“‘Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased’” (Matthew 12:18).
Jesus Christ is God’s ultimate Servant, the one and only Son chosen by the Father to die for fallen sinners. The divine commendation here is a modified quotation of Isaiah 42:1–4, one of the most beautiful descriptions of our Lord anywhere in the Bible. The Father’s choice of Jesus to be His Servant was decisive and irrevocable—Christ was the one and only person perfectly qualified for the work of redemption.
As the perfect choice of God, Jesus is also completely pleasing in His Father’s eyes. Although the world hated and rejected Him, Christ is God’s Beloved—and in that role He brings us salvation by divine grace (Eph. 1:6–7).
This is not the only mention in the gospels of God’s approval of His Son. The Father used similar words at Jesus’ baptism (Matt. 3:17) and at His transfiguration (Matt. 17:5). Jesus Himself elaborates further: “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true. . . . And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me” (John 5:31–32, 37).
If we want to be well-pleasing to God as Jesus is, we must come to the Father through His Son, drawn by the Holy Spirit. “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Rom. 8:8–9).
Have you grown “weary and heavy-laden” trying to please God with your best efforts? Will your heart ever find peace and satisfaction in knowing that your faith has been counted as righteousness, that the Father is already satisfied with the Son’s sacrifice in your place?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008.