Mark 1:7-11 NRSVue

7He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove upon him. 11And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Some thoughts on this scripture

Imagine yourself witnessing the scene, perhaps standing in the shallows, the water flowing around your ankles. Picture the scene and allow it to unfold. What is it like? The young man from Nazareth joins the queue waiting for John's baptism: a symbol of purifying but also of birth -- coming up out of the waters of the womb into a new life as God's beloved child.

Lord, when I realise that you love me, and are well pleased with me, it is like the start of a new life. As I hear your voice, I know that I have a purpose and a destiny.

The baptism of Jesus immerses him in the life of the people. He joined the queue of people for John's baptism, wanting to share the joys and sorrows of his people. In the depths of the water he entered into the depths of his own humanity and the depths of his people. We could say that Jesus has entered into that part of all of us which laughs and sings, dances and cries, feels for the sick and the suffering, desires the best for self and others; nothing human is foreign to him as he was baptised into the life of his people and the God of his ancestors.