March 15, 2016

Baptized and Tempted

Mark 1:9-13

As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw . . . the Spirit descending on him. . . . And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.

—  Mark 1:10-11

As we learn from Mark’s gospel account, Jesus’ ministry started with his baptism by John and with a time of temptation by Satan.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus was baptized by John? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He called people to repent and then baptized all who confessed their sin. 

But Jesus didn’t need to repent or receive forgiveness. He was sinless. John understood that and said to Jesus, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matthew 3:14). But Jesus insisted. He didn’t need a baptism for his own sin, but he needed it for ours. In his baptism, Jesus identified with us sinners. It’s as if he was saying, “I need to be washed because my people’s sin has become my own.” Jesus is our perfect Savior who resisted temptation and sin by the power of the Spirit and was commended by the Father.

What temptations are you facing today? What sins have you committed that you need forgiveness for? You don’t need to look any further than Jesus for help. He understands temptation and forgives sin. Bring your temptations and failures to him for his strength and cleansing.

Jesus, thank you for obeying the Father perfectly, stepping into our sin and carrying it for us. We love you as the perfect Savior. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Tom Groelsema

Tom Groelsema and his wife, Sheri, have served churches in Minnesota, Michigan, and North Carolina. They have four children and three granddaughters.

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