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Bible Study-The Gospel According to Mark 1:9-11


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Mark links John's ministry with that of Jesus by using parallel wording in verses five and nine.

1) Compare the latter half of verse five with the last part of verse nine.

9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

5 they were baptized by him in the Jordan River Mark 1:5 (NIV)

2) What do these two verses both tell us about John?

○ John baptized people in the Jordan river.

○ John baptized Jesus in the Jordan river.

3) How does the subject of these two verses differ?

○ Verse five speaks of John's ministry of baptism.

○ The subject changes from John to Jesus in verse nine.

Jesus’ baptism was the starting point of His public ministry. The Apostles when deciding who would replace Judas in Acts 1:21-22, tell us of the importance of Jesus baptism

Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection. " (NIV)

The Apostles made it a main criteria for the selection of Judas’ replacement.

4) Why was it important that the man selected to be an Apostle have been with Jesus from His baptism to His resurrection?

○ It was necessary the he be an eyewitness to Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus knew His baptism was a part of God's divine plan. It was to proclaim His coming to take the place of sinners currently under God's judgment.

John's reaction when Jesus requested he baptize Him was not positive. John balked at baptizing Him at first, but Jesus insisted. John, of course, relented as seen in Matthew 3:13-15.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness. " Then John consented. (NIV)

5) What reason does Jesus give John for His Baptism?

○ “it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness”.

6) Explain in your own words what it means “Fulfill all righteousness”?

○ John Calvin wrote of the meaning of the phrase “fulfill all righteousness" was “'The general reason Christ received Baptism was, that He might render full obedience to the Father and the special reason was, that He might consecrate Baptism in His own body, that we might have it in common with Him. ”

Jesus knew in His role as Messiah, He must submit to all of God's requirements for Israel.

10As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.

Jesus upon leaving the water, experienced three distinct and simultaneous events that signaled the inauguration of God's kingdom.

The first listed of these events, the opening or rending of the Heavens, was first stated by the Prophet Isaiah as he pleads with God to come and bring the fires of judgment.

“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you!” Isaiah 64:1 (NIV)

This concept was later expanded in Jewish tradition. The Pseudepigrapal Testaments of Levi and Judah seem to anticipate the baptism of Jesus and speak of the Messiah King as the star of Jacob.


  • e
  • pig
  • ra
  • pha

    i. A body of texts written between 200 B. C. and A. D. 200 falsely attributed to Biblical characters.

    There is much debate as to the authenticity of these and their companion writings contained in the Testament of the Patriarchs. The Testament of the Patriarchs is said to be the last sayings of each of the twelve Patriarchs.

    The Testament of Levi 18:6-8

    "The heavens shall be opened, And From the temple of glory shall come upon him sanctification, With the Father's voice as from Abraham to Isaac. And the glory of the Most High shall be uttered over him, And the spirit of understanding and sanctification shall rest upon him [in the water]. For he shall give the majesty of the Lord to His sons in truth for evermore; And there shall none succeed him for all generations for ever. “

    The Testament of Judah 24:1-3

    "And after these things shall a star arise to you from Jacob in peace, And a man shall arise [from my seed], like the sun of righteousness, walking with the sons of men in meekness and righteousness; And no sin shall be found in him. 2 and the heavens shall be open unto him, To pour out the spirit, (even) the blessing of the Holy Father; 3 And He shall pour out the spirit of grace upon you; And ye shall be unto Him sons in truth, And ye shall walk in His commandments first and last. "

    The rending or opening of the heavens is significant to second temple Judaism. It was believed that with the cessation of Old Testament prophets, God had stopped speaking directly to His people. It was believed that God spoke only in a faint echo

    A long awaited return of God's spirit was signaled with the opening of the Heavens. A period of Grace beings with Jesus that is unparalleled in manner.

    The Spirit descending was the second sign that Jesus was the coming Messiah. It was believed that a Messiah in the Eschatological age would be endowed with Gods Spirit.

    7) How does Mark describe the Spirit's descent?

    ○ Mark uses a simile, “like a dove” to describe the Spirits descent.

    8) How is Mark's description of the Spirit's descent important?

    ○ Marks description of the Spirit descending magnifies this endowment.

    ○ The imagery of a dove is not a “special enlightenment” of Jesus, or some kind of inner mystical experience, but a supernatural experience.

    11And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. "

    The third and final Eschatological sign, the divine declaration by God the Father proclaiming Jesus as the beloved son.

    Old Testament imagery abounds, just as the suffering servant in Isaiah 49:3, Jesus would face opposition and seeming defeat. Jesus will reveal the will of God and provide the means for salvation in Isaiah 49:6.

    He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor. " Isaiah 49:3

    he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth. " Isaiah 49:6 (NIV)

    9) What wonderful truths are stated about Jesus in verse three and six?

    ○ Jesus is identified as the “Son of God”, echoing the enthronement of a King of Israel, Psalm 2:7

    "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Psalm 2:7 (ESV)

    10) How does the enthronement of the King of Israel foreshadow the divine proclamation?

  • The King of Israel was called “God's son” and as does the divine proclamation expresses the Father's love and unity with the subject.

    The divine declaration is unique in its scope. No prophet ever heard words such as these.

    Consider God's utterances to the following Children of God.

    "But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, Isaiah 41:8 (NIV)

    God called Abraham His Friend.

    And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. Duet 34:5 (NIV)

    Moses His Servant.

    He sent Moses his servant, and Aaron, whom he had chosen. Psalm 105:26 (NIV)

    Aaron a chosen one.

    Take a minute now and ask yourself “by what name would God call me"?

    Clyde Annach is the operator of the Web Log Aha! Clyde's been thinking again!

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