Class Notes: 3/20/2013

Mark 1:9-11 in our verse by verse study; Jesus' ritual baptism indicates his positive volition to God's plan for his life

In our verse-by-verse study of Mark last time we stopped in Mark 1:9-11; where Jesus was being invested into the office of Messiah by baptism.

We saw that an appointment to the Levitical priesthood required that candidates be between the ages of 30 and 50. In Israel a Levitical priest did not enter into service until he was at least 30 years old.

However, Jesus was not in the tribe of Levi but the tribe of Judah and therefore unqualified to function as a Levitical priest under the Mosaic Law.

Jesus is prophesied by David in Psa 110:4; that is confirmed by the writer of Hebrews in Heb 5:6-10; to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek, a commission that would not become functional until after His resurrection. Heb 7:23-28;

The baptism of our Lord therefore was not a commissioning into priesthood but rather into the higher office of Messiah where He would execute the Father's plan of salvation.

This means that our Lord spent 30 years learning doctrine and developing spiritual skills before he began executing production skills. His official Messianic commission was recognized by ritual baptism in the Jordan River by John the baptizer.

A commission is defined in Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary as " An authorization or command to act in a prescribed manner or to perform prescribed acts; the authority to act for, in behalf of, or in place of another; a task entrusted to one as the agent of another.

The baptism of Jesus was not only His entrance into public ministry it was also prophetic of its Messianic mission because it portrayed His death, burial, and resurrection.

Jesus Christ had entered into a contract with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit to resolve the fall of man by offering a way of salvation compatible with the essence of God in eternity past.

God the Father submitted a plan that required one member of the Trinity to offer Himself as a substitutionary sacrifice for all of mankind. This Person would qualify as a Mediator by His willingness to take a true human nature upon His undiminished deity.

While in the unglorified humanity of the hypostatic union, this Person would use the prototype spiritual life to remain impeccable all the way to the moment of sacrifice on the cross under the principle of "pose non pecarre"

After qualifying by means of impeccability to be the substitutionary sacrifice, this Person would voluntarily agree to accept the judicial transfer of all the sins of all people to His true humanity.

Further, this Person would then voluntarily agree to allow divine justice to judge these sins in Him. This would result in forensic spiritual death, that would result in loss of fellowship with God the Father during the judgment.

This would be the real execution of what was portrayed by the animals in the ritual of the Patriarchal and Levitical sacrifices. The Messiah would be the once and for all real sacrifice that completely and permanently fulfilled all of the previous ritual animal sacrifices.

John the baptizer recognized this in John 1:29; The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."

Once the Messianic mission was completed, then the true humanity of the substitute would experience physical death but would be restored to life by means of resurrection after three days and three nights in the tomb.

The successful completion of this commission would result in the propitiation of God the Father and be validated by the resurrection.

In eternity past Jesus Christ volunteered to execute the Father's plan and the Holy Spirit agreed to sustain the unglorified true humanity of the Lord during the Incarnation. The commissioning of Jesus into this plan was demonstrated by the baptism performed by John the baptizer.

Mark 1:9; In those days that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and He was baptized by John in the Jordan. "was baptized," is an aorist passive participle, "when he had received baptism (immersion)."

Immersion was a picture of Jesus' submission to the Father's plan for the Incarnation which would culminate with Him being identified with the sins of the world.
Immersion was a picture of His resurrection and completion of the Father's plan of salvation.

Immersion shows that Jesus Christ would die for our sins before He goes to heaven. The aorist passive participle has Him down in the water and the present active participle in verse 10 has Him coming up out of the water.

This is the order because the crown cannot come before the cross. Jesus has said by going down under the water He will go to the cross and by coming up out of the water He will receive the crown.

In Jewish ritual, baptism was a ceremonial purification. John's baptism was an advance on this idea because as we have seen John stressed repentance on the part of the one coming for baptism.

Repentance means a change of mind. John was the herald who was announcing the reality that Messiah had come. For those who submitted to John's baptism, immersion illustrated their willingness to follow Messiah into His kingdom.

This was proclaimed by the phrase "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" and was the invitation to enter into the spiritual life in association with Messiah during the dispensation of his unglorified humanity.

Their immersion was a recognition that Messiah would die for their sins and they would in turn be saved by faith alone in Him. Immersion illustrated the resurrection of the Messiah from the dead and they understood that they would also be resurrected because of their faith in Him alone. (Faith alone in Christ alone)

After being commissioned under the title of Messiah, our Lord was invested with the power of the office in Mark 1:10; And immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens being split open, and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove;

"The heavens opening, means that " the heavens split open at once; the present passive of the Greek word "schizomenous" that means to split or to rip or tear open.

This shows us that God is now breaking down the door and forcibly entering into the devil's world in order to deliver His people from their slavery to sin and death.

and He (Jesus Christ) saw it" no one else saw it. Jesus saw the Holy Spirit because Jesus is God; "like a dove" is a descriptive comparison. The Spirit descended like a dove in a bodily representation.

The coming of the Spirit on Jesus empowered Him for His messianic mission ( Acts 10:38;) and the task of baptizing others with the Spirit, as John the baptizer had predicted (Mark 1:8;).

v11 and Jesus heard a voice came out of the heavens: "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.

In the first phrase, "You are My Son", the words "You are" affirm Jesus' unique Sonship with the Father. The significance of these words is found in Psa 2:7;where God addressed the anointed King as His Son. At His baptism Jesus began His official role as God's Anointed One (Psa 89:26; Heb 1:5;

The second clause, whom I love, is literally, "the Beloved One" (ho agapetos in the Greek). This is either a title ("the Beloved") or a descriptive adjective ("beloved" Son). As a title it emphasizes the intensity of love between God the Father and the Son.

It can be understood in the Old Testament sense of an "only" Son (Gen 22:2,12,16; Jer 6:26; Amos 8:10; Zech. 12:10;), that is equivalent to the Greek adjective monogenes that means "only, or unique"; (John 1:14,18; Heb 11:17;).

The words "with You I am well pleased" point to the kind of kingly Son Jesus was to be in His earthly mission. The Greek verb "eudokesa" is in the past tense so it could be translated "I was well pleased".

This is a timeless statement that is rendered in the English language in the present tense to indicate that God is pleased with His Son at all times. God's pleasure in Him is eternal because it never had a beginning and will never end.

These words come from Isa 42:1; where God addressed His Servant whom He had chosen, the One in whom He delights, and on whom He had put His Spirit. Isa 42:1; begins the first of a series of four prophecies about the true Servant-

The true Servant would suffer greatly in fulfilling God's will. He would die as a "guilt offering" Isa. 53:10;, and He Himself would serve as the sacrificial Lamb (Isa 53:7-8; this is what John the baptizer had referenced in John 1:29-30;

At His baptism Jesus began His role as the Lord's suffering Servant. In our study of Mark we will see that Mark focuses on this character of Jesus' messianic mission (Mark 8:31; Mark 9:30-31; Mark 10:32-34, 45; Mark 15:33-39;).

Jesus' baptism did not change His Divine status. He did not become the Son of God at His baptism. His baptism showed the significance of His acceptance of His messianic mission as the suffering Servant of the Lord as well as the greater Son of David, Israel's Messiah.

Because He is the Son of God, the One approved by the Father and empowered by the Spirit, He is the Messiah. All three Persons of the Trinity are involved in His mission.

This amounts to an investiture, that is defined by Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, "To furnish with power and authority; to grant someone control or authority over; the act of establishing in office."

When the Holy Spirit descended upon our Lord it was the investiture of divine power for Him to execute the plan of God for His unglorified humanity in the incarnation.

This is not the initial indwelling of Christ by the Holy Spirit. The Lord was indwelt and filled by the Holy Spirit from His virgin birth. Here the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit for the Lord's public ministry is in view.

This power will enable Him to perform miracles, heal the sick, and fulfill certain prophecies that attest to His Messiahship.

The proclamation, "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased," is the Father's public recognition that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah.

The revelation by the Father that Jesus is His Son leads to the use of the term "Son of God" to identify Jesus as Israel's Messiah. Some of the other Messianic titles assigned to Jesus include, "Lord," "Son of Man," and "Son of David."

Mark 1:12-13; and immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness.

and at once the Greek word "euthys" "immediately" the Spirit sent Him farther out into the wilderness of the desert region. The word "sent" is from the Greek verb "ekballo" that means to "drive out, expel, or send away forcefully."

Mark uses this same word to describe the casting out of demons. In this case it reflects Mark's terse communication. The idea here is that there was a strong compulsion from the Spirit that led Jesus to go directly to where the evil spirits were instead of avoiding them.

The wilderness or desert the Greek word "eremos" (the same word used in Mark 1:4;) was a dry uninhabited place and was believed to be the haunt of evil powers. The location was northwest of the Dead Sea west of Jericho.

v13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.

Mark states the entire chapter of Matt 4; in one verse. So we will take a brief detour over to the parallel passage in Matthew for some more detail.

Matt 4:1; Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Matthew chapter four is one of the most important passages in the Word of God from the standpoint of Christology. The first ten verses are crucial to understanding not only the gospel but the ministry of Jesus Christ in the first advent.

We have seen the baptism of Jesus and the fact that Christ dedicated Himself through the baptism to go to the cross. This leads us to the account which we have in chapter four.

Whenever anyone makes any kind of a decision that is going to glorify God or is honoring to God, that decision is immediately tested. Jesus Christ had expressed positive volition through submission to baptism, the water represented the plan of God for the first advent.

Through the ritual of baptism He in effect said that He would go to the cross. In saying that, immediately He was challenged by Satan himself. Jesus Christ is willing to do the Father's will and Satan is now going to try to hinder the Father's will.

Before we study this it is important that we consider the major doctrines that relate to Jesus Christ in his unglorified humanity. The first one we will look at is the Holy Spirit's sustaining ministry for the unglorified humanity of Jesus Christ.

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