by DanWolgemuth on January 18, 2008

Nearly every day an endorsement with some political significance rips across the headlines of the news. Local newspapers, previously important political figures, celebrities, and the casualties of the current political marathon throw their influence, reputation and clout behind a candidate and cause. Yes, nearly every day.

But this practice wasn’t invented in the war rooms of any political party. In fact, we see examples of this kind of language throughout the Bible. In the book of Exodus, we see repeated references that God makes to “my people.” His selected nation. But no endorsement in all of history was more profound or timely than the endorsement delivered in Matthew 3:16-17, at the very outset of the three-year ministry of Jesus the Christ.

In an act of supreme submission, Jesus implores John the Baptist to submerge him in the Jordan River, and as this act of spiritual significance concludes :

“immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'”

This celestial stamp of approval dropped the green flag on the start of the earthly ministry of Jesus. He was out of the blocks with the full weight and blessing of the awesome “I Am.” God even included a beautiful dove as the first official “fly over” to lay aesthetic beauty into the mix.

Jesus, God’s agapetos, was an endorsement that fueled the Messiah through the triumph and pain of His ministry. God’s love was never in question, His power was never in short supply, His peace was never illusive, “my beloved.”

Agapetos, beloved, this powerful and liberating word is used often in the New Testament. In fact, in 1 John 3:2 we read:

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”

The transformational endorsement of God is now extended to us, as His children. His nickname for Jesus, now lands on us, beloved. With empowering force, with compelling grace, agapetos.

“God endorses Jesus!” and with overwhelming mercy, He extends that love to us.

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