A while back I was in a conversation and the person said some disparaging remarks about a song that I thought was pretty well written and at least I thought I had gained some personal spiritual benefit from. They got me thinking. The song was “Glorious Chirst” by Sovereign Grace Music. You can view the video here.
Here are the lyrics:
The radiance of the Father
Before the dawn of time
You spoke and all creation came to be
The molecules and planets
Reveal Your great design
And every one was made so we could see
So we could see
You are the glorious Christ
The greatest of all delights
Your power is unequaled
Your love beyond all heights
No greater sacrifice
Than when You laid down Your life
We join the song of angels
Who praise You day and night
You left the air of heaven
To breathe the dust of earth
And dwell among the outcast and the poor
You came to be forsaken
And died to take our curse
So You could be our joy forevermore
You’re seated now in heaven
Enthroned at God’s right hand
You’ve shattered death and freed us
From our fears
And though we cannot see You
You’re coming back again
And all will be made right when You appear
And all will be made right when You appear
As I thought through the lyrics I guessed at what they may have problems with and to my surprise one of the lines that they had the most difficulty with was towards the beginning of the chorus, the problematic phrase…… “The greatest of all delights“.
Their opinion was that Jesus is NOT the greatest of all delights. Instead they argued that the Father is the greatest of all delights, not the Son. To be honest I really think they are making an unhelpful distinction and also not taking into account some other key concepts from Scripture. The purpose of this post is to hopefully provide some clarity and exalt Jesus Christ and the Father.
Below you will find some verses (only some, there are probably many more with the same or similar concepts) which talk about the Father delighting in and taking pleasure in the Son. In Scripture, we see that the Father’s greatest delight is in His Son. He crushes His Son’s enemies, He seats His Son at His right hand, He commands others to listen and obey His Son, He commands His angels to worship Him etc.
Suffice it to say, throughout the entire Bible the Father takes great delight in the Son. If a defining characteristic of Jesus is that He only does what the Father tells Him to do, than it is also true that a defining characteristic of the Father is that He delights in His Son. Therefore, when I take delight in Jesus, when I find my pleasure and satisfactions in Jesus, I am simply behaving like God, I’m doing what God does, I’m being God-like or godly. And surely, it is good and right to behave like God is it not? Does it not honor Him when I behave like He does?
Well here we go, this is very simple and very basic but I hope that there is also great clarity. I hope you walk away desiring Christ, finding your pleasure in Him and delighting in Him, just like your heavenly Father does.
We see the Father delighting in His Son at His Baptism
And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11 ESV)
- The Father is well pleased with His Son, He takes pleasure in Him. See next verse for more.
We see the Father delighting in His Son at His Transfiguration
He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5 ESV)
For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” (2 Peter 1:17 ESV)
- This phrase “well pleased” in both Mark 1 and Matthew 17 and 1 Peter 1 all carry the idea to take pleasure in, to desire or delight in, to be contented in
- Therefore the Father delights in, takes pleasure in, His Son Jesus Christ
- Therefore, it is only fitting for me to find my pleasure and my satisfaction in Christ, that’s how God behaves and I want to be like God or Godly in my behavior
We see the Father take delight in His Son in Prophecy
Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1 ESV)
- The Father is speaking of what will happen in the future with Jesus and He says that His soul delights in this servant which is an obvious reference to Jesus
- For my soul to delight in Jesus then is simply to act the way God acts, to be godly
The Father delights in the Son’s death
The Lord was pleased to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. (Isaiah 53:10)
- This might seem strange to put here but it is true, the death of His Son, which would redeem all those who would put their faith in Jesus brought God pleasure. The Father was well pleased with every aspect of Jesus’ life and death.
- Also notice that the pleasure of the Father will prosper in His hand, again the Father is pleased with, delights in, finds pleasure in, His Son. The Father finds great delight in His Son. For the Father, the Son is His greatest delight.
We see God demonstrate delight in how He commands Jesus to be worshipped
For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” (Hebrews 1:5-6 ESV)
- As a proud Father cheering on a well beloved Son, so does the Father cheer on His Son, and He commands His angels to worship Him. You don’t tell others to worship something or someone that you don’t delight in yourself. When my children do something that delights me, I quickly run around the office showing others the picture or the video of my child doing something. So too, with the Father, He delights in His Son and He commands other to see and worship as well. The Father is glorified when we delight in the Son.
We see the Father’s delight in the Son in the fact that they share the same glory
And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. (John 17:5 ESV)
We see the Fathers delight in the Son in the Gospel of John
All through the Gospel of John Jesus says things like the sharing of glory in John 17, we also see Jesus says things like “If you believe the Father than you also believe me” “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” the language Jesus uses can be used to support the idea that if we are delighting in and worship Christ, we are also delighting in and worshiping the Father.
Finding delight in Christ cannot be separated from finding delight in and worshiping the Father, they are intertwined. Philip asked Jesus to “show us the Father” and Jesus replied “if you have seen me you have seen the Father” (John 14:8). Therefore I must conclude that when we say (or sing) that Jesus is the “greatest of all delights” it is also music in the Fathers ear and by the testimony of Scripture I think He would agree and say Amen, for the Father Himself finds great delight in the Son.
Psalm 115 says that you become like what you worship. The Bible also says that God is conforming us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29) and when we see Him we will be like Him (1 John 3:2). Not only will we be like the Son when we worship Him and delight in Him and find our satisfaction in Him, but we will also be like the Father because we will be doing what the Father does, we will be delighting in who the Father delights in, We will be pleased with who He is pleased with, and we will take pleasure in who He takes pleasure in. Surely, Jesus Christ is the “greatest of all delights”, it sure seems like He is the Father’s greatest delight.