16And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." —matthew 3:16-17
Deep within the heart of every person is a longing for parental approval. We long to know our mother and father love, value, and are proud of us, that they want the best for us and they recognize what we have accomplished. From the preschooler who calls out from the sandbox, "Dad, look what I have made," to the high schooler who appears in the kitchen dressed for the prom and says, "Daddy, how do I look," adult children still can't wait to show Mom and Dad the new house. We never outgrow the desire to hear them say, "Well done."
I have heard people say, "I don't need the blessing from anyone." Yet those same persons were absolutely transformed when they received that special affirmation. Others have said, "I wouldn't take anything from my father. I can hardly stand to look at my father." But later they rushed across the country to plead for the blessing at their father's deathbed. There is something within the heart of every person—the way our Father in heaven has made us—that longs for the blessing.
What does the term blessing mean? The Hebrew word means literally to bow the knee. The blessing is a formula of words which expresses fondness for, confidence in, and recognition of a specific person. The blessing was a bestowal of favor; a transaction which gave material and spiritual benefit to the recipient. At a point in time in every Jewish family, there was a ceremony of giving the blessing. While emphasis was placed on the firstborn, all of the children received blessings. The father would call together some of his friends, and they would surround this teen-aged son or daughter. They would begin to speak things into that child's life, affirming them and offering wisdom. When the process was complete, the father would awkwardly take the son or daughter up onto his shoulders and dance about the room in a celebration saying in front of all of his peers, "This is my beloved son (or daughter) in whom I an well pleased." You might recognize those words from the New Testament. God the Father made it a point to bless God the Son. How can we do any less with our children?