Tag: commrntary notes

The Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11)

The Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11)

Mark 1:9-11 (GWT)

John Baptizes Jesus

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came out of the water, he saw heaven split open and the Spirit coming down to him as a dove. 11 A voice from heaven said, “You are my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with you.”

Mark 1:9-11 (NKJV)

John Baptizes Jesus

It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up [a]from the water, He saw the heavens [b]parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.


  1. Mark 1:10NU out of
  2. Mark 1:10torn open


Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan: Jesus was not baptized because He needed cleansing from sin; He was sinless, as John himself understood (Matthew 3:14). Instead, Jesus was baptized in keeping with His entire mission on earth: to do the will of the Father and to identify with sinful man.

It is important for us to remember that Jesus was NOT required to do either of these things. He did not need to be baptized (but was as a model of obedience for us), neither did he have to die on the cross. HE CHOSE THE CROSS because it was the good pleasure of the entire Godhead to redeem a people unto themselves and the cross was the price of that redemption. Only God Himself could satisfiy the blood price of redemption because it had to be sinless and so the Divine Son was incarnated to live a sinless lite and overcome the curse so that He could presnt a redeemed people to God the Father.

This next section poses no small problem for the modalist/oneness believer. The entire Trinity is simultaneously present at the baptism of Jesus


You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased:

When this voice of God the Father spoke from heaven, everyone knew that Jesus was not just another man being baptized. They knew Jesus was the perfect (in whom I am well pleased) Son of God, identifying with sinful man.

Many claim that Jesus never claimed to be God. Aside from the fact that this is patently untrue, even if He had not declared His deity, God the Father declared the deity of the Son. In calling Him “my son” God the Father identified the Son as also being God.

In Psalm 2 (An incredibly Messianic Psalm) YHWH speaks to the Lord and says, “Thou art my Son. Today I have begotten thee.” Furthermore the Father, speaking to the Son, says “Thy Throne, O God, is forever. (Psalm 45:6, Hebrews 1:8)

This strange scene displayed a humble beginning:

  • Jesus: A common, unremarkable name.
  • From Nazareth: An unremarkable, despised village.
  • Of Galilee: The unspiritual region, not the “Bible belt” of the area at that time.
  • Was baptized: Identified with sinful man.
  • In the Jordan: An unremarkable – often even unpleasant – river. “Early rabbinic tradition explicitly disqualifies the River Jordan for purification, [according to] The Mishnah, ParahVIII. 10.” (Lane)


The scene also puts the glory of Heaven on display.

The heavens parting: Heaven opened wide for this. The ancient Greek for this phrase is strong. It has the idea that sky was torn in two, “being rent asunder, a sudden event.” (Bruce) Think about this for a minute…God Himself parts the Heavens  to view the baptism of the Son. No doubt the entire Host was watching as well.

The Spirit descending: The Spirit of God was present, and in some way His presence was discernable. Like a doveLuke 3:22 puts it like this: And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him. In some way the Spirit was present and “flew down” on Jesus like a dove. Think back to Genesis 1: The Spriti of God was moving over the surface of the deep; the Hebrew actually says was brooding, like a mother bird gathering chicks under her wings.

We gloss over this frequently, but think about if for a second…God Himself manifests His presence at the baptism of the Son. The entire Godhead is present at the Baptism. Talk about a showstopper!

A voice came from heaven: It’s rare in the Bible when we read that God speaks audibly from heaven, but this is one of those glorious occasions. At the Transfiguration, God’s voice from heaven sounds like thunder but we have no such indication in this passage. It is possible that only Jesus knew what was being said but I rather doubt that. We can, logically, deduce that all present heard the voice and knew what was being said.

You are My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased:

I want you to think about a passage that we don’t usually associate with the baptism of Jesus but that is apropos nonetheless. Consider John 1:1-3. The connotation here is one of intimate fellowship. Consider also, John 1:18 where the Son was in the bosom of the Father. Intimate fellowship, face to face communication.

An error to correct:

Many use this passage to suggest that baptism is the symbol of the New Covenant. They are incorrect. The sign of the New Covenant is in John 14:17, the Indwelling Holy Spirit. See also 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


I will share a separate lesson on the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit at a later time.