Mark 1:9 – “It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan” NKJV
Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God! I may repeat that frequently, but it’s important for us to know and declare that He was no ordinary man. He was both man and deity, and as such, was God in the flesh!
As we go through the book of Mark, we will see Him as the suffering Servant, the One who went through much on our behalf. As the suffering Servant, He suffered in His physical body, as a human being, on behalf of mankind. As we go through Mark, we will see Jesus in both His humanity and His divinity!
Mark tells us that Jesus came from Galilee. Although he makes on a brief reference to this fact, Matthew points on that Jesus being in Galilee was a fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah:
But those who have suffered will no longer be in pain. The territories of Zebulun and Naphtali in Galilee were once hated. But this land of the Gentiles across the Jordan River and along the Mediterranean Sea will be greatly respected.Isaiah 9:1 CEV
Jesus lived on purpose, for purpose, and because of that, there were things that He had to do. Getting baptized in the Jordan, was one of those things. He tells John that He must be baptized by him to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15).
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan [River], to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him [vigorously protesting], saying, “It is I who need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus replied to him, “Permit it just now; for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John permitted [it and baptized] HimMatthew 3: 13-15 AMP
Before Jesus begins His public ministry He is baptized in water. Baptism is symbolic of our identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord. Jesus had no such need to make this public declaration of faith as we do, but He felt it necessary. He said that John had to baptize Him to fulfill all righteousness! In other words, there are some things that everyone is going to need to do, and He came to demonstrate it all in the flesh!
As Jesus is coming out of the water, several things take place all at once:
And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”Mark 1:10-11 NKJV
First, He sees the heavens part! I believe that God was so excited that the time had come to reveal His Son and to see Him in operation that He pulled back the curtains of heaven to let Jesus see Him!
As the curtains parted, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus. The Bible clearly uses a simile at this point by saying that His Spirit descended like a dove. Many think that He descended in the form of a dove, but I believe this was a figurative statement, and not literal. Then God speaks from heaven validating that Jesus is His beloved Son, and He is well pleased with Him! What a wonderful experience! And what a glimpse at the Trinity, as both the Father, and the Holy Spirit, bears witness to Jesus to the Son!
The Holy Spirit not only bears witness of Jesus, but He empowers Jesus to do ministry. Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 11:2, that the Spirit of God would rest upon Him, which He did when Jesus came out of the water. But we also know that the Spirit of God empowered Him to do ministry. Let’s look at what Jesus said to the disciples:
Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”Luke 24:49 NKJV
We can infer that if the disciples needed the power from on high, which is through His Holy Spirit, then that is where Jesus’ power came from, the Holy Spirit. And as Jesus was headed into His earthly ministry, it was needful for Him to be endued with power from on high!
Mark doesn’t give us a lot of details about these events, so I had to go to the other gospels for clarification. Such is the case in the temptation of Jesus. Mark wrote:
Right away God’s Spirit made Jesus go into the desert. He stayed there for forty days while Satan tested him. Jesus was with the wild animals, but angels took care of him.Mark 1:12 -13 CEV
Mark penned that the Spirit of God made Jesus go into the desert. Other versions say Jesus was led or driven into the wilderness. In any case, it was a part of the plan for Him to experience the wilderness. While in the wilderness we know that Jesus was on a fast. Mark doesn’t mention it, but other gospel accounts let us know that for forty days and night, He fasted. While He was in the wilderness, on this supernatural fast, Satan tempted Him. (See Matthew 4, for details)
We know from other gospels that Satan tried to get Jesus to bow down to him, to prove that He couldn’t die because He was the Son of God, and to use His power to turn stones into bread. Jesus refused to participate with Satan’s games, using the Word of God on him, and then rebuking Him. All keys to us getting the victory over the devil! But that blog has been written already!
After Jesus overcomes His temptations at the hand of the devil himself, angels minister to Him. In the CEV it gives the impression that the angels protected Jesus from the wild animals; but most versions state that the angels ministered to Him.
As we look at the life of Jesus, let’s glean all that we can from Him. Jesus was baptized in the water as an example to fulfill all righteousness. In order for us to make sure that we have done the same, we need to be baptized. If you have not been baptized yet, I encourage you to do so! You will be fulfilling all righteousness! If you did it, but don’t remember it because you were so young, do it again, so that you’ll have a marked experience of identifying with the Savior!
Jesus was immersed in the Holy Spirit as He rested on Jesus! Immersion is another word for baptism. If you have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, I also encourage you to be baptized. Jesus didn’t even face the devil until He was baptized in the Holy Spirit! Once He was filled with the Spirit of God, He was empowered to deal with the devil! Not just demons, but the devil himself!
Jesus fasted for forty days and nights! This is a supernatural fast, so if the Spirit of God doesn’t lead you to do it, don’t! But we should all find ourselves spending time fasting and praying. Jesus did it, so we should do it! As we continue in Mark, let’s make a new commitment to be more like Him! Wonderful Jesus!