The sunshine greets the day incoming as the Son of God encroaches on the river. The river flows softly, gently, abundantly where the Israelites once crossed into the Promised Land. Where warriors drank water on the cusp of battle. It’s a historic landmark. The Jordan River. Waters of freedom. Waters of hope. Waters of destined liberation. Now these waters meet the designer of its origin. The Deliverer of its people. The Son of God, Jesus Christ.
In this week’s Bible study continuing in the gospel of Mark, we read about Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River and His following days led into the wilderness as He begins His ministry. The days of healing and preaching are beginning, and we are going to see this story of Jesus begin to accelerate in Mark’s gospel.
As we discussed last week, this book was written following the death and resurrection of Christ. This is a time in 1st century antiquity where many stories about Jesus are being spread and the disciples themselves are going forth to tell of Jesus’ divinity and salvation for the purpose of saving souls. Mark wants everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, to understand the true essence of the Messiah. He writes this narrative from his own observance and intimate knowledge of Jesus, His Lord, friend and God.
The Marks of Jesus we will talk about in today’s study.
Verse 9: Origin
Verse 10: Vision
Verse 11: Approval
Verse 12: Wilderness
Verse 13: Temptation
Verse 14: Preaching
Verse 15: Kingdom Time
A River’s Mark
I can see the Jordan River flowing freely… it’s over 2000 years later but it carries a mark now. The skin of the God who embroidered the riverbed into the grassy banks has touched it… When Jesus walked into the liquid wonder He created on the second day of creation. The river waters feel the holiness of God now. Hovering over the water as when God made the earth. The Spirit of life echoes in its substance the nature of Jesus, the living water… it’s still flowing… carrying the mark of the One who came close to it.
Come close to us, Jesus… and mark us with your love forever. That we may carry your heart forever.
Verse 9: The Mark of Origin
“It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.” Mark 1:9
God marks you with the genesis of His thumbprint.
At this point in the narrative, Jesus is beginning His ministry. This is an important moment in Jesus’ life and in John’s life considering John has given his own to proclaiming Jesus’ arrival as the Messiah. I love how Jesus honors John for doing so… marking him with a touch from God… affirmation and partnership in his baptism.
The King of the all eternity, the One who knew John before He was ever born, who sent John to baptize in His name and beckon souls to Him… now gives John a prestigious honor of getting to baptize Jesus personally.
If you remember from last week’s study, John deemed himself unworthy of being able to even untie Jesus’ sandal in verse 7.
John knew the high supremacy of Jesus. It was the very reason He had made his whole life’s purpose to proclaim this very Savior. But now… John is getting to meet this Savior and Jesus is different than he expected. Jesus is humble and personable. Welcoming and honoring of John in a way John never expected of a King. Kings are supposed to be higher than everyone else. But this King, Jesus, walks with the character of one who touches the people, being one of them and living among them.
Now John, who never expected to be given the honor of touching the King, now gets the highest honor of baptizing Him. Wow… what a precious reward given to John. To baptize someone it to assume the leadership role in facilitating one’s commitment to God. And now Jesus gives John this authority to do so for Him. I love the selflessness of Jesus. He empowers everyone around Him. Jesus is never afraid of His power or Kingship being rivaled. He doesn’t have to. He knows who He is. He knows where He came from. So He can freely lift up everyone around Him.
True leaders after God’s own heart lift others up and inspire them to greater success.
Verse 9 also highlights Jesus’ place of origin on the earth in where He lived as a child: Nazareth.
Jesus originates from a real place in his earthly existence as the Son of God, both human and divinely God.
Nazareth is where Jesus grew up with His family. We gain more insight into this place of origin in the gospel of Matthew. In chapter 2, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream telling him to take Jesus and Mary and flee to Egypt (Matthew 2:13). King Herod attempted to kill Jesus, the foreshadowed Messiah, through an ordinance to kill all babies under 2 years old at the time of His birth. Once Jesus grows older, another angel appears to Joseph in a dream telling him it is okay for their family to return. However, Joseph knows that Herod’s son is now in power in his place and likely in similar danger. Jesus’ family seeks to protect Him because Jesus cannot die yet, considering he is meant to die for the sons of Man on the cross. This is why Jesus is repeatedly in danger early on. The enemy knows how valuable Jesus’ life is and wants to keep him from accomplishing the world’s redemption. Therefore, an angel appears to Joseph in another dream telling him to leave Egypt and go to Galilee, which takes them to Nazareth (Matthew 2:22). Jesus’ existence in the earth brings opposition from the ones opposed to the Kingdom of God. But to the ones who want the Savior… Jesus will always be the one they love and desire.
Jesus’ birth is a gift to all who want eternal relationship with God forever.
Where you come from means something to God.
Even more crucial is where you are headed.
Jesus connects the dots of origin and destiny by embracing both in His humanity.
Jesus arrives in the world, born in a real town and a real place, given an origin of inception like you and me. He carries the destiny of eternal life in His body which will die on the cross for all mankind and be raised to life for all of mankind.
The origin of Christ on earth begins in the womb of His mother Mary. But the origin of Christ in the universe has no such time or place. The Bible tells us that God has existed from eternity to eternity. Therefore, He has no age and has no timeline of existence. He is an eternal being.
“Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58
If Christ existed before He entered the world, then He has always been the redeemer of the world. His sacrifice for all of humankind was planned from the beginning. It’s His role as one person of the Trinity to be the Lamb slain for the people of God.
Revelation 13:8 refers to Jesus as the “the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.” This scripture is very revealing. It literally says Jesus was slaughtered before God created the world and everything the world encompasses (you, me, the fall, sin). This sacrifice was executed beforehand. God exists outside of time and Jesus’ role of Savior has been His mark of identity from before time began and long after into eternity.
“And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was… Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:5,24
Jesus died and rose eternally, to give you an eternal origin and destiny also.
Your origin arises from the eternal God, the timeless King, destined to be eternal with Him forever. You were made to exist forever.
to the other side
is in Your eyes
bought by Your love
Verse 10: The Mark of Vision
“And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.”
You see Heaven when the Holy Spirit falls on you.
You encounter Heaven. Experience Heaven. As God gives you glimpses of Him from the Holy Spirit’s presence.
Before Jesus could begin His ministry, He needed vision from the Holy Spirit and this verse tells us He has it. It’s a mark of anointing, being holy as the Son of God. It’s a mark of vision, where He can see Heaven realities and be able to bring those to earth as it is in Heaven, just like He instructed to pray for when we go to the Father.
This ability to “see” is called vision.
The Greek word for “he saw” in this verse is “eiden.” It means to see, but not just in the literal sense. It means to see with the eyes, to see with the mind, to see with the heart, to pay attention to, to care for, to experience, to comprehend.
When Jesus sees something, He sees into it and He cares for what He sees. He pays attention to it. Then He does something about it.
Jesus needs vision to see as God sees on the earth. Jesus needs vision to see where good and evil reside. Jesus needs vision to heal people. Jesus needs vision to see what can be in places where death and sin exist. Jesus sees into every heart, awakening the soul He created to come to life by His salvation.
God gives you vision to compel you to save and heal.
God gives you vision to see, not just with the eyes but with your heart and mind. He wants to give you discernment. Discernment is a spiritual sight of seeing deeply into something beyond the surface.
Wise kings ask for discernment.
I’m reminded of King Solomon when he was just a child, already understanding the value of spiritual discernment, so much that he viewed it as the highest gift to ask for…
“Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” 1 Kings 3:9
Without vision, we cannot lead. We need vision to be able to see what God sees so we can do what God would do for the people.
Vision is a necessity for building the Kingdom of God. Vision is a necessity for innovation. Creativity. Advancement. Leadership.
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” Philippians 1:9-10
Verse 11: The Mark of Approval
“Then a voice came from Heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Well-pleased is the starting point for God’s Beloved, not the finish line.
The voice of God speaks approval over Jesus before His ministry begins. This approval is not won after the mission is accomplished. It’s given beforehand. It’s given at the first moment. You don’t have to earn God’s love and approval. It’s already yours. God is pleased in you from the very beginning.
God’s approval constitutes your birthright.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5
When God chooses you, He does do for a reason. He knows what you are capable of and the potential still residing inside of you. He does not choose you in hopes you will be able to accomplish what He asks of you. He chooses you, knowing with full confidence that you can do it. This eliminates pressure when you know God approves of you.
God validates you. No need to wait for others’ validation. God affirms you. No need to earn affirmation. No need to work for approval. You already have it. The God of the universe chose you and there is no higher approval than that. Rest in what He sees in you. In what He speaks over you.
You accomplished your mission well. God is proud of how you served Him. He always has been your supporter and encourager… remember how much He loves you and let that be enough. God was satisfied in you when He created you and He still is.
God is pleased with whom He chooses.
“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.” Colossians 1:9
When you put your trust in Jesus, His fullness dwells in you too. It’s called propitiation. Jesus dies for your sins so that God sees His Son in you, making you fully worthy and pure in His sight.
If verse 11 shares the Father’s heart for Jesus before He ever did anything in his ministry, then we know God’s heart for His people also. God’s approval marks every son and daughter of the Kingdom of God.
God is well pleased in you before you ever do anything for Him.
God is well pleased in you long after you give Him everything.
God’s approval of you is never based on what you do or how well you do it. It’s based on your innate existence as His creation. He loves you… just because you belong to Him. And because you belong to Him, you do everything from the foundation of approval. Therefore, you can achieve far more because you know God is for you and satisfied in you.
Lead from the confidence of knowing God’s love for you.
“Behold My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen, in whom My soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.” Isaiah 42:1
The mark of God’s approval is irrevocable. Final. With you perpetually… lovingkindness abounding to you forever.
Jesus was loved before the foundation of the world as John 17:24 says. This goes back to his eternal nature, whereby He has existed forever.
God’s approval of you seals the day your life begins. Never to be removed or broken. God is perfect and His love for you is perfect too.
I can hear God’s voice echoing over His son that day Jesus stood in the Jordan River with John… it was good for John to hear it too. To see what love and confidence the Father had in Jesus on day 1. This encouraged John just as much. For John to know that God was so pleased in Jesus on day 1 would only further remind John that God was also pleased in him, after his many years of preaching the Word. If God was pleased in the one now starting, then God was also pleased in the one birthed to carry this One’s name and renown.
John was given the mark of God’s approval that day standing next to Jesus, connected to Him as the Spirit fell on Him Given the honor of baptizing Jesus.
When you stay connected to Jesus, you receive the same love and same promises given to Him. For He came that we might be connected to the Father in relationship. We are marked by this covenant forever.
“I pray that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
Verse 12: The Mark of The Wilderness
“Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.”
God proves your anointing in the wilderness.
God prepares your resilience in the wilderness. When you experience seasons of difficulty, isolation, battles, waiting, God is developing something in you to grow exponentially more powerful. To show you the proof of your power and to show the devil the proof of your power also.
You will experience a wilderness at some point in your life with God.
Notice the parallelism here thus far in Mark’s gospel: John the Baptist came out of the wilderness when he started preaching about the coming Messiah. Then Jesus goes into the wilderness for His first 40 days as the coming Messiah.
Mark wants the reader to know: something is happening inside the wilderness.
The Spirit moves in the wilderness.
Verse 12 says “The Spirit drove Him.”
It wasn’t his own choice to go into the wilderness. It was the divine Spirit of God, His own Spirit considering He is God, driving him into this location for a season. Because Jesus needed to be in the wilderness for a purpose. It would be here in this very wilderness He would face temptation from the devil and overcome, reasserting His authority over the devil to minister His way and not the devil’s way.
God will send you into a wilderness to prepare you for the wilderness experiences of life. If you cannot overcome in the wilderness at the beginning, you will not have the stamina needed to overcome the wildernesses of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical tolls ministry takes on you. Your wilderness qualifies you to the next round. Not as a qualifier of aptitude. But as a qualifier of training. Go through the training and you will be ready undoubtedly. Why? Because God designed trials to work this way.
James says it this way: “But let steadfastness have its full work, that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing.” James 1:4
The wilderness also reveals your perfection for the mission God places in front of you. Because of God’s own involvement in our spirit. He makes us perfect by His own perfection. It’s an inevitable promise to God’s people who have been chosen by Him for a purpose.
God is faithful to make you ready for wherever He calls you into, because of how He created you in the beginning.
When Jesus went into the wilderness, He was already equipped with everything He needed to not only survive the wilderness but come out victorious. So victorious that angels will come and tend to Him in verse 13.
You have the readiness in you already for what God asks of you.
God is not trying to create something to put in you that He didn’t already weave into your dna. He is trying to activate the power in you. To show you what power already exists inside of you that He placed in you, so that you can active it! Jesus had the power to overcome the devil in the wilderness day 1. John the Baptist had the aptitude to thrive in the wilderness also. It was his life’s purpose. He had it in him because of his distinctiveness as we discussed in last week’s study.
Understand God’s purpose for you and you discover the powers that reside in you! Let the wilderness activate your power to higher levels.
“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Verse 13: The Mark of Temptation
“And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.”
Temptation may be unavoidable, but so is angelic presence.
The angels will minister to the one who faces temptation and overcomes. How do we overcome? Revelation 12:11 says, “They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death.”
Jesus overcomes temptation from the devil because He is willing to give His life for the mission: to die for the sins of man. If he chooses that He does not want to die and gives in to the devil’s offers of power and sustenance then He won’t be the Savior. When you trust in Jesus as your King, His blood covers you so that you are an overcomer. Temptation cannot strip you of your power. It cannot remove you from the mission. It cannot take away your gift. Your testimony of God’s presence in your life and His goodness to you makes Satan flee. Seek Jesus and cling to your faith.
You cannot avoid temptation, but you can be strengthened by it. Jesus Himself endures 40 days of temptation before He ever performs a miracle, teaches a parable, and heals a soul.
How was Jesus tempted? We understand more context into the temptation tactics of Satan in Matthew chapter 4 verses 1-11. There we see the devil tempt Jesus with food, immortality, and power. But Jesus did not need the devil to give Him these resources… because He had God’s promises already.
Jesus did not need the devil to give Him food… Jesus had better food waiting for Him that was prepared by God Himself at the lavish wedding supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-10). Jesus did not need the devil to give Him immortality either… He already had that engrained in Him since the foundation of the world and would rise again (1 Timothy 1:17). Jesus certainly did not need the devil to give Him power… Jesus is the only all-powerful One, omniscient One, omnipresent One and rules the universe over the devil (Hebrews 1:3).
Don’t let a season of human weakness make you feel entrapped and vulnerable to what forces of darkness would render. God has better. God gives better. I’ve experienced it. I’ve seen it. God is a beautiful, miraculous and wonder-working God… Let Him be your God and He will provide for you in every season and every moment how you need it.
Seek Him and watch Him work the miracles…
When you know who your God is, you can trust Him to give you the best.
It’s also important to notice that God did not test Jesus here for the sake of testing.
God did not need to test Jesus to see if he was capable.
God needed to show the devil Jesus was capable. Undefeatable. Indestructible. Immortal.
We are weak humans who will experience temptation and sometimes even give in to it. But we have a Savior who went before us to accomplish for us what we could not, so that we can share in His divine humanity as a perfect being. Cleansed and pure. Whole and loved. Empowered by Him.
You are pure in Him…
You are powerful through Him.
Every temptation and subsequent experience of overcoming elevates you higher. We mature spiritually. We find God’s grace embracing us. We gain wisdom for the days ahead.
With every temptation comes a host of angels to engulf you.
“And the angels ministered to Him” the remainder of verse 13 says.
Angels minister to the ones tempted as a result of pursuing the Lord. Yes, as a result of pursuing the Lord. Some of my greatest temptations in my life came when I was most seeking the Lord. I didn’t see it coming. Like Jesus driven into the wilderness. But as said before, resilience is built in these experiences.
We have to experience the wilderness seasons of temptation to understand who God made us on the inside and the power we possess to overcome by His blood and the word of our testimony.
Strength comes from the grind, the trials, the self-denial, the survival. Blessings come after the wilderness. The promised land comes after the battle. If you want it easy, then you will never have a great destiny. Because God cannot trust you to endure the greater destiny without the difficult experiences getting you ready for spiritually polarizing environments. Ministry will take you into places where both good and evil reside. We must be ready for that. We must be experienced enough to know how to handle it and stand strong.
Don’t give up… God is stronger in you… weaving threads of gold in your veins and diamonds of beauty in you.
Verse 14: The Mark of Preaching
“Now after John was put into prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God.”
The Kingdom of God is phenomenon that must be declared.
The real reality.
The true world we were created to live in.
Mark lets the reader know before any message is spoken of Jesus that His main mission is to declare the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
The apostle Paul said this of the Kingdom of God, years after Jesus walked the earth, died, and rose again: “But we are citizens of Heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior.” Philippians 3:20
Jesus came preaching about this place. The Kingdom of God.
John the Baptist came preaching about the Messiah. Now that the Messiah is here, He preaches about His Kingdom… to welcome all who want to enter into it.
This is worth preaching about.
The word “preaching” in the Greek language is “kēryssōn,” which means “to proclaim, to announce publicly.” It’s not a private statement made. It’s not a message for a certain crowd or culture. It’s a public message made available to everyone. For everyone.
The Kingdom of God welcomes everyone.
The Kingdom of God invites everyone.
This invitation is now being made public through Jesus Christ preaching this coming Kingdom, as the coming Messiah, the Son of God. This is a cataclysmic shift of the universe. It’s important. Jesus’ birth itself changes the whole order of time in the world going from BC to AD. The universe revolves around Jesus Christ because HE is the King of it. And now His Kingdom is being opened to everyone, Jew and Gentile, to come and join Him in this place to share in eternal life after life on earth, rise from death and live alive forever just as He will do when He rises from the grave.
When a King makes a public announcement, it’s a big deal. In America, television programs stop when the President makes a public announcements. In the past, kings and queens would send edicts throughout the whole kingdom or empire with the news of their announcements. This is what we find here in Mark 1:14.
Jesus is announcing the Kingdom of God.
Jesus arrives on the scene as the Son of God, publicly declaring that the Kingdom of God, the One true king is HERE!
What we don’t find is the lavish celebration and pageantry of a royal decree going forth as this culture was used to. This was not Jesus’ purpose here on the earth. He was bringing forth a Kingdom invitation for a Kingdom that exists outside of this world, whereby its followers abandon their lives here to follow its King and in return are given abundant life here and eternal life forever.
In the coming Kingdom… there will be a grandiose celebration more elaborate than any extravagance and beauty we have ever witnessed. But right now, Jesus has come to give His life… He has not come to free Israel from Roman occupation nor to set up a Kingdom on the earth. He will do so when He asserts His own Kingdom in place of Earth with a new one. The lavish royal party of New Heaven and Earth will arrive at the Second Coming of Christ when we are ushered into the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb in the New Jerusalem and the New Earth has been established.
Jesus begins His ministry boldly declaring to everyone he encounters about the message of a new Kingdom touching down. The kingdom of God. Not the Kingdom of Rome. The Kingdom of God. A completely different Kingdom than theirs. A Kingdom based on its own principles and its own tenets. With its own King and its own royalty.
A New Kingdom. A New Heaven.
Where goodness and purity reign.
Where sin and death are no more.
Where hope is fulfilled and life lasts forever.
This is the Kingdom of which Jesus is the King. And the Kingdom meant to rule the universe in which He created with us in mind. To dwell with Him forever.
Jesus came once to die for the sins of man so that we don’t have to die for our sins. Jesus will come again to take us with Him into Heaven where we belong.
You are a citizen of Heaven if you want Jesus to be your Lord. This is the message Jesus comes to preach… the hope of eternal life through Him.
Jesus comes to be the human that cannot be made right with God. Jesus comes to be the one separated from God. So that He can then die on the cross for that human, a propitiation of every human being’s sins so that we can now have access to God through Jesus’ perfect, innocent blood shed on the cross as our sacrifice (John 3:16-17). Atonement.
In this verse it also points out that John is put into “prison” for preaching about Jesus, the Messiah. This kind of persecution will mark the years Jesus is walking into.
But He keeps walking…
Walking into the lives of His beloved people… to bring us into His Kingdom.
walking towards me
I see You
and You’re walking towards me
so I leave my life behind
to follow glory
into the Kingdom of the story
of the Lord
Verse 15: The Mark of Kingdom Time
“And saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
When Jesus shows up, it’s Kingdom Time.
Kingdom Time runs
on a different paradigm
than the world
we’re accustomed to
it’s a fresh oasis
a new fragrance
that never ends
Kingdom Time is the dawning of Jesus’ reign. Jesus’ ways. Jesus’ truth. Jesus’ rules.
Jesus rules the universe.
Jesus is a King who rules in selfless love.
If you notice, verse 15 gives a two-fold command of: “repent and believe…”. It does not say “repent and be punished.” It does not say “repent, and God is going to make sure you pay for your sins.”
It says “repent and believe…”
God wants you to believe in Him!
Because belief is where the power source comes from!
When you believe in God, you receive every good promise He gives you. You gain the freedom He grants you. He answers prayers and He works miracles. He is with you. You feel the benefits of His love. God answers us according to our belief.
“Now we who have believed, enter that rest.” Hebrews 4:3
Belief is what carries you into rest. You can rest when you believe God is working it out. You don’t have to worry about it. God will handle it. Because you know He will. It’s doubt that robs you of peace when you don’t trust God can handle it. Start believing in what God says, and you will experience the abundant life.
Jesus says He has come to let everyone know… now is the time to believe in the gospel.
When Jesus is present, it’s time to receive Him.
What is the gospel? The news of Jesus Christ coming to the earth He made to die for broken people who chose to disobey God, yet God forgives and says… I will take that punishment for you so that you don’t have to. God does not want you to be separated from Him. He wants you to be His. The earth already exposes us to enough suffering and this we experience subsequent sanctification as we live in the earth seeking to follow Him in an environment opposed to Him. God does not choose to punish us as our sins deserve (Psalm 103:10). He loves us too much for that. And the only way He can be with His beloved people is to forgive and take away the stains.
God is a God you want to know.
Don’t live with a wrong view of God, blinded by the darkness and unable to see who He really is. God is not a ruthless God. He’s not an evil God. He’s not a feeble God. Jesus says… Time’s up on that false narrative. I’m here now… and I’m going to show you just how much I love you by what I’m willing to give up for you.
Believe in His love for you.
God wants you to see and believe He is a good God. A kind God. A loving God. A peaceful God. A caring God.
God is the One who loves you…
Kingdom Time operates according to a clock of endless lovingkindness.
rocks back and forth
when you hold me in Your arms
of endless worth
the clock stops
set in Your
My Favorite Takeaway from the Passage:
“Coming up from the water, He saw the Heavens parting and the Spirit descending like a dove.” Mark 1:10
This is my favorite part of Mark 1:9-15 because of Jesus’ encounter seeing into the Heavens above when God speaks His blessing over Him. He feels the Spirit of God landing on His physical body in this moment while simultaneously seeing with spiritual vision. It’s a beautiful moment of spiritual encounter. This was a mark of anointing over Jesus. A mark of closeness with the Father in Heaven that He would never forget in the days ahead, and carry with Him into all the various experiences He was about to walk into.
We were made to experience the Lord this way.
I want to see Heaven. Every day. Every chance I get.
Jesus saw Heaven. When He came out of the waters. The same waters where so many others had put their faith in Him.
Now in this passage Jesus stands in these same waters. The waters of Isreal’s love for Him. The waters of their commitment to Him. Now He feels the love of the Father over Him. And as He does, He literally sees the Heavens opening over Him and the Spirit touching down on Him. It’s a moment of euphoric elevation over the earth’s crust He resides on in the liquid river.
I love this imagery Mark gives us. The synesthesia of water and eternity and the Spirit flowing out of the essence of God to rest on the Son of God.
I love this verse because it reminds me Heaven is closer. Closer than the world knows. Heaven is a real reality. It’s the literal place Jesus came from and the literal place we are going to be with Him forever. It’s a real place Jesus got to see again even while on the earth, and we can too. It’s possible to glimpse Heaven when the Spirit of God rests on you… Jesus said it is for our benefit that He leaves (after His resurrection) so we can have the Holy Spirit (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit gives us Heaven encounters. I want Heaven encounters everyday of my life. So I can connect more and more with the God who loves me. Let God be intertwined in every aspect of your life… to know Him more and more.
Mark us with Heaven, Jesus… because Heaven is where you are.
Questions for Today:
- What is the name of the river John the Baptist baptizes Jesus in?
- What town did Jesus grow up in and how did his family get there?
- Why is vision so important in leadership?
- How does God prepare you and reveal your power in the wilderness seasons?
- How does God’s approval of you root you in love and compel you forward?
- What next step is Jesus asking you to take in your relationship with Him today?