When Jesus was baptised God spoke to him from heaven and said, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Right from the outset Jesus had the assurance of knowing who he was and that he was loved and approved of by his father. Everything he did flowed from this sense of his identity in God.
A survey published today in the UK reveals that among young people aged 16-25 levels of self-confidence and happiness are at their lowest in the eight years that the research has been conducted, with 12% saying that they don’t know anyone who cares about them, and 45% stressed about the way they look. Too often it seems we strive to build our identity from what others think of us and what we think we can achieve, and as a result live with deep insecurity. By contrast Jesus began his work secure in the love of his father, and knowing that his father was delighted with him.
The good news for all of us is that we too may hear the words that Jesus heard, because we are invited to become children of God1. Rather than spend our lives wondering whether we count for anything and striving to discover our identity, God invites us instead to find our identity as his beloved children.