The Baptism of the King
Good morning, turn with me in your bibles this morning to the gospel of Mark. We began last week our study of the Gospel of Mark, and we learned that the word Amazed is the central theme of this book, the word or some variation of it is found many times throughout the book. When we look at what Mark contains what we notice about the man writing is that Mark was a man starstruck by the awesome power and majesty of Jesus Christ the King. I think that as we move forward through history people are becoming more and more complacent in their view of God. If you were to describe the way most Christians in our world today view Jesus Christ who is thier Savior Amazed would not be the word i think we would use to describe them. Perhaps we have lost the wonder of the gospel, perhaps we have grown to comfortable hearing these stories because we have heard them all before. But when we take an honest look at our world, the world and even the church is just not amazed by Jesus anymore.
When you view the landscape you see church members who fall away from the faith so easily, it almost seems as though they are looking for an excuse, you see people who have fixed their eyes on certain leaders but when they are gone or the movement is over, there is nothing much left but the shell of a once vibrant faith, and we wonder what in the world is happening. For too long we have focused on everything except the glories of Jesus. The church today in America is much like the multitude in desiring to have the miracles, and blessings of Jesus while having not much care as to who He really is. In you will see that multitudes followed after Him wanting to see the miracels wanting to be a part of the excitement, and yet as Jesus spoke and taught them hard truths, he looks up and the multitude is gone because by in large we struggle with hearing the word of god if it is not wrapped in a message of what benefits us to follow Jesus.
Amrk does not care about what he recieved as he walks with Jesus for his 3 1/2 year ministry, but stands amazed because he realizes that the creator of the universe has stepped out of eternity and into humanity in order to save mankind from thier sin. Shouldn’t that leave us breathless? shouldn’t the thought of that cause us to be so overwhelmed with emotion that we cannot control ourselves? That perfection put on imperfection, to come and save us redeem us, and have a relationship with us..... that alone should be enough to serve him.
This morning we come to another event that happened in the life of Jesus and on the surface it seem pretty cool, but to understand it in totality is something to behold. this is perhaps one of the most important events to see the significance of. Let’s read:
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 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. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
In the first verse you will remember that mark says this book as “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Then from 2-8 he describes the ministry of JTB who was the forerunner and announcer of the Son of God. Now finally in (9) he begins the actual history of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. He starts this history not with Jesus bloodline or ancestry, not with angelic praise, there were shepherds no wise men in Mark. He says nothing about Joseph or Mary nothing about Jesus’ childhood nothing about his youth, nothing about his adulthood, and as I pointed out last time there are no OT prophecies in the opening of Mark accept for one which refers to JTB, but there are none that refer to Jesus Christ. Mark jumps into the history of Jesus at our Lords first public event.
His first public appearance is Baptism, according to our Lord is about 30 years of age at this time. So John skips over all the previous 30 years he begins the story with the public ministry of the Lord. By the time the Lord arrived for his baptism, JTB had been preaching for about 6 months. he had been moving up and down the Jordan valley from the North to the South baptizing all the people who were flooding in from Jerusalem to come to Him. He was preaching repentance and the confession of sin, for heart cleansing, and he was doing this as a symbol, but he says while his baptism was ok there was one coming who would bring with him a different kind of baptism, JOHN SAID IT IS GOOD FOR YOU TO REPENT AND COME AND BE BAPTIZED BY ME, BUT THERE IS ONE COMING WHO WILL WASH YOU CLEAN FROM THE INSIDE OUT.
John’s message was a message of Judgment, a message of wrath, fiery judgment and he warned the people that they had to escape that judgement and the only way to escape was to repent and confess their sins. So John was a fiery guy, he was calling people to prepare for the Messiah and to prepare to go into His kingdom and not be judged by Him. One summer day among the crowds that are pouring out to John, is Jesus. This is the only time in the NT where we see Jesus and John together. JTB has been preaching repentance for about 6 months, he is well known in the land of Israel. Everybody knows that his baptism is a baptism of repentance to escape judgement. When Jesus arrives John still has 6 more months to go.
It will be another 6 months that John will be preaching this same message, after the baptism of Jesus at the end of about a year, he is arrested by King Herod he is incarcerated for a period of a year, and then because of the evil within his wife. Herod has John the Baptist head chopped off. So this is the meeting of the two, and this meeting is huge!
The reason why this event is so monumentally important is because of what it is. it is the coronation, the crowing of the new King, remember that’s the goal is to show that Jesus Christ is the King!
The New King who is coming who will declare a new era for the world. Well this is His crowning ceremony. Let me try to paint a clear picture for you, this baptism business that JTB was doing, was extremely odd. Remember there were only Jews in this region with ceremonial washings but it was only thier hands that they washed and maybe even thier feet but there were no ceremonial rituals of immersion into water. That is why they call him the baptizer because that will make him unique, because nobody did this. So he is doing something very different and unique, but for John to baptize Jesus WAS STRANGE.
It was even offensive, it was even embarrassing to believers, even after the NT was written people were confused as to why Jesus the Son of God would need to be dunked under water by a mere man. After all this was a baptism of REPENTANCE well repenting is what you do after you have sinned, but we know that Jesus never sinned not even one time, so why would Jesus need to be baptized?
This was embarrassing to the early believers to think of the fact that Jesus might need to repent, that Jesus might have to confess some sins, that Jesus might somehow need to get his life right, so He didnt fall under divine judgement?
This story was so strange and so bizarre that we are left scratching our heads. Whats the big deal here Jesus ?
This is hard to understand, not just for us, not just for early Christians, not just for scholars to understand it was hard for JTB to understand.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
JTB didn’t want to do this, it didnt make sense to him.
Now did John know who Jesus was? Of course he did they were cousins, we don’t know if they ever hung out as teenagers or children, the Bible doesnt tell us. But Elizabeth, the mother of JTB, and Mary the mother of Jesus were related. You remember they both met, and they were both miraculously pregnant. JTB was born first and then JEsus later, and they both knew the importance of the other ones pregnancy and birth.
The Bible even tells us that as soon as the Holy spirit had hovered over Mary and she became pregnant that MAry went to see her sister and as Mary entered having Jesus in her womb that JTB lept within the stomach of Elizabeth, so I am sure that they had to have gotten together at some point as they were growing up. I mean Elizabeth would have known that Mary’s baby was going to be the Holy child.
Can yo imagine how those conversations went? I mean you talk about somebody who could make you feel like you were failing at parenting think about the conversations Mary and Elizabeth probably had?
“So hey Elizabeth hows your kid?”
Elizabeth says: “He is stinking wierd, he actually lives away from us even though he is still just a young boy, he moved out into the desert, he came home to visit and all he will eat is bus and honey and he dresses like a caveman wearing camel hair, he is strange...
Elizabeth says how is yours?
Mary says...... PERFECT, never does anything wrong and he actually teaches us the Bible and he is only 7!!!
So Jesus comes out to the Jordan to his relative and to the greatest prophet to ever live, and he comes desiring to be baptized but JTB doesnt wanna do itbecause he knows Jesus has nothing to repent of.
John lived his whole life out in the desert, and Jesus lived his whole life in Nazareth. Jesus shows up to be baptized. Jesus wasn’t just walking around and saw baptisms going on and said hey, yeah i need to be baptized… no HE CAME FOR THAT PURPOSE!
Why would Jesus want to be baptized?
John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
What John is saying is this: “I am a sinner, I NEED TO BE BAPTIZED BY YOU!
He says I have been preaching that YOU WERE GOING TO COME AND CHANGE US FROM THE INSIDE OUT YOU DONT NEED TO GO THROUGH THIS HUMILIATING RITUAL WE DO!
Now this reaction to Jesus is totally opposite of the way he treated the religious Pharisees and Saducees
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
He says EVEN THOUGH YOURE RELIGIOUS, EVEN THOUGH YOU THINK YOU HAVE IT ALL DOWN PAT, YOU NEED TO REPENT AND IT NEEDS TO BE TRUE REPENTENCE WHICH BEARS FRUIT!
90% of what we call repentance today is nothing more than people coming and saying I am sorry to God. Did you know that? People here a convicting sermon and they come and they tell God thier sorry and they ask God for help but they do not take action. This is something I came to understand early in my Christian life. Repentance without a change of direction and action, is not TRUE REPENTANCE.
YES GOD IS THE ONE WHO CHANGES US FROM THE INSIDE OUT, YES HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN GIVE YOU STRENGTH TO OVERCOME THE TEMPTATIONS AND THE TRIALS THAT PLAGUE YOUR LIFE. BUT REPENTANCE IS A CHANGE OF DIRECTION!
IT IS TAKING WHATEVER STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO REMOVE A THING FROM YOUR LIFE AND TRUSTING GOD FOR THE STRENGTH TO DO IT!
GOD’S NOT INTERESTED IN US JUST BEING SORRY FOR OUR SIN!!! HE WANTS US TO EXERCIZE FAITH BY TURNING AWAY FROM IT!
So when Jesus comes on the scene JTB is like uhuh i aint baptizing you! You need to baptize me, but when these religious pharisees show up he calls them snakes and he tells them they need true repentance!
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
As Jesus is walking up to John, John proclaims this and can you imagine how he must have felt when Jesus came to be baptized in a baptism of repentance?
“I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”
I came baptizing, I knew who he was but i didn’t know what he looked like. This is an indication that Jesus and John hadnt seen each other for a very long time.
John is saying JESUS YOU NEED NO REPENTANCE , THIS IS A BAPTISM FOR SINNERS YOUR NOT IN THAT CATEGORY!!
Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are all through His life and yet He remained without sin!
HE DOESNT NEED REPENTANCE?
So why would Jesus going to be baptized?
But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him.
He is saying STOP JOHN YIELD TO ME, LET IT BE SO FOR NOW!
It is unusual but it is neccesarry!
this is a special time! Stop hindering me!
IT IS NECCESARRY TO FUFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS?
What does that mean?
To do absolutely EVERYTHING THAT GOD REQUIRED!
John had been given this ministry from God the Father, it was His will for humans to be baptized and Jesus says if this is what my father commands then I as a man must do what God commands. Regardless of the fact that I am holy, I must be obedient!
If God the Father said this si to be done, then that is what I will do!
That is the obedience of Jesus Christ! It was symbolized in this baptism which is a symbol of death and new life. He is painting a picture of the all our devotion to be obedient to His Father! This is exactly what He will have to do 3 1/2 years later when he stoops in the Garden of Gethsemane and sweats great drops of blood as He is about to be mocked and spit upon and nailed on to a cross to bear the wieght of your sin and mine!
But what does He pray in that garden? NOT MY WILL BUT THINE BE DONE.
On that day when Christ is arrested God the Father treated His own son as though He had lived your life and He punished Him as if your sin was His sin!
But now as a believer and follower of Jesus the bible says
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
He was PERFECTLY OBEDIENT AND RIGHTEOUS SO THAT HE COULD TAKE YOUR SINS OFF OF YOU AND LAY THEM ON HIMSELF, and then take that righteousness of of Christ and put it all over you. So that now all God the Father can see when He looks upon those who have TRULY repented and turned away from their sin and placed their hope in Jesus is perfect and pure blamelessness!
It is truly amazing to believe that God looks down on me blameless! it is hard to fathom, I mean there are alot of things people call me but blameless is not one of them! BLAMELESS!!?
It is here that we find the mystery of the Gospel, where God the father chooses to see Jesus’ righteousness imputed into our account, think about it this way.
Have you ever had bills coming due but didn’t have enough to pay the bill?
I called the finance manager and gave her my plan to pay back the debt we spoke multiple times, until finally she put a note on my account, which held back the repot man from coming to get my car! It gave me enough time to pay back the amount!
I was doing everything I could to pay it back I didn’t want to lose my car and have my car taken and my credit ruined, (Randy)
HE PAID A DEBT HE DID NOT OWE, BECAUSE WE OWED A DEBT WE COULD NOT PAY!
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord!
So before Christ you sinned and if God had come calling for your life, you would have been found with no money in the account!!!
BANKRUPT BEFORE HIM, THERE IS NO NEGOTIATION THAT CAN TAKE PLACE APART FROM JESUS CHRIST WE OWE AN AMOUNT WE COULD NOT REPAY IN 10,000 LIFETIMES BECAUSE OF THE SIN THAT DWELLS WITHIN US!
Jesus did everything god said to do, He was perfectly righteous in EVERY way, and it is that perfectly righteous life that has been credited to your account as if you lived it when you recive Jesus.
So quickly let’s see 3 basic point that tells deep Spiritual truth.
The Reason Jesus came to be baptized
The Reason Jesus came to be baptized
We covered this alot in the first part of this message, but just to reiterate it: JESUS CAME TO BE BAPTIZED!
This was a specific trip, with a specific purpose, He came in order to fulfill all righteousness, he came to identify with sinners, he came to obey His fathers will!
That was His purpose but the other purpose was so that god the Father could crown Him the Lord of all!
Jesus Christ was coming to fulfill prophecy and all those who knew the word of God would have seen this and knew that this was the promised Messiah.
Think about what JTB said :
I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.”
THAT HE MIGHT BE REVEALED!
I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
So God had told JTB in advance you will know who the Messiah is when the Holy Spirit descends as a dove!
After the rage of the flood in the OT what did Noah send out to see if it was safe to exit the ark?
Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.
God’s wrath was intense and it was on display during the flood as those who mocked God were swept away in the flood which ravaged the Earth,now Noah sends out a dove and the DOVE FOUND NO PLACE OF REST!
Meaning if he and his family had gotten out of the ship then they would have perished. There was no place of rest, no safe haven to be had at that point so Noah waited,
He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.
The dove came back with an olive branch in her mouth and Noah knew that the flood had subsided!
THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE
God’s wrath was on display in the flood but His grace was on display in the dove, when that dove came back to rest upon the hand of Noah with an OLIVE BRANCH (symbol of peace and Reconciliation)
The Revelation of the King
The Revelation of the King
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.
This picture was a picture from god that it was through Jesus that peace with God would come. That through a relationship with Christ we could be reconciled unto God and have an actual relationship with Him!
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we have peace and reconciliation with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son!
Christian if your in this room this morning, you don’t have to walk around defeated and worried that God is somehow angry with you, all of His anger fell upon Jesus fell upon Jesus at the cross, but now that we have a right relationship with Him we are to take seriously what He has called us to!
HE GAVE US THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION!
YOU ARE AGENTS OF REDEMPTION!
GOD DESIRES TO USE YOU TOMORROW AT SCHOOL AND AT WORK TO SHARE JESUS LOVE AND THE GOSPEL OF HOPE!!!
But I am convinced that the reason we don’t take these things as seriously as we ought to is because we don’t have a daily reminder of what i cost Jesus to rescue us.
A man was out with his wife and they got caught in a terrible hailstorm. This was a massive hailstorm. The hail was as large as baseballs. They were caught under the pounding of the hard balls of ice crashing down on top of them. The man realized that if he didn’t do something, his wife would be severely hurt. As fast as he could he draped himself over his wife, covering her with his won body so that instead of the storm hitting his wife, it hit him.
The hailstones seemed to get bigger as the man slumped over his wife, protecting her. The large balls came down harder and harder on the man. They hurt him badly, after a couple minutes, his ears started bleeding along with some spots on his head. The man tried to lead his wife to saftey, but the stones were coming out faster and harder. The pounding stones took thier toll. Weakened by the onslaught, the man finally collapsed over his wife, only to shield her from the danger.
After the storm was over, the man was left with scars from where the balls of ice had battered away at him, he was severely disfigured. The remnants of sores, cuts, and abrasions would forever be a reminder to him of the day he saved his wife.
This is a true story, on the local newscast the man’s wife was asked how she felt about thier experience. She said: “Every time I look at that scar, on his head, on his neck, and on his ear, I love him more, because he sacrificed himself for me. When you and I get to Heaven Jesus will be the only person in eternity with scars. He will have holes in His hands, holes in His feet, and a hole in His side. He will be your eternal reminder that the only reason your there is because he stood in perfect obedience between the wrath of God and judgement headed your way.
he covered you with his love and allowed none of the hail to damage you. He was disfigured for you. This is the love of Christ.
It was this love that sent him to the cross, but it was this love that sent Him to be baptized, to fulfill perfect righteousness.
Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
I want you to know that it is because of the obedience of Jesus and His righteousness being deposited into your bank account, that now as you sit in your seat this morning that God looks upon you and says:
This is my beloved son/daughter in you I am well pleased.
Two questions that I will leave for you to answer for yourself:
Do you still appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus?
Are you sacrificing yourself for him because you love him?