. With good reason, the Bible refers to Jehovah God as “Father.” (Matthew 6:9) What kind of Father is Jehovah? To answer that, let us examine the words Jehovah spoke to Jesus on the occasion of Jesus’ baptism. After all, the way a father speaks to his children reveals much about the kind of parent that he is.

In about October 29 C.E., Jesus went to the Jordan River to be baptized. The Bible reports what happened: “After being baptized Jesus immediately came up from the water; and, look! the heavens were opened up, and he saw descending like a dove God’s spirit coming upon him. Look! Also, there was a voice from the heavens that said: ‘This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.’” * (Matthew 3:16, 17) Spoken by Jehovah himself, those tender words tell us much about the kind of Father he is. Notice three things that Jehovah expressed to his Son.

First, by the words “this is my Son,” Jehovah was saying, in effect, ‘I am proud to be your Father.’ A discerning father satisfies his children’s hunger for recognition and attention. Children need to be reassured that they are valued as unique members of the family. Imagine what it must have meant to Jesus​—even as an adult—​to receive such recognition from his Father!

Second, by referring to his Son as “the beloved,” Jehovah openly expressed his love for Jesus. In a sense, the Father was saying, ‘I love you.’ A good father tells his children that he dearly loves them. Such words​—accompanied by wholesome affection—​help children to flourish. How it must have touched the heart of Jesus to hear his Father’s voice expressing love for him!

Third, by the words “I have approved,” Jehovah expressed his approval of his Son. It was as if Jehovah were saying, ‘Son, I am pleased with what you have done.’ A loving father looks for opportunities to let his children know that he is pleased with the good things they say or do. Children draw strength and courage from parental approval. Surely it must have encouraged Jesus to hear that he had his Father’s approval!

Truly, Jehovah is a Father without equal. Does your heart yearn for such a father? If so, then you can take comfort in knowing that a relationship with Jehovah is within your reach. If in faith you learn about him and sincerely try to do his will, he will respond. The Bible says: “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.” (James 4:8) What could make you feel more secure than having a close bond with Jehovah God, the best Father imaginable?

[Footnote]

^ par. 2 According to the parallel account in the Gospel of Luke, Jehovah used the personal pronoun “you,” saying: “You are my Son, the beloved; I have approved you.”​Luke 3:22.