Rev. Mark Johnson
January 10, 2021

Scripture: Mark 1:4-13

Theme:  The baptism of Jesus teaches several things about his identity and purpose which can be applied to our personal and collective walks with Christ.


Unlike the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke, Mark begins with Jesus’ baptism at age 30.

  • Starting with his baptism, Mark declares Jesus as something special.  Jesus came to do something and to change the world.  Furthermore, Jesus’ baptism initiates both his public ministry and the New Covenant which echo the promises of God in the Hebrew Scriptures.  Mark emphasizes both the authority and identity of Jesus from a cosmic perspective; the heavens open up and we hear a voice declaring him as God’s beloved
  • Jesus’ temptation in the desert illustrates that life will be fraught with troubles. But his relationship with John and future disciples follow a pattern of partnership and support.

Jesus’ baptism echoes our own baptism

  • Our own baptism and membership vows call us into public ministry, partnering with Jesus Christ for a better future.  
  • As a result of our baptism, we are incorporated into Christian community. There are people surrounding us who promised to walk beside us when times get tough.
  • Most importantly, our baptism, identifies us as God’s beloved and with us God is well pleased. 

Take Away and Call to Action:

With this week’s violence at the US capitol, we are continuing to witness profound political and ideological division. 

  • These events stirred up many emotions; what was your experience?
  • Republican, democrat, or otherwise, political governments conceived and implemented by human beings will always be flawed. Only the Kingdom of Christ has true sustaining life and power. How does remembering your baptism bring you reassurance?
  • Even in the midst of trials, out baptism calls us to shoulder the burdens of life together.  Take some time to connect with friends to lament and mourn the current events. If you are looking for a group to grow and connect with, we invite you to contact us for small groups to grow your faith and connection. 
  • Remember your baptism and be thankful. You are a beloved child of God and with you God is well pleased. In the midst of turmoil and temptation, let us lean on the promises and vows of our baptism. We are called to go out, working for the peace and love of Christ in our world. So let us trust in the promise of collective salvation. Let us live into our calling as ambassadors for our one true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Questions about Baptism?

If you have questions about baptism in the United Methodist Church or are interested in baptism for yourself or a child please complete the form below.