Beloved of the Father
Mark 1:11 “And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’”
This is the beautiful affirmation from God the Father to God the Son, who, with the Spirit, basked together in eternal love. But consider this: The words of the Father said of Christ are said to us as well, who are in Christ. “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:23, emphasis added).
The Father loves us EVEN AS he loves Jesus! The word translated “even as” (καθώς, kathōs) means “just as” or “even as.” There is a symmetry, an equivalency for the two things joined by “even as.” “Even as” here is the verbal equivalent of an equal sign.
We are the adopted children of God, and so beloved, as is his Only Begotten Son. Hendriksen writes in his commentary about the love of the Father here: “The Father’s love [for Christians] . . . is the same as that which the Father has for the Son.”
Think about this again, we are loved with “the same [love] as that which the Father has for the Son.” The English Standard Version Study Notes concur. “The Father’s love for believers is comparable to his love for Jesus Christ.” Leon Morris, in his scholarly NICNT Commentary agrees, “He loves believers as He loves the Son.”
John Calvin in his Commentary on John’s Gospel writes of this remarkable love. “The love with which God loves is none other than that with which he loved his Son from the beginning … that we might be made partakers of the same love and might enjoy it forever.”
Christ also told us that he loves us just as the Father loves him. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15:9). “As” here is the same word as above (καθώς, kathōs), meaning “even as” or “just as” the Father loves Jesus, Jesus loves us.
The love of the Father for the Son is the same as the love the Father and the Son have for us. We cannot believe it, but it remains gloriously true. True, because Christ, having united himself with us through the Holy Spirit, places us in relationship to the Father as his beloved sons and daughters. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:15-16).
Repeatedly in scripture, to help us believe what seems unbelievable, we are told of the boundless love that God has for us who are in Christ. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).
When we doubt God’s love because we face difficult providences, as Jesus did when he faced his cross, let us remember that we are beloved of the Father. When we doubt God’s love because we feel alone in the world, as Jesus may have felt cut off from others, let us remember that we are beloved of the Father.
When we doubt God’s love because others revile us and hate us, as they did Jesus, let us remember that we are beloved of the Father. When we doubt God’s love as we feel the weight of our sin, as Christ felt the weight of our sin on the cross, let us remember that in Christ, we are beloved of the Father.
Let us rejoice in and rest in this reality, the love of God for us. The Father says to the Son, “You are my beloved Son.” And in Christ, the words are echoed to us, “You are my beloved son, my beloved daughter.”
The Father says to the Son, “With you I am well pleased.” And regarding us, who are clothed in the righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21), our Father looks upon us with warm affection and says, “With you I am well, pleased.”
Christ came to reconcile us with God, the Father, not merely making us accepted by God, but celebrated as his beloved. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Eph. 5:1). Now, as God’s adopted sons and daughters, we enjoy the unfathomable privilege of being the beloved of the Lord. “The beloved of the LORD dwells in safety” (Deut. 33:12).
In a world of cold merit, undeserved enemies, and bitter hatred, rest in this wonderful grace: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1). “You are my beloved.”