Today's scripture focus is Mark 1:9-11
The Baptism of Jesus9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
It always surprises me, but this is one of my kids' favorite stories. They love the idea of a dove out of heaven, of a voice from the sky.
It had to be pretty awe-inspiring.
I've often asked myself - how many people understood God's voice? Did everyone there hear the words, or just John and Jesus? Did the others just hear thunder from a sunny day?
Matthew 3 shows a bit more of the story - of John uncertain he should really be the one to baptize Jesus. After all, John was Jesus's cousin (on his mother's side), but he also already knew exactly who Jesus was. Before this he had been preaching the Messiah's coming.
According to my pastor husband, this is the moment in which Jesus starts his ministry. It is a moment in which he is praised by God, claimed by God as His Son. It reveals that Jesus is the Christ. And later, Jesus calls all believers to be baptized in His name to signify death to ourselves and rebirth into God's family.
When my husband and I discussed baptism as a death to ourselves, I was surprised. Did Jesus really have to die to self? He's Jesus! Fully God..... but fully human. We'll discuss tomorrow Jesus's 40 days in the desert, and his temptation to follow his own will, and not that of His Father.