The Presentation Of God’s Servant
Baptized By John
Book of Mark Chapter 1:1-13
In last weeks lesson we saw David becoming the second king of Israel. This week we will begin a study into the Book of Mark.
We will study about the King of Kings!
Even David was a servant before he was king of Israel and The Lord Jesus Christ came to serve before He will sit as King!
So before we get started, just who is this Mark?
The early Christian Church said that this was John Mark:
Act 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, [he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark]; where many were gathered together praying.
This John Mark was a relative of the same Barnabas who helped Paul and then traveled with the Apostle Paul on his first missionary journey.
Col 4:10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, [sister’s son to Barnabas], (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
This the Mark that was led to the Lord and was discipled by the Apostle Peter:
1Pe 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; [and so doth Marcus my son].
This Mark traveled some with Barnabas and Paul.
It was this Mark, whose mother Mary, owned the upper room, the place of Jesus’ last supper.
But, Mark does not appear in the "Gospel" he wrote unless it was he that the Romans caught when Jesus was arrested:
Mar 14:51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:
Mar 14:52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
It seems that Mark wrote these words, guided by the Holy Spirit, around 58 AD and this would make it the first of the Gospels to be written.
The Gospel of Mark was first written in the Greek language because that was the common language spoken in the Roman Empire at that time.
So, Why do we need four Gospels?
It was God, through His Holy Spirit, that decided we needed four Gospels:
2Ti 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God", and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
God still prefers to speak to all of us through other human beings!
We will see that this is why Jesus chose His first disciples and all others that have followed through their work.
There can be "no more" Apostles than those Jesus chose and for that reason but everyone that accepts the Lord Jesus as Savior is a "Disciple"!
So with four Gospels we have four points of view of the same subject who is, Our Lord Jesus Christ!
We should also note that it was in these years of the Book of Mark, that the Han dynasty in China had been recently founded and Buddhism was introduced to China, so Satan was also busy.
As Christianity began to spread, Satan was spreading his false religions.
And Nero also began persecuting the Christians throughout the Roman Empire.
As we study the Book of Mark we will see that he focused on the actions of Jesus and not so much the person of Jesus.
The birth of Jesus is not even mentioned.
We will see that Mark also focuses on the emotional life of Jesus. Mark tells us about the compassion Jesus had for the lost, but also His sorrow and His sighing for Israel.
In Mark we will see how Jesus prepared the disciples for their future ministry.
Mark gives us the purpose that Jesus chooses all his disciples:
Mar 3:14 And he ordained twelve, [that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,]
The Book of Mark also tells us the shortcomings of disciples and the patience of Our Lord Jesus in dealing with them.
There was no doubt to Mark that Jesus was truly the Messiah, The Son of God and that is where he begins his Gospel:
*****Mar 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
That title "Jesus Christ" is used exactly 5 times in the Gospels. (5 the number for "Grace")
"Jesus" is the human side of Our Lord and "Christ" (the Messiah) is His office when He first came, and "Son of God" is His eternal nature.
That word "beginning" means that this sentence is the first and the Word of God that will follow.
That word "beginning" is up front, that on the acceptance of these words, then there will be no ending but a new beginning and life eternal!
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
On this day was the beginning of all life and Mark emphasizes that there is now a new beginning of a new life in Jesus Christ!
The "Gospel" comes from the Greek word "Evangelion" which means "good message" or "good news".
This is not just any "good news" but the "good news" of Jesus Christ.
To compare, Isaiah said this of "evangelizing":
Isa 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth "good tidings", that publisheth peace; that bringeth "good tidings of good", that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
This "good news" is not just about "victory" but "the victory that brings an end to the oppression of sin"!
Jesus Christ was a servant whose weapon is love and whose victory came through the cross!
Jesus Christ is the "only news" that is "good" for all guilty and all hopeless sinners!
This "good news" is cause for celebration!
*****Mar 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Mar 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
The first voice that we hear in Mark’s gospel will not be that of Christ Jesus.
In this first passage of Mark we see the final promise of God in the Old Testament and the fulfillment of that promise in the New Testament some 450 years later.
There should be no doubt that God intended for us to learn from His prophets.
God had a rule for all His prophets:
Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, "nor come to pass", that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
Not one prophet of God prophesied when they pleased, but only when they were moved by the Holy Ghost:
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: "but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost".
What is written by the prophets of God will be true prophecy!
Mark quotes from two of God’s prophets here in this verse:
First from Malachi:
Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
Then from Isaiah:
Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
In ancient times, before a king visited any part of his realm, a messenger was sent before him to prepare the way.
The roads had to be prepared for the arrival of the king but more important the people had to be prepared for the king!
Johns message would be that "The King Is Coming"!
What is "the way"?
In the Old Testament the emphasis was on the wilderness journey.
So John began as a voice in the wilderness to teach "the way" that God will be made known and this is through Christ Jesus.
John the Baptist did indeed, prepare and baptize all the men but Paul who later would become the Apostles of Jesus.
Act 1:21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Act 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
*****Mar 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
John the Baptist was born to be a priest!
His father was Zacharias of the line of Abia of the descendants of Ithamar and his mother Elizabeth from the long line of Aaron, the God appointed priests of Israel.
Luk 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
These were parents who were righteous "because they did things right" according to the Word of God!
It was in the wilderness that Israel became God’s chosen people.
It was in the wilderness where God tested His people.
It was through the wilderness that God had led His people back from Babylon.
And it is in "the wilderness" where God will accept a repenting people who will then be Baptized into the New Covenant.
This is "the promise" fulfilled as taught by Jeremiah:
Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
This is "the covenant" promised to the Gentiles:
1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
This is "the promised covenant to whosoever" will call on the name of Jesus:
Act 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, [that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus].
John was preparing "the way" to Jesus Christ because, "the only way" to Heaven is by Jesus Christ:
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus firmly tells us all that it is He that is "the way" in fact "the only way"!
That "Baptism of Repentance" is what Jesus brings with Him and can only come by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit!
Repentance signifies a change of the heart, a change of the mind, a change of attitude, and a change of direction along with remorse for all past actions!
In other words we must return to God for a New Beginning!
Jesus said we must be "born again".
As John reached out to Israel, he stood at the River Jordan.
This was a sign that Israel needed to recross Jordan to get to the true promised land.
That promised land could only be provided by Jesus who would come after John.
*****Mar 1:5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
There is no doubt that we can see the success of John’s ministry because "the people came to him"!
John explained to all that came that sin was like dirt.
Sin is a filth that must be removed!
First, Sin had to be acknowledged!
Next, Sin had to be confessed!
John’s message was not that the water could wash those that were baptized, "clean" but it was only in the Jesus, who would follow, that would bring "the means to clean them" of all sin!
The confession of sins must relate to the act of being baptized not by water but only by the Holy Spirit!
If there is no remission of sin then there can be no pardon for sin!
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
That debt cannot be erased it must be cleansed!
*****Mar 1:6 And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
Is, John the Elijah who is to come?
Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Elijah was the troubler of Israel:
1Ki 18:17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, ‘"Art thou he that troubleth Israel"?
Elijah denounced the corruption of the kings of Israel and pronounced the worship of the Lord.
Elijah also wore a leather belt and was a hairy man:
2Ki 1:8 And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.
Elijah also went east of the Jordan River and ate of nature as he ate what the ravens brought him.
The Bible does say that Elijah would return:
Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Will God still send Elijah?
Most believers think yes.
Elijah had appeared to Israel unexpected and certainly was uninvited in a time of corruption in the government of Israel.
I also believe that Elijah will be one of the two witnesses God sends during the Tribulation period also certainly uninvited and certainly a time of corruption:
Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto "my two witnesses", and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
And Jesus said these words:
Mat 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, [Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things].
Mat 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
In the time of John the Baptist, the governments of the world were indeed corrupt, including that of Israel but John proclaimed that "The One" who followed him would be much greater than all that came before him!
John came in fulfillment of prophecy!
John came also of a miraculous birth!
John dressed as Elijah because he practiced what he preached!
John’s sermons had an immediate impact on all of Israel and even on the secular government as they also took notice of John.
John focused on those that were great and on all those that were poor, and all those that were in between, but Johns message was never about himself!
A new day had come and John’s message spread throughout all of Israel!
Mat 3:5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, "and all the region round about Jordan",
But John had a message greater than that of repentance and we have that same message today!
John preached about the coming of the "Son of God"!
And, the people trembled at the preaching of John.
Even the King (Herod) was afraid of John.
John had said that the Jewish religious leaders were nothing more than "a generation of vipers".
John was mighty in his deeds and his words but John knew that he was nothing, so John preached Jesus.
Every pastor or preacher any where in the world is wrong "when they do not preach Jesus".
Every prayer will go unanswered unless that prayer "ends in the name of Jesus".
If that hurts some ones feelings then so be it, we must pray in the name of Jesus for God to hear us!
Joh 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
It is Jesus that provides the means of all our salvation, "whosoever we are"!
John was a mere man!
John was a voice crying out in the wilderness!
But Christ Jesus is the Word of God!
Heb 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
John was a mighty preacher and his sermon was this.
*****Mar 1:7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
Mar 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
We see that John the Baptist from the beginning was preaching Christ and John was also filled with the Holy Spirit "while still in his mothers womb".
Thank God there were no abortion considered by Elizabeth after all she was much past the years of a normal birth!
BUT, John was very careful to exalt Jesus Christ and not his own self!
"Mightier" means Jesus would have more authority than any man!
Not only was Jesus promised but John also preached the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Only God can give of His Spirit so John was preaching the coming of the Messiah, "God in the flesh".
Christ Jesus would have the "Power of God". (John only had physical power)
Christ Jesus would preach words that were spirit and life. (John could only preach of His coming)
Christ Jesus would do miracles. (John did no miracles)
Christ Jesus would have an everlasting ministry. (even John’s disciples had to be converted)
Christ Jesus died to begin His never ending ministry. (John’s ministry died when he died)
Christ Jesus had power over the human heart. (John could only bring the fear of God)
Mere man can do none of these things that Jesus did!
Not one person on this Earth and not one angel in Heaven "is worthy enough" to unloose the latchet of His shoes!
In the Bible times "not even a slave" was not asked to remove the shoes of some one else.!
John was saying that he was no more that any slave in Israel.
The baptising work of the Holy Spirit can only be defined as the work whereby the Spirit places each believer into a union with Christ Jesus and "also" into a union with all other believers which then become the ‘Body Of Christ"!
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
This baptism began on the day of Pentecost and is unique to the Church Age!
Listen to what Jesus said:
Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; "but" ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Jesus said these words a few days before Pentecost.
Listen to what happens:
Act 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, "as on us at the beginning".
Act 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water;"but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost".
This is the message of John the Baptist.
This is the action of that Messiah, that Mighty One, that John was speaking of.
This is the message of salvation:
Eph 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
And then He came:
*****Mar 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
It would have taken Jesus 10 days to travel from Nazareth on foot to where John was.
He could have easily said at any time that we were just not worth all He was going to endure for the next 3 and 1/2 years!
Jesus had had 30 years to come to this decision!
To Israel, Nazareth was a place of contempt and nothing good could come out of Nazareth "But" all of a sudden Christ Jesus had come from Nazareth to begin His Ministry.
That phrase "in those days" gives us a time line, that the baptism of Jesus came about in the days of John the Baptist and his preaching at the River Jordan.
Time does what time does, it comes and it passes. One era was ending and "a new era" was about to begin for Israel and for all mankind!
The rejection of Christ by Israel, and the beginning of Church Age for "whosoever would come" to follow!
Not since the days of Adam had a perfect man walked on this earth and Adam had not stayed perfect.
The Apostle Paul said it like this:
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that "we" might receive the adoption of sons.
The early years of Jesus were mostly quiet years but the Apostle John had these words to say:
Joh 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
And then Jesus was baptized!
This was the exact reason Jesus had journeyed for 10 days, so He could be baptized and not just to be baptized but to be baptized by John!
Mat 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, "to be baptized of him".
Jesus then waited until John had baptized everyone else that came that day!
Luk 3:21 Now "when all the people were baptized", it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
This day may have even been the 30th birthday of Jesus.
Luk 3:23 "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age", being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
Christ Jesus was not just one of the crowd that day, "BUT" He had not come for repentance because He had nothing to repent of!
*****Mar 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
Mar 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
John baptized with a full immersion as this verse shows but this baptism had nothing to do with sin because we know Jesus had no sin.
Jesus was baptized to fulfill all the requirements of the law!
Jesus was baptized so John could fulfill his own ministry!
Jesus was baptized to give us an example of how we should publicly acknowledge our own separation from sin and to be consecrated to His service!
Isaiah wrote these words:
Isa 64:1 Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,
Our verse describes what John saw:
John saw the heavens opened!
John saw the Holy Spirit, "like" a dove descending upon Christ Jesus.
Luk 3:22 says: And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape "like" a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
Matt 3:16 says: And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending "like" a dove, and lighting upon him:
John 1:32 says: Joh 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven "like" a dove, and it abode upon him.
Did John see a dove?
We can be sure that what is represented here is that the Holy Spirit descended out of Heaven onto Christ Jesus.
What are the characteristics of a dove?
The dove is an emblem of "Peace"!
After God’s wrath Noah sent forth the dove three times:
1.) The dove was sent and found no place to rest the souls of her feet.
This dove came back to the "Comforter’s hands.
2.) The dove was sent forth again and brought back an olive branch.
Indicating a restored earth.
3.) The dove is sent forth a third time and no longer needed the shelter of the ark.
Indicating the return of the Holy Spirit to the earth.
a.) The dove, Represents the return of our souls to the promised rest by the Holy Spirit.
b.) The dove, Points us in the direction of Christ Jesus.
c.) The dove, Is the earnest of our inheritance until Jesus returns to take us to the New Heaven and the New Earth.
Here again there will be no need for the ark/church to separate us from Our Father who is in Heaven.
And Our Father says as John heard His voice from Heaven:
"Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"
When God the Father spoke, and the Holy Spirit descended onto Christ Jesus we have the entire Tri-Une God.
While there is only one God, there are three eternally distinct and equal persons in the godhead. Each is distinct from each other, yet all three are united as One.
But, This is the picture we should get just as Christ Jesus rose out of the River Jordan.
Baptism gives a perfect picture of the Death, the Burial, and the Resurrection, of the Lord Jesus Christ.
But the Trinity also represents our command to reach out to the lost of the dying world:
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost":
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
God was well pleased that His plan was moving forward on schedule and Jesus said:
Luk 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
*****Mar 1:12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
The Holy Spirit has decided that since we have met John the Baptist, and also The Lord Jesus Christ, along with all the godhead, then we also needed to meet Satan who still tries to hinder the Gospel even more in our day.
"Immediately" means as soon as Jesus was baptized BUT before His ministry began, the Holy Spirit that had just came to Him "as a dove" cast Jesus into the wilderness.
That word "driveth" is the Hebrew "ekballo" and it means "to cast out" or "to throw out" into the wilderness.
Baptism and wilderness are connected because to be separated, "baptized", means that our wilderness lies ahead of us all.
*****Mar 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
We should notice who is also in this part of the wilderness that man did not know:
Even back in Genesis 3 when the serpent is mentioned, it is recognized that Satan was that serpent.
The Book of Job specifically mentions Satan.
The Book of Chronicles states that Satan led David to make a census.
In Zachariah, it is Satan that accuses the nation of Israel before God.
Ezekiel and Isaiah refer to Satan even if they don’t mention the name Satan.
In the New Testament every writer makes a reference to Satan.
Jesus Christ Himself, mentions Satan 25 times.
We should not be deceived as Satan would have it, he does exist and just as Our Lord describes him!
2) The wild beast, came not to cause harm but to show respect to the Creator. It was Jesus with the wild beast and "NOT" Satan with the wild beast. It was not Satan that made these beast wild!
3.) The Angels, of which it is written:
Psa 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
Psa 91:12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Mark does not go into the details but "temptation" means "to be tempted to do evil"!
Satan is mentioned as the source of all opposition to the "Gospel" then and now in our day.
2Ti 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
It is Satan who is, out of sight, and behind the scenes of every evil in this world!
It is the angels who are behind the scenes watching over God’s people!
And it is the Holy Spirit that holds back the evil in this world!
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, "until he be taken out of the way".
That number 40 is a symbol for testing.
Israel was tested for 40 years in the wilderness but Israel failed.
If Jesus survives His temptation, He can then begin His Ministry!
Christ Jesus will be tested for 40 days in the wilderness but Our Lord cannot ever fail!