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Mark 1:1-13, Jesus Baptized

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
— Mark 1:4

NL Daily Devotion for Monday, August 26, 2019

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff


This is my favorite account of Jesus’ baptism. It is clean, simple, and includes all of the baptismal promises. What happened in Jesus’ baptism is just what happens to us when we are baptized. First, the heavens are ripped open – a rending of the barrier that separated people from God. Second, the Holy Spirit descended upon him. Next, God claimed Jesus as God’s own. Finally, Jesus is sent into the cold, harsh world, but fully equipped to face the temptations that may come. The first Christian baptism.

John’s proclamation of this event is timely and appropriate. “The kingdom of God has come near.” If we are to understand God’s kingdom as both heaven and earth, then Jesus’ baptism is indeed the beginning of God’s kingdom coming near. Jesus’ arrival marked the beginning of a new world – a world that is turned on its head – lowest become high, first become last, and God reigns. “Believe in the good news.” God is here!

How do you see that the Reign of God is near?