Mark 1:9-11 New Living Translation
The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus
9 One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him[a] like a dove. 11 And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
We might think that the world-changing and history-making beginning of Jesus’ ministry would begin with a major announcement.
We might even reasonably expect that this history making event would come out as a big deal—like when a nation’s president or prime minister is elected.
But the heavenly declaration that opens Jesus’ ministry is rather low key.
It is also rather private, personal and extraordinarily intimate—Jesus had not announced himself yet gathered any disciples or followers to witness this event.
It was a deeply personal event exclusively meant for exchange between a father and his son – a father and son moment – with meanings deeper than we know.
What’s more, the heavenly power does not swoop in like a great eagle with exposed talons, swooping in while it is shrieking at the very top of its lungs.
You do not get the idea it was meant to be observed by human eyes and ears.
Instead it is described as gently arriving like a dove.
The Spirit of God, who had hovered over the waters of creation (Genesis 1:2), similarly graces the person of Jesus, giving us an unmistakable sign that a new creation is getting under way and this new effort will also be good, very good.
Mark’s gospel has an emphasis on showing the reading audience who Jesus is.
He is the Servant of All and He is about to immediately begin His ministry and His mission of making a difference, if not THE difference in the affairs of man.
The first eight verses of Mark focused on the immediate anticipation of Jesus’ arrival.
Remember that the gospel opens calling for people to literally drop every last priority they have, immediately begin to prepare the way for the king’s arrival.
The blessings of the Heavenly King … Humbly Clothed in His Divine Majesty …
Let all the Earth Rejoice … Let all the Earth Rejoice …
Everything, if not everybody in your life is immediately about to be changed.
Every circumstance is about to become immediately subjected to redemption.
Your life is about to be strengthened – thy self-esteem about to be maxed out.
Get hyper-excited because thy salvation is about to become genuine reality.
Immediately answer for yourselves this question: HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD?
Get your hearts and souls ready by confessing your sins because the mightier, indeed very the mightiest One is coming who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.
One question that we have when we come to the baptism of Jesus is why was he even needed to baptized?
The answer is in verse 9: we see the humble king of all created things quietly arriving, slowly processing into humanity, for his royal coronation ceremony.
Open your versions of God’s word to Mark 1:9-11 to see this coronation scene.
Here in the Gospel of Mark we are given the heavenly insight that Jesus is the unique and truly loved Son with whom His Father God is beyond well pleased.
Today’s highlighted verses tell us about God’s great love for His Son Jesus and how, as He came up, out from the water He has expressed His love for His Son.
We see God’s wonderful expression of deep affection and deep pride in Jesus.
It must have been a beautiful, inspiring moment and blessing to each of them.
The great thing about this event is this: Jesus has immediately provided each of us with the blessed assurance of both God’s great favor and abundant delight.
Christ’s death on the Cross not only paid the price for our sins, it also opened up the way to the loving-kindness and great goodness of God. Just as the Father was proud of His Son, God can now cherish and embrace us in the same way.
Are not these the words we all need to hear from the ones we love the most?
Look at what was being said by Father God: “I completely claim you as my child! I completely, utterly love you! I am fully, utterly completely max pleased with you!”
The Father shared these incredible affirmations with his Son.
And by extension, our Father God shares these incredible affirmations with us.
In the subsequent verses, the man Jesus will face the temptations of Satan in the wilderness armed with the understanding his Heavenly Father lovingly and proudly claims him as his child – those words infusing Jesus with God’s might.
You know, when we were baptized,
I cannot help but believe my God immediately quietly expressing the very same fatherly sentiments about you and me – with the exact same degree of His love!
In this moment, what does that thought immediately do for your self-esteem?
No matter what you or I think of or about ourselves, here is a wonderful hint:
OPEN WIDEST THOSE EYES OF YOURS, GIVE GOD YOUR “GOD” SMILE NOW …
God has entered the affairs of all mankind, come into the world with the loving intention of bringing about a new creation that includes you. What in your life needs to be re-created by the transformation and blessings of Savior Jesus Christ?
Jesus himself declares in Chapter One verse 15: “The time has come. . . . The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and (hardcore) believe the good news!”
No matter who you are or what you’ve done; no matter how you’re feeling or what you’re going through right in this exact moment, please know this: You are a beloved child of God, lifted up by His grace, and cherished by Him forever.
Just a Quiet, Timely Reminder of Exactly Whose Beloved Child You Are?
He was the Son of God.
He was the Son of Man.
He came down from heaven.
He was born in a stable.
Kings came to his cradle.
His first home was a cave.
He was born to be a king.
He was a child of Mary.
He was the greatest among rulers.
He was the least among servants.
He was loved and honored.
He was despised and rejected.
He was gentle and loving.
He made many enemies.
He counseled perfection.
He was a friend of sinners.
He was a joyful companion.
He was a man of sorrows.
He said, “Rejoice.”
He said, “Repent.”
“Love God with all your heart.”
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“Don’t be anxious.”
“Count the cost.”
“Ask and receive.”
In him was life.
He died on a cross.
He was a historic person.
He lives today.
He was Jesus of Nazareth.
He is Christ the Lord.
He was with God in the beginning of all created things because He is God!
And there is exactly NOTHING the darkness of sin and death can do about it!
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
ABBA, My Loving and adoring Father, I know I do not merit your love and grace. Yet, dear Heavenly Father of mine, I am completely and utterly overwhelmed with them and beyond thankful for the abundance of them. As your beloved child, please know that I love and adore you… even in those times when I make wrong choices and also when I succumb to temptation’s power. Father, do not ever let the evil one strip my love for you from me or let him cloud my eyes to your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.