Showing posts with the label John-Baptist

Tongues in Ephesus

On Pentecost, the church received the gift of the Spirit, an event accompanied by the sound “ like a rushing might wind ” and what appeared to be “ tongues of fire .” The 120 disciples began to “ speak in other tongues ” as the Spirit gave them “ utterance .” These phenomena were “ seen and heard ” by many Jewish pilgrims who were present to celebrate the feast of Pentecost.

This is My Son!

In  Mark , Jesus first appears when he is baptized by John the Baptist. The passage identifies him with his hometown, Nazareth, a small village of no consequence, though its very insignificance plays a part in the larger narrative.

Voice in the Wilderness

All four gospels apply the same passage from the book of  Isaiah  to John the Baptist. He was sent to summon Israel to repent “ for the remission of sins ” in preparation for the arrival of the Messiah and the Kingdom of God. All this was in fulfillment of key messianic promises in the Hebrew Bible.

He Baptizes in the Spirit

At his baptism, the Spirit of God descends on Jesus to equip him for his messianic mission – He is the one who baptizes in the Spirit .  At the Jordan  River , John proclaim s   a baptism in water  “ for the remission of sins ,” and announce s  the arrival of  the  “ Coming One .”  He   i s  the forerunner of  the  Messiah, just as promised in  Isaiah :  “ Behold,  I send my messenger before  your  face …  The voice of one crying in the wilderness : Prepare  the way of the Lord .”

Light of the World

According to the apostle John, “ life ” is in the “ word ,” and that life is the “ light of men .” At present, it is “ shining in the darkness ,” and the darkness “ cannot seize ” it. This same “ word ” has been “ made flesh ” and become the living word in Jesus of Nazareth. In him, the glory and life of God are manifested.

Cost of Discipleship

Jesus sent the twelve disciples to proclaim the kingdom throughout the region. And in  Mark , his instructions to them are followed by the execution of John the Baptist. His death prepares the reader for the rejection that inevitably will result when any disciple follows Jesus of Nazareth.

Arrest and Fulfillment

Jesus began to proclaim the Kingdom of God after the arrest of John the Baptist, and that incident foreshadowed the opposition that would characterize his own ministry. At the time, Palestine consisted of three territories -  Judea, Samaria , and  Galilee , and the latter included a mixed population of Jews and Gentiles.

Commencement of the Gospel

The gospel of  Mark  opens with a declaration based on the Hebrew Bible that provides scriptural links to the ministry of John the Baptist. And it sets the stage for the messianic mission of Jesus. In this way, Mark begins on a note of fulfillment. The Nazarene is the promised Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world.