The Baptism of Jesus According to Mark: Mark 1:9-11
“9) In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10) Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; 11) and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”” Mark‬ ‭1‬:‭9‬-‭11‬
The beginning of the public ministry of Jesus was marked by Him being baptized by John the Baptist. It should be noted in verse 9 that Jesus went out of His way to get baptized. He traveled all the way from Nazareth in Galilee to the Jordan River near Jerusalem to be baptized. That was around a three days walk by foot. He walked this path alone. He had not yet accumulated any followers.
He was dedicated as an infant by His parents, but He was baptized as an adult as an act of His own will. It was a public declaration that He was following God. The same is seen of every baptism in the New Testament. Personal faith in Jesus Christ comes before baptism. This is commonly referred to as “believers baptism.”
With verse 10, we have the first use of the word “immediately” in the Gospel of Mark. The text says; “And immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him.” It happened very fast. It intrigues me that the heavens were opening. This describes a phenomenon that we cannot grasp according to naturalism. This was a supernatural sign. There is no natural explanation.
And so would be much of the ministry of Jesus that followed this event. From this point in His life onward, He would perform many miracles, signs and wonders.
According to the testimony of John the Baptist in John 1:31-34, this had been given to Him as a sign of the Messiah. John Baptized many people, but this sign happened only to Jesus. It confirmed His identity as the Messiah.
As this was unfolding, a voice came out of heaven saying; “Thou art my beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased.” We now have strong evidence of the mystery of the Trinity. They are often presented as one and the same (John10:30; 14:8-11) and yet they are separate and distinct from one another.
With these three verses, the ministry of John the Baptist was fulfilled. He came to identify the Messiah to Israel. After fulfilling this purpose, he consciously started stepping back. (See John 3:22-36)
Like John the Baptist, every Christian has a purpose and calling to point people to Jesus Christ. We are not intended to draw attention to ourselves. No matter how gifted we might be, our primary purpose is to point people to Jesus Christ.
As a side note; there is also a sense in which every true Christian is marked by the presence of the Holy Spirit in their life. Look up and read John 14:12-20, Romans 5:5 and 8:1-16, 1 Corinthians 2:10-13, Galatians 3:1-5 and Ephesians 1:13-14. The testimony of Scripture is so extensive related to this matter, it boggles my mind that any Christian should be void of the Holy Spirit, shun Him or deny His importance. The fruit of the Spirit being Agape love is the sign of genuine conversion. (See John 13:34-35)
Just as the primary role of John the Baptist was to introduce the Messiah to Israel, John said that a primary role of the Messiah would be to baptize people with the Holy Spirit. (Compare Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33 and Acts 1:4-5) If you deny or are blind to this biblical fact, you have reason for concern. Every Gospel writer emphasized this point.
Stop grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit. If you hold Him at arms length, by default your flesh governs your life. You will never have the inner power to live the Christian life! There will be a fleshly stench down wind from you that even non-Christians will notice.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global