At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
A Savior Found with Sinners
As Mark tells us the story of Jesus, he starts with Jesus’ baptism. This seems like a strange place to start, but it gives us a wonderful preview of who Jesus would be.
Jesus showed up at the Jordan River, where many sinners were gathered together. All types of sinners were at the water’s edge. Sinners, whom most people thought had some flaws but were still pretty good, stood on the banks of the river. The sinners that society despised, like the tax collectors, were also there standing along the shoreline. Even sinners like the Pharisees, who most thought weren’t bad at all, were at the Jordan River. Mark begins his account of Jesus by telling us that Jesus was there among all those different sinners.
Jesus did not separate himself from those sinners but stood with them to get baptized by John. Down he went into the water as countless sinners had before. Jesus brought no sin of his own into that water, but he would be counted among the sinners, nonetheless.
This is the first thing Mark tells us about Jesus because it is what his entire ministry was about. He would have no sin of his own but would be found with sinners. Whether that was healing their illnesses and diseases or eating and drinking with those who needed a word of forgiveness, Jesus was found with sinners. Even when it came to his death, he took the place of sinners under God’s wrath so you and I would not need to face what our sins deserve.
As you ponder Jesus’ baptism today, thank him that he was willing to be found with sinners.
Father, you introduced your Son by having him be baptized with the sinners though he had no sin of his own. I thank you that this is still his work among us today. Amen.