Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel passage for this week is from Mark 1:4-11. Here we are introduced to both John the Baptist and to Jesus. The central activity is baptism. John is gathering disciples who repent at his preaching and receive the washing of baptism, a testimony of a clear conscience before God.
John’s confession, though, is that Jesus baptizes people with the Holy Spirit. This is a different type of baptism than that of John. The people can repent at John’s preaching. But when Jesus is revealed to them, the true and living Word of God, the people receive repentance. They Holy Spirit is cleansing them, using both God’s Word and the water which is applied to them. This is a different type of cleansing.
As Jesus receives baptism from John, he is testifying to his humanity. He is confessing that the preached Word of God is effective. And Jesus’ confession here is accompanied by a visible sign of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. It is also accompanied by the voice of God stating his pleasure in the Son. We see, then, that not only is Jesus a human like we are, but that he is also one of the members of the Trinity. Together, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit work to rescue you and me from sin. This is done through Jesus, the living Word, and the means he has appointed.
Do we trust, then, that we have enough faith to be saved? Not at all. We know that we don’t. But we trust that Jesus, the Savior of the Word, is the one in whom we have received baptism. We have the Holy Spirit. God lives in us. There is no room for doubt.
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