Mark 1: 9-15

Yesterday’s post on whether immersion or baptism was the best translation of baptidzo evoked this response from a friend on Berean Spirit.  I wanted to share as it is so powerful:

Some thoughts on Immerse and the beauty of it. As I read what you wrote I could not help but think of the water covering my body. I was covered! I was covered by his blood! I was covered by His forgiveness! I was Immersed in His Spirit!  I have been engulfed by His all! He has embraced me totally! I can’t get out of His embrace for it is for eternity! I have been IMMERSED in His love! My old man has been drowned/immersed!

Thanks, Gerry Parker.  That spoke to me today.

Now to Mark:

9(R) In those days Jesus(S) came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

Interesting how Mark uses adverbs and adverbial phrases of time.  Lots of instances of immediately.  Here we have In those days. The NLT has one day.  Mark’s accound is vivid, succinct, pacy.

Our first indication of where Jesus is from (geographically)  is in this verse.

Piero della Francesca's Baptism of Christ

Piero della Francesca's Baptism of Christ

Why was Jesus baptized?  The answer I usually get when I ask that is “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt 3:15) which isn’t a satisfying answer for me.  Jesus was and is all righteousness.  Surely he didnt have to be baptized to fulfill righteousness? However baptism did identify him with righteousness and that righteousness will be the justification for our sins.  It was a public statement proclaiming the inauguration of his public ministry.  It announced to the world (well the quiet backwater of Judea initially – the world was to hear later) that God was walking amongst us and about to start his work.

Did he have to fulfill the requirements for priesthood which include washing with water  and the anointing with the Holy Spirit?  This is a new idea I have just been exposed to.  Comments, please!  Heb 2: 17 & 18 seem to support this.

Fra Angelico's Baptism of Christ

Fra Angelico's Baptism of Christ

10And when he came up out of the water, immediately he(T) saw(U) the heavens being torn open(V) and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And(W) a voice came from heaven,(X) “You are my beloved Son;[d] with you I am well pleased.”

Imagery used in the account of Noah abounds.  The water, the dove, the sign from heaven. The tearing open of heaven foreshadows the death of Jesus when the curtain is torn in the temple, the sun stopped shining and Jesus’ spirit leaves him to return “up” to the Father.  (Matt 27:50)

We also have all the persons of the Trinity here – father, son, spirit.   In verse 1 Mark proclaimed Jesus the son of God.  Here God the father does so.  And the father expresses his delight in his son.  God is about relationship.

This explains the reasons for Jesus’ baptism fully.

William Blake's The Baptism of Christ

William Blake's The Baptism of Christ

12(Y) The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13(Z) And he was in the wilderness forty days, being(AA) tempted by(AB) Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and(AC) the angels were ministering to him.

40 is significant.  The Jews wandered 40 years in the desert.  Jesus is in the desert here, being tested and proven the true Israelite.  He follows the precedent of Moses and Elijah too. Angels attended Jesus as they had attended Israel in the desert.  The contrast of Jesus and Satan in the desert with wild beasts on the one hand and angels on the other is a very visual image for us to conjure

14(AD) Now after John was arrested, Jesus(AE) came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15and saying, (AF) “The time is fulfilled, and(AG) the kingdom of God is at hand;(AH) repent and believe in the gospel.”

The pace picks up.  John has been arrested (we need to go to Matthew and Luke for details) and the kindgom is at hand!  Another mention of the need for repentance in just 15 verses.  We need to repent and believe the good news to be part of the kingdom.

Excitement mounts – how will Jesus display his deity?  How will the kingdom be ushered in?

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3 Responses to “Mark 1: 9-15”

  1. Bobby Cohoon Says:

    Great thoughts Wendy. And Gerry’s comment spoke to me in a strong way also!

  2. ozjane Says:

    I think Baptism is also about obedience…Jesus said, roughly translated, I have a Baptism to be baptized with, or something very similar is in my memory.
    I know for me at 14 yrs of age, full immersion, was about obedience to God and death to the world and identification….again relationship with our Lord. My maternal Grandfather baptized me and my two twins on the paternal side of the family were waiting wiith towels to recieve me into the family of God (as was the informal tradition at that time…you chose someone special.)
    I can identify with the comments of the full immersion. I could understand the Calvanistic point of view as I recall back in my Bible college days so have been able to be somewhat tolerant but have a definite assurance as to what was right for me…..and thankfullness that it was so sure and natural and at the same time supremely supernatural.

  3. gnometree Says:

    I did some studies years ago about mothering and birthing as described in the bible and the 40 days thing is significant there too. It is about the relationship between the mother and baby being nurtured for those 40 days, of being alone with your baby for 40 days so that you can know him/her better. I wonder here if there is an analogy of being alone with God for that time so that they can form a relationship…

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