Unlimited: The Baptiser
Feb 2, 2024 1910
And so, John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, 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 baptised by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptise you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:4-8, NIV).
As Mark writes his gospel book, his big focus is on Jesus as the man of power. Mark sets the scene for Jesus’ appearance through the way John the Baptist introduces him.
Before Jesus’ arrival, Mark introduces John the Baptist as a man of incredible power.
The Baptist’s message, paraphrased, is, “If you think I’m powerful, just wait till you experience the power of the One who is coming after me! I am nothing compared to him.”
The Jewish people loved to get baptised in water, sometimes many times a day. But John the Baptist tells them that the One who is coming will baptise them, not just with water, but with the Holy Spirit, the true source of power.
In our culture, like in Jesus’ day, we tend to show our power and status through external things, like what we wear, and by being able to eat at fancy restaurants.
But Mark points out that John, this great man of power, dressed and ate very differently to what was expected in his own culture.
He’s pointing out that true power does not come from the external trappings, but from being faithful to God’s call on your life.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection:Take some time to reflect on how you relate to the idea of power in your life. Do you rely on the externals? Or do you rely on God alone? Read I Samuel 16:7.