Daily Devotion on Mark 1:4-11
Text: Mark 1:4-11
It seems strange doesn’t it? Why would Jesus need to be baptized? He hadn’t done anything wrong. He never sinned once. He didn’t need any forgiveness. He didn’t need adoption into God’s family. He already was the Son of God. Why be baptized?
There are several reasons. Matthew’s gospel reveals that Jesus did this to “fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus came to do everything that he and his heavenly Father commanded. Even though he didn’t need a baptism per se, he needed it in that he had to fulfill of God’s commands for us. It also sets the example for us to do it now in the future.
Here in Mark we are reminded of something else. This was an anointing Jesus and a beginning of his public ministry. Jesus was now actively preaching his way toward Jerusalem some three years in the future when he would die for all sins. At his baptism, the Father pointed to his Son verbally and said, “Yes, this is the One. This is my Son. This is your Savior. Listen to him!”
Some quick notes to point out from today’s devotion: Many insist that a baptism must take place by total immersion of the person under water. They point to these baptisms in the Jordan River as examples. Yet that is a misunderstanding. First, the original word for baptism really only means to apply water, not necessarily to submerge. In addition, it is possible to “come up out of the water” when you are only knee deep and not fully under water. We don’t even know if Jesus was submerged. In fact, in many places of the Jordan River it’s not even deep enough to go fully under water.
Also, some point to this section and those who confessed their sins and then were baptized by John. They then reason that all baptisms must follow this pattern–an adult, or a child of age, must first confess sins and then be baptized. This too is a misunderstanding.
This section is just a description of how these particular baptisms took place. Yet this is not a prescription, or rule, for how all baptisms ought to take place. There are numerous other portions of Scripture that point to the blessings of baptism–forgiveness, salvation, being clothed with Christ. Adults who confess their sins and are baptized receive those blessings. But, so do little children and infants who aren’t old enough to confess sin yet. The power in baptism is not in the person being baptized or the confession of faith. The power of baptism is in God’s Word and promise attached to baptism!
So today we give thanks for Jesus who did even this, fulfilling all righteousness for us and beginning his ministry which led to Jerusalem and the cross of salvation for us. We also thank him for his mighty power given through the gift of baptism.
Prayer: Mighty Father, you sent your Son and were well pleased with his righteousness and perfection. His suffering and death also brought you the greatest glory. We now ask that you use us to your good purposes that you might also be pleased with us and that our lives might bring you all glory, too. Amen.
Posted on January 11, 2012, in Church, Daily Devotions, Preschool and tagged Anointed One, Baptism, Christ, Church, Clothed with Christ, Daily Devotions, God's Son, Immersion, Infant Baptism, Jesus, John the Baptist, Mark, Mark 1, Matthew, Matthew 3, School. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.