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"And he ate locust and wild honey."
Baptism of Our Lord
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
Mark 1:4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
John Baptizes Jesus
Mark 1:9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
The Gospel in a Small Corner (click to see map). In a small corner of the Mediterranean world, Jesus announced the gospel of the kingdom. This announcement came in the midst of political uproar as the armies and politicians of Rome jockeyed for position in these recently annexed territories of Judea and Galilee. Events in this part of the world were of interest to the imperial city of Rome, especially a claim by anyone to be the king of the Jews. And Jews living in the far corners of the Roman Empire certainly followed the news of their homeland. Though only a small corner, Judea and Galilee held a significance greater than their size.
[Mark 1:8] John proclaimed that his baptism in water was only preparatory for the baptism of the Messiah, who would baptize with the Holy Spirit. "Baptize" (baptizo, Gk.) means "to dip" or "to submerge." Literal baptism in water is the placing of an individual into and under water. To be baptized "with the Holy Spirit" means to be immersed "in" or "with" the Holy Spirit. The result is that believers experience His transforming power. This was initially fulfilled at Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:5; 2:1-4) and subsequently in Samaria (Acts 8:14-17) and the house of the Gentile Cornelius (Acts 10:44-48; 11:16). There is a further significance to the Spirit's baptism which applies to all believers. Paul explains in 1 Cor. 12:13 that the Holy Spirit is the agent employed by God to immerse the believer into the body of Christ. Consequently, the meaning of Mark's text is that John baptized by means of water, but Jesus will baptize by means of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism and Temptation (click to see map & notes). Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee to be baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. After His temptation in the wilderness (possibly near Jericho), Jesus returned to Galilee.
[Mark 1:9] Since Jesus was sinless (Heb. 4:15), a baptism of repentance was unnecessary. Why then was He baptized by John? At least four reasons seem evident: (1) to connect Himself with John, the prophet who prepared the way for the Messiah; (2) to identify Himself with the sinful race He came to redeem (see Matt. 3:16-17, note); (3) to establish the course of His own ministry; and (4) to inaugurate that ministry officially.
[Mark 1:10] "Immediately" (euthus, Gk.) is a characteristic word in Mark. It is used 42 times in Mark and only 12 times in the rest of the N.T. This word serves to advance the narrative at a rapid pace. (vv. 10,11) The descent of the Spirit to rest upon Jesus was His anointing by God for His mission as the Messiah (the "Anointed One"; cf. Acts 10:37, 38).
NSRV & Believer's Study Bible (BSB) Notes
Readings for the week of January 21st
SJLC's Weekly Audio Sermon Archive
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1137 Alice Drive • Sumter, South Carolina 29150 • Tel: (803) 773-2260
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