The Gospel of Mark

Theme: Jesus the servant

Theme verse: For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister (to be a servant), and to give his life a ransom for many. Mark 10.45

And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:  And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Mark 1.9-11

John the Baptist finds himself in an extraordinary situation.

Read the parallel passage of Matthew 3.14-16, But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Why would Jesus want to be baptized? John considers himself unworthy, unable to baptize Jesus. John recognizes that he is the one who needs to be baptized. Yet, it seems as thought it was necessary for Jesus to be baptized, part of a larger plan. Jesus had never sinned, there was no need for Him to repent. When Jesus was baptized He identified Himself with sinners. Before the cross, before He became sin, He identified with sinners by fulfilling the act of baptism. God affirmed who Jesus was and affirmed the baptism by announcing His pleasure. God accepted Jesus’ act of identification with sinners, the beginning of the gospel. Jesus was not a sinner Himself, but He would become sin for all mankind. Similarly God accepted Christ’s sacrifice on the cross when Jesus took upon Himself the sins of the world.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all present at the baptism of Jesus. This reality affirms the plurality of the unified God, a truth that has been revealed other places within Scripture. Contrasting Christ’s baptism with the crucifixion, Jesus was alone. The Spirit left Him, and the Father punished Him, yet the triune God was pleased with the perfect lamb and the perfect sacrifice. Figure that one out, if you can. The baptism event made Satan a little nervous. Perhaps the plan of redemption was more clear to Satan than it was to John the Baptist. Another hint to a larger plan, the Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness to face the temptation of Satan.

Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1.29

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