Posts Tagged ‘John the Baptist’

Mark 1:9-11 John Baptizes Jesus

The Holy Spirit descending as a dove.

The Holy Spirit descending as a dove.

Mark’s gospel goes at a breakneck speed and is pretty short on details. I thought about moving as quickly as he does but felt God say no. We are not going to rush through just because there are only a couple of verses in some sections. We are going to look just as deeply as if it we were reading a novel.

Today in our reading we join Jesus and John the Baptist on the shore, and in the middle, of the Jordan River. Here Jesus will fulfill the first requirement for the beginning of His public ministry. Read more »

Mark 1:1-8 The Forerunner

Prepare the way of the Lord

Prepare the way of the Lord

Today we start the book of Mark. For me, one of the hard things about journaling through the gospels is that they contain many of the same stories. I like having fresh material to write about so this becomes a challenge to me. I KNOW God has much more in each story than what is on the surface so I am challenged to “dig deeper” to find the new thing. Actually, I am not the finder of the “new thing”, He is! I have to trust that He will bring out just what I (or we) need in each retelling of the stories. Like one line in my ‘Story Time Poem’ “WOW! I never saw that before!” I look forward to hearing the familiar stories and finding that new perspective or missed piece. Read more »

Matthew 3:11-17 John baptizes Jesus


This is My beloved Son

John is clarifying his position and purpose. He is still talking to the Pharisees and Sadducees right now but his message is for everyone listening to him. He is saying he IS NOT the Christ, Savior, Messiah. He places Jesus SO much higher than himself. He is unworthy to even carry His sandals.

John’s role in God’s plan was to call the people to repentance and baptize those who heeded that call. Baptism was a symbol of the changed heart, as it is still supposed to be today. John was very comfortable with his role, but was waiting eagerly for Jesus to take everyone to the next step.

John knew who the Christ would be, as well as what His mission would be. John had seen from God that Jesus would baptize those who followed His message “with the Holy Spirit and Fire.” He knew Jesus’ would be the ultimate judge of all. He would expose any pretense and destroy anything or anyone that did not meet His standard. Read more »

Matthew 3:7-10 Pharisees and Sadducees Are Put in Their Place

Pharisees pointing

The Skeptics arive

John is still on his mission. The Pharisees and Sadducees came to check out what was going on. Were they there looking for a “crazy” man? Were they looking to discredit his teaching? Were they going to try and challenge his authority? John certainly didn’t believe they were there to receive his teaching and baptism.

He called them snakes! Another word for snake is serpent. Satin disguised himself as a serpent in the Garden of Eden. These serpents were disguising themselves as religious leaders. Both deceptive and deadly!

John confronted them directly and told them if they had any REAL intentions of changing to prove it to him first. So many people say “I’m sorry” with no intention of changing their behavior that was offensive in the first place. As they say, “The proof is in the putting.” Or, “Put your money where your mouth is.” Read more »

Matthew 3:1-6 A Voice Crying in the Wilderness


An outward sign of an inward change

Where did John get his education? Was everything he said imparted by the Holy Spirit? Did he spend time with Jesus while they were growing up? Did Jesus teach him as a child? We know that his mother was filled by the Holy Spirit before his birth when she bore witness for Mary of Jesus’ deity.  Was he filled at this time too? If he was, did that filling stay with him his whole life?

John was bold and totally sure of his calling. He never wavered in what he was to do. He didn’t back down or get intimidated by anyone. He was not shy about saying just what he thought. How did he get so bold? Did his parents, from the time he could understand, tell him of his mission in life? Did they really understand his mission themselves? How did his parents raise such a self-assured young man? Not self-assured but God inspired! Was he this way from the time he could talk or did he move into this assurance as he grew older? Read more »