Mark 1: 4-11
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way–a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight paths for him.’
And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the River Jordan. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a belt of leather around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the River Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven open being torn open and the Spirit depending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
The Spirit of God had spoken by the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before concerning John the messenger to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ. And John did come preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John did not point the people to himself but was making the way for Jesus of Nazareth. When Jesus did came, John baptized him in the River Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, the heaven opened, the Spirit came down on him like a dove and a voice came from heaven making it known without a doubt that Jesus is the Son of God, in whom God loves and is well pleased.
Father thank you for preparing the way for our lives to be completely changed by the forgiveness of our sins made possible by your Son. Thank you for his example of baptism for us to declare to others that we have accepted Jesus as Savior and received your Holy Spirit with power to live a righteous life in you by your word of hope. Fill us with your love for others that we may be your salt and light to bring them to you in Jesus’ name, amen.