The Baptism of Jesus and Our Commission (Mark 1)

Date: 1/7/2018
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Baptism
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

Mark 1:4–15 - John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 6 John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey. 7 And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. 8 “I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 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.” 12 Immediately the Spirit *impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. 13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. 14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Jesus’ Baptism - John's baptism of Jesus involved the renewal of Israel through the Jordan (Israel, Elijah, Elisha, Naman) in order to “manifest” (John 1:31) the Anointed One,  “Christ.” The priestly ordination process required a washing, an anointing, and being clothed (Lev. 8; Ex. 4:12-14). The washing is more about “crossing” than dunking, pouring, or sprinkling. In the Exodus, Israel “passed (Heb. avar) through the midst of the sea into the wilderness” (Num. 33:8). Paul describes this as a “baptism” (1 Cor. 10:2). Crossing the red sea is a “baptism.” Under Joshua, Israel was commanded to “cross (avar) this Jordan, to go in to possess the land” (Josh. 1:11). Due to Moses’ anger, he did not get to “cross” over (Deut. 4:22; 31:2). This “crossing” happens again when Elisha is given a “double portion” of the spirit of Elijah. “Elijah took his mantle and folded it together and struck the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground” (2 Kgs. 2:8). Baptism takes a person through the water (e.g., the waters above into heaven, the red sea, the Jordan to enter the land, Elijah, Elisha, cf. 1Cor 10). Thus at Jesus’ baptism, he was washed with the waters of the Jordan, then He was anointed with the (oil of the) Spirit (Luke 3:21), and then the Father clothed Him in the declaration, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased” (Mark 1:11). He was thus ordained as the Melchizedekian High Priest over all the world (Heb. 5:6, 10). Baptism takes a person through the water (e.g., the waters above into heaven, the red sea, the Jordan to enter the land, Elijah, Elisha, cf. 1Cor 10).

Our Baptisms - Jesus had a unique role, but we are to be like Him. Thus, our baptisms fulfill the developing themes of the believer’s authority, power in the Spirit, and sonship/adoption. In our baptisms we are cleansed, brought into a relation within the Triune God and clothed with our new status as children of God. If one connects each of the NT passages on our baptisms, this synopsis emerges: Jesus baptizes His people with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5), the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5) and sealing of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13). This one baptism (Eph. 4:5) places us in His body, so that we drink of one Spirit (1Cor. 12:13). Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) and is a washing away of sins (Acts 22:16). All the baptized have been baptized into His death, buried with Him in baptism, and raised up to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12). Baptism is an antitype of deliverance through the flood, and thus, baptism now saves you - an appeal to God for a good conscience — through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1Pet. 3:20-21).

Thus, the baptized are clothed with the Spirit, able once again to enter into Garden of God to have communion with the Father and Son. This was pictured in the high priest’s ordination, but is now available for the “royal priesthood” of all who are in Christ. Christians are little “christs,” anointed with His Spirit. Our new identity is conferred in baptism, even as it was for Israel in the first crossing of the sea (1Cor. 10:1-4). This is made plain in the NT repeatedly. In Galatians, we know we are “all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus [because/for] all of you who were bap

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more