“The core experience of Jesus, the moment that sustained him through his brief life on earth, happened at his baptism. Heaven was opened, the Spirit of God descended on him like a dove, and the voice of the Father said: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” The knowledge that he was loved by the One who matters most was, for Jesus, the primal spiritual fact.”
I think Piippo is right on. Furthermore, I believe when Jesus went out early in the morning to pray this was also the primary message he heard from God — “You are my Son. I love you. Let’s work together today to bring our Kingdom!” … And yes, I think this is what we, too, ought to be looking to hear from God. “You are my Son… .” “You are my daughter… .” Don’t we all desperately want to hear that?
I talk a lot with pastors, and I see over and over how much they, too, are in need of hearing God say to them, “You are my son. I am so proud of you.” I had a pastor tell me he’s never heard anyone really tell him that they are proud of you. That’s sad. … Well, we know this, God is proud of him!
Here’s how writer Henri Nouwen says this:
“God does not say, ‘I love you if…’ There are no ‘ifs’ in God’s heart. God’s love for us does not depend on what we do or say, on our looks or intelligence, on our success or popularity.” (Henri Nouwen, The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life, 68)