Mark 1:9-11: John Baptized Jesus
Posted by adventbiblestudy on October 6, 2012
Mark 1:9-11 One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. (10) As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. (11) And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
Based on the views of a new believer, I can see how quickly Mark moves along in his stories. In the first verse he introduces the main point of his book. This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. (Mark 1:1) Mark immediately jumps into Jesus’ baptism after introducing John. Mark provides few details, but for some reason finds it important to record John’s diet of locusts and wild honey. It makes me wonder what significance this has in his account of Jesus’ life. I have found, if the answer is not already provided, it will most likely be revealed in the following verses of the same chapter.
I’ve noticed, Mark does not provide much back ground information like Matthew and Luke. He does not mention any other people at Jesus’ baptism, but at the first glance seems to focus on Jesus and John. “Jesus came up out of the water.” This indicates Jesus was fully immersed in water. Mark also includes, “the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove,” in the same sentence. Wouldn’t this call attention to a full immersion of the Holy Spirit? In Mark’s account of the event, he includes one additional detail. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” Marks points out the presence of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God His Father. Maybe Mark’s style of writing is not intended to focus on the physical, but the spiritual.
What does Mark’s quick account teach us about baptism? Jesus was fully immersed in water in the presence of the Holy Spirit and His Father. Does this show how seriously baptism must be considered? Does Mark show us true baptism is performed in the presence of all three? When Jesus was baptized the event was not only attended by, but confirmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit and the voice of God. Based on the views of a new believer, I would consider baptism a very serious and solemn experience, an act performed in the presence of God, the Holy Spirit, and of course, Jesus. Imagine, the greatest powers in the universe so interested and excited about a new believer taking a stand they take the time to personally attend each baptism. In two simple verses Mark has shown, God still has the same interest, love, and concern He had when He took the time to stoop down to the ground of His new creation and form the first man with His own hands from the dust, and breathed His own breath into him to give him life.
What was John’s role? How was he prepared? What qualified John to baptize Jesus? All of the answers are written in other gospels. Details for another study in another time. More time to spend with God.
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