MARK 1:1-20 (NIV – UK)
John the Baptist prepares the way
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,the Son of God,2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way’ [Malachi 3:1] – 3 ‘a voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”’ [Isaiah 40:3]
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptised by him in the River Jordan. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt round his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: ‘After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptise you withwater, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
The baptism and testing of Jesus
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.11 And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’
12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
Jesus announces the good news
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’
Jesus calls his first disciples
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
JOIN THE FAMILY
As Jesus came up out of the water the most beautiful truth about the life of God is displayed to us; The Father loves the Son by the Spirit (v.10-11). This is a snapshot of the eternal life of God – the Father has been forever loving the Son by the Spirit – this is the very identity of God – there is no other!
And wonderfully what is also revealed here is our invitation to share with Jesus his relationship with his Father. John 1:12 also speaks to this: ‘Yet to all who did receive him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God’. But that isn’t just a nice little extra – that is the very meaning of life! The meaning of life is to find our place in the life of God – to be joined with Jesus through faith and to hear the Father’s verdict over us: ‘You are my child, whom I love; with you I am well pleased’ (v. 11).
When we are united with Jesus, the Father looks at us and sees him – we become a child of God and enjoy all the love and joy that comes through such an intimate relationship – that is his invitation to us.
Question: How do you feel when you think of God as ‘Father’?