The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”
John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.- Mark 1:1-13
1. John Prepared The Way
-John The Baptist was the cousin of Jesus. This was not the first time that Jesus and John’s paths had crossed. The book Luke there is an account of Jesus’ mother Mary and John’s mother Elizabeth meeting each other while they were both pregnant. When Mary and Elizabeth meet while a good distance into their pregnancy, John the baptist leaps in the womb of Elizabeth and is filled with the Holy Spirit.This makes Jesus and John almost the exact same age as each other. Even though John spent most of his time in the wilderness, chances are good that Jesus and John knew each other and had a some type of relationship as they were cousins. Image in the conversations between Mary and Elizabeth
The Gospel of Mark totally skips the birth and Genealogy of Jesus and jumps right into John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus.
How was John preparing the way for Jesus?
-Preaching Baptism and Repentance of Sins. John was tilling the soil for the harvest. John was able to, through the Holy Spirit, draw people 10-20 miles from where they confessed all of their sin and were submerged in the water.
-There were so many people being baptized that the Pharisees had to send people to inquire about what was going on. Whatever was going on was a big deal!
-Warning the people of what was to come. John the Baptist was respected in the time as a prophet. John preached to the people that a man was coming after him that he was not worthy to untie this man’s shoe. // Someone great is coming, get your things in order now //
And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.- Mark 1:5
-John was only going to immerse the people into water. Jesus would immerse them in the Holy Spirit. Whoever this was who as coming was someone powerful and important, He was the Messiah.
-John spent his whole life in prayer and preparation for the world to receive Christ into the world
-The creator of all things subjected himself to his own creation.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.- John 1:1-3
2. Jesus Is Baptized
As John is baptizing people day after day, here comes Jesus down to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.
Why was Jesus baptized?
-Why would Jesus have been baptized? If John was preaching baptism of repentance and the forgiveness of sins, why would Jesus have needed to be baptized? Did Jesus have sin that needed to be forgiven?
-In the other Gospels it is recorded that John the baptists tried to refuse the baptism of Jesus.
-Jesus was setting the example for those who were to follow him. The key part of this comes in verse
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.- Matthew 3:13-15
-It fulfills righteousness for us as Christians to repent, confess our sins and to be baptized.
But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.- Matthew 3:15
-If you have never been baptized in water, I urge you to be baptized!-Imagine what it felt like to be John the Baptist for a moment. John knew that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah as stated in verse 1 of Mark 1.
-There John was in the Jordan River, waist high in water with Jesus Christ, the Son of God before him. John takes a hold of Jesus and in that moment in human history we have a created man, holding Jesus the creator in his arms and baptizing God. What an overwhelming experience that must have been for John!
This Is My Beloved Son!
-Jesus emerges from the water and the Heavens were torn apart and God’s voice is heard for the first time in hundreds of years introducing and proclaiming that this was His Son in whom he was well pleased.
-The image of a dove come and rests upon Jesus (Some people use this to say that Jesus did not have the Holy Spirit before he was baptized or was not the Son of God until he was baptized.
-This could not be true because John the Baptist received the Holy Spirit while in the presence of Jesus while they were both in the womb. There is no way by scripture or by reason that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit and Jesus was not.
-Mark also says in the first verse of this Gospel that Jesus is the Son of God.
-Jesus baptist was the humble yet glorious showing and introduction of Jesus to the World as the Son of God.
In the moment that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus we see an event that has only taken place one other time in History. That is the glorious display of the entirety of the Godhead.
-We see God the Father in Heaven
-We see God the Son in the Water
-We see God the Holy Spirit resting upon the Son
Oh how glorious it would have been to witness this event.
3. Jesus Is Tempted
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.- Mark 1:12-13
Some scholars believe that the reference in this text about the wild animals was to offer encouragement and edification to the Christian’s of Mark’s day. Many Christians were put into Colosseums and fought wild animals to the death. Mark’s mention of Jesus being with the wild animals also would have brought comfort to the Christian suffering persecution that Jesus also was around the wild animals.
Why was Jesus Tempted?
-Jesus was tempted so that we would have a high priest that could sympathize with us in our weakness.
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.- Hebrews 2:17
-Isn’t it comforting knowing that Jesus has been there. It’s not as if we have a king and messiah who doesn’t understand what we are going through. Jesus went through it. Jesus was tempted. In his humanity he was physically starving and was tempted with the option to bypass the cross.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.- Hebrews 4:15
-Jesus know what you are going through. Jesus was tempted, he was hungry, his best friend died, he was rejected be men. He been through it all
[Jesus vs Other Gods] Humble, Subjected Himself to Creation & Humanity
This is the beginning of the Good News of the Gospel. The Love of God Sent His Son, Himself to reconcile us to Himself so that we can enjoy Him forever. John has prepared the way for Jesus by preaching confession, baptism and repentance, Jesus was baptized and affirmed by the Father as the Spirit was present and finally Jesus was tempted. This was all in preparation for the beginning of the ministry of Jesus which we will explore in the next message on the Gospel of Mark.