Summary: Highlights beginning of Jesus’ public ministry; baptism, anointing, temptation
INTRO.: The beginning of the public life of Jesus is very briefly recorded by Mark, who is characterized by an economy of words. It was time of religious awakening.
Mark quickly tells us of the ministry of John the Baptist as predicted by Malachi and described by Isaiah. Then he passes quickly to the beginning of the public ministry of the Servant of God.
Keynote of passage is “Jesus came.”
I. He came to a large crowd of people:
A. John the Baptist was preaching with a prophetic voice.
1. The time was ripe for it after hundreds of years of oppression. The Messiah had been long promised and anticipated.
2. The crowd came from Judea and Jerusalem. Jesus traveled all the way from Nazareth in Galilee. He made a trip of 70 miles.
3. A strange man from a strange place was preaching a strange message. When they heard Him, they knew in their hearts he was telling the truth and they needed to repent.
4. He asked them to confirm their intentions by being baptized.
B. Jesus came to be baptized. Matthew makes it very clear this was a trip for just that purpose. Matt. 3:13
1. It had to be important for Him to come so far.
2. At first John refused.John didn’t know He was the Messiah. He must have known Jesus personally. They were cousins.
3. He knew Jesus’ character and knew Him to be better than himself.
C. Doing so, He identified Himself with men. He was a man, like other men.
1. Remember the prophecy of Isaiah said there was nothing special about His appearance. Isa. 53:2
3. As a man, He must obey the Father like other men. Hence the expression “fulfill all righteousness.” We must presume Jesus would have sinned if He had refused baptism.
II. He came to receive a special blessing from God.
A. He received the gift of the Holy Spirit:
1. The only place in the entire Bible where the Spirit comes in the form of a dove. Yet, all four Gospel writers report it.
2. It was symbolic of peace. The peaceful nature of His ministry and His Kingdom is seen in this. The dove is beautiful and nonviolent
3. But, it is also the symbol of sacrifice. The dove was the acceptable sacrifice of the poor, those who could afford neither a lamb or a calf. Acknowledgment that Jesus’ ministry was largely to the poor?
B. Also, the endorsement of His Father
1. It was after His baptism Jesus heard the Father’s’s voice approving what He had done.
2. Remember, baptism symbolizes a death and a burial. Rom. 6:4. Jesus was declaring His willingness to go through all the suffering He would endure to the completion of His mission. At the very beginning of His ministry, He foreshadows the end of it.
3. He had no sins of His own for which to repent. No sins to confess. He died for the sins of others.
4. His Father’s words were an encouragement to Him and a sign to us. We are to heed His teaching and follow His example. He came to be baptized.
C. Can you see the importance of Christian baptism?
1. Even in Jesus’ case, it is involved with the forgiveness of sins. Not His sins, but it symbolized the death He was willing to die for the sins of others. The Father recognized and approved His willingness.