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Bible Book: Mark / Markus
Chapter: 1
Verse: 9
Verse (to): 15

Mark 1:9-15

Jesus supports us in our hour of need
Jesus intentionally came all the way from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. Although many had been baptised by John, this baptism was unique. Jesus did not have to confess any sin. He was not in need of forgiveness, and had no need to repent. Yet He was baptised and this lead to a series of important events:
First of all, heaven opened. “He saw heaven being torn open”, according to the NIV and NIRV translations. God, the Father, proclaimed his approval of Jesus, his only Son. And God, the Holy Spirit, demonstrated his presence in Jesus through the sign of a dove descending on Him.
These amazing events were followed by Jesus’ journey into the desert, where the Satan tempted Him. His return from the desert was followed by two more important events: John was thrown in prison, where he would eventually be murdered, and Jesus declared that the Kingdom of God was present. “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand” (verse 15 – KJ21).
Upon looking at these events it becomes apparent that the baptism of Jesus was indeed the first significant event in his public appearance. Why was this so important? Why did the Father and the Holy Spirit confirm and celebrate this happening?
According to the Gospel of Mark, Jesus referred once to his own baptism. This we find in Mark 10:38. Here it becomes clear that for Jesus there was a direct connection between his baptism and his death on the cross. The one illuminated the other. What was symbolised in the first was demonstrated in the latter.
Jesus’ public ministry began with his baptism in the Jordan and ended with his death on the cross. Both revealed his love for us, his identification with our plight, and his obedience to his Father. For us, this is good news. It is our salvation, our life.
To think about (or discuss): Jesus’ ministry started with his identification with our brokenness and neediness. Are we also called to identify with people in need? What about the needs caused by the HIV pandemic?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English

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