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Series A - Matthew
Series B - Mark
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Edward F. Markquart

Series B
Baptism of Jesus A, B, C Gospel Analysis

Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:4-11, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Pastor Edward F. Markquart
Grace Lutheran Church
Des Moines, Washington 98198

The following Bible study is from a larger course entitled, THE LIFE OF CHRIST: A Study in the Four Gospels. This 54 week course for the laity will be available for congregations in 2006.

Basic text for the course: SYNOPSIS OF THE FOUR GOSPELS, Kurt Aland, English Edition, pp. 255-264. 

#13. JOHN THE BAPTIST     Matthew 3:1-6, Mark 2:1-6, Luke 3:1-6, John 1:19-23

Closely examine the four parallel columns.

The gospel writers agree on the opening sequence of Jesus’ adult life. The opening sequence flows from John the Baptist, to Jesus’ baptism, to Jesus’ temptation, and to the call of the first disciples. 

But the Gospel of John leaves out the temptation story. Why does John leave out the temptation story? We are not quite sure. We often hear that John’s gospel is very different than the other three gospels. From the beginning of Jesus’ adult life in John’s Gospel, John clearly sees Jesus as the Son of God who has already overcome and conquered the demons and power of evil in his life. From the beginning of the Gospel of John, Jesus is fully the Logos of God and the Son of God. For Jesus to face the temptation in the wilderness by the devil seems to stoop below Jesus’ dignity in the book of John.

The following Bible passage is a blending/harmonizing of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John:

- In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. Circle the names of political figures from Luke’s time in history. (Luke) Luke lists seven historical political figures. As has been stated several times, Luke was both a physician and a historian. Luke makes great effort to accurately place the life of Jesus in his contemporary historical situation. In Luke 3:1, there are seven specific historical references, all of which seem to be accurate. Tiberias Caesar, a son of Caesar Augustus, became Roman Emperor in 14 CE. During the fifteenth year of his reign, about 28 or 29 CE, John the Baptist was preaching near the Jordan River. The names of Pontius Pilate, Herod, Phillip, Lysanias, Annas and Caiaphas are all accurately placed. Much later in “the Jesus story,” Luke the historian will tell us more about Pilate, Annas, and Caiaphas. Their stories will fit what is known about their personalities e.g. Pilate experiencing so many riots during his time in political power.

Archeologists have an ossuary that is inscribed with the name of Caiaphas; archeologists also have a stone inscription about Pilate.

As we have seen previously and will see again and again, Luke wants to place Jesus accurately in secular history.  Luke was writing to a Roman official, Theophilus, who received “an orderly account” of Jesus’ life. 

Living in the twenty-first century, we are similar to Theophilus. Like Theophilus, we also enjoy the historical reliability of the dating of Jesus’ birth.


The following is the gospel text for the Baptism of Jesus, Series B.

-He went into all the region around the Jordan, The stories about John the Baptist, Jesus’ baptism, and the temptation all occur in the barren wilderness area of Judea. The four Gospels agree on this geographic location of the wilderness area near the Jordan. John 1:28 (p. 15): “This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.”

During Jesus’ life, there were two villages by the name of Bethany: the first Bethany by the Jordan where Jesus was baptizing and the second Bethany by Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. The second Bethany was the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha.   

Below is a picture of the wilderness near Bethany. 

“Running south from the Sea of Galilee into the Dead Sea, the River Jordan is one of the most significant features of the Palestinian landscape. The only major river in the area, it was extremely important as a source of water during biblical times. Although there are endless biblical references to the River Jordan, its primary importance in the New Testament is in conjunction with Bethany (Al-Maghtas) and the baptism of Jesus. It also serves as a natural regional boundary: Moab is "beyond the Jordan," and the Israelites crossed the Jordan in order to reach the Promised Land. Besides being a real boundary, the River Jordan also plays an important role as a symbolic crossing point: Jesus had to cross the Jordan to be baptized by John, and Elijah crossed the Jordan before ascending to heaven on a chariot of fire.”

Locate the baptism site on the map below. This was the location where John performed his baptismal rites. Notice that this website comes from the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism. Notice the location of Amman, the capital of Jordon.

-Proclaiming a baptism John, the Baptist, and the baptismal rites of Qumran. There is no clear Old Testament precedent and prophecy for baptism with water.  For its baptismal practices, the New Testament does not draw on Old Testament traditions, laws and practices, so much as on the Qumran community and its daily baptismal rites. This Qumran community practiced daily baptismal rites of purification. These spiritual ascetics washed themselves several times a day as symbolic of an interior cleansing from sin. The Quman community was situated in the hills overlooking the Dead Sea, near and south of the town of Jericho, and many scholars think that John the Baptist was placed in the care of this community as a young child or infant. It seems that John the Baptist may have grown up in such a community. The rituals and rites of baptism must have their origins “somewhere,” and “the somewhere” seems to be the Dead Scroll community of Qumran. From this community, we have recovered the Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts and the stories about the Teacher of Light and other ancient Jewish manuscripts.  From the community, we also received the idea and practice of baptism.

For the Quman community and for John the Baptist, baptism was being washed and purified in water. In Quman, the community practiced daily baptismal or washing rituals as symbolic of internal cleaning. Martin Luther suggested that we are to be baptized daily. That is, we are to daily experience repentance and forgiveness, a daily cleansing of our lives. If we bathed once a week, we would start to smell. We need to be washed daily to be truly clean and likewise in our spiritual walk with Christ. We are to be washed daily.

-Of repentance The Bible is clear in all four Gospels: A Christian life involves daily repentance. Repentance is feeling sorry for both your sinfulness and your specific sins. Feeling sorry about your imperfections leads to an inner change where the Holy Spirit in us begins to change our sinful habits and unhealthy patterns. A famous prayer is: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”  It takes a great deal of courage to begin to recognize and change our sinful habits and personal imperfections that hurt ourselves and people around us. Sometimes, we simply accept our sinful habits and pray that we (and others) will gradually accept such inner flaws of our personality. But genuine change is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We cannot change our sinful nature however our sinful, deeply ingrained flaws and personality defects can be changed. Our human nature is always sinful and cannot be changed; but specific flaws of character can be changed and transformed. This takes the Spirit, courage, discipline and the help of others.

So many of us Christians want others to simply accept our personality defects rather than going through the hard spiritual work of inner change. Repentance is the work of the Holy Spirit and is part of sanctification (growing in wholeness and holiness). All of us want that courage and discipline to change and not remain with our disabling personality defects and deficiencies. We often give up too soon to what we think is the inevitable, that we can’t change, that we can’t be changed. John the Baptist will always be a symbol for us…to change…to be changed by the powers of God. As the Bible says, “With God, nothing is impossible.” Even changing our personality defects and deficiencies.

The words, “repent, repents, repentance” occur 49 times in the New Testament.

-For the forgiveness of sins, (Matthew, Mark, Luke) Forgiveness of sins is a dominant concept both the Old and New Testament. The word, “forgiveness,” comes from a Greek word, “let go.” God lets go of our sins; we are to let go of our own sins and the sins of others around us. There is a sermon illustration of a zoo that was trapping monkeys. The zoo trappers put out coconuts underneath a coconut tree, and these coconuts had holes drilled in them. The holes were about the size of a tightly squeezed fist of a monkey. The monkey would squeeze its hand through the hole and grab the white coconut inside. They would do the same thing with their other hand and their two feet. By doing so, their hand became larger and they could not withdraw their hands through the coconut hole. The only way to become free was to “let go.” To let go of the white coconut inside the coconut shell. Similarly with us. The only way to emotional freedom in life is to “let go.” To “let go” of what our mothers or fathers did to us in childhood. To “let go” of all the mistakes that we have made in our lives. To “let go” of the accidents or tragedies that have happened to us or that we have caused. We never become free until we “let go.” … We, as human beings, do not “let go;” but the Presence of Christ in us shapes our daily lives and heals us. The Spirit of Christ inside of us heals us, and therefore we gradually “let go.”

Forgiveness is a dominant concept in the New Testament. The words, “forgive, forgives, forgiveness” occur 39 times in the New Testament.

We Christians often confess with the Apostle Paul in Romans 7: “that which I would not do I is what I actually do.” The Apostle Paul, as a most mature Christian, was deeply aware that he wanted to do what was right but did not do it. We get to Romans 8 and hear his incredible understanding that “nothing can separate us from the love of God,” even the sins that persists in each one of us. 

Of sins. The Greek word for sin is “missing the mark.” We all miss the mark of perfection and holiness in our lives. We all come up short. There are essentially two sins in the Bible: 1) the sinfulness of human nature that we cannot escape or change.  2) the specific sins, flaws and imperfections of our personalities/deeds/actions that can be changed. Our deeply ingrained sinful habits and flaws of personality can be healed, redeemed, or changed. Again, the Serenity Prayer is helpful: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change.” There are things about us that cannot be changed e.g. our sinful human nature, a particular physical heart defect, the height of our body, the color of our eyes, etc. But the prayer continues: “Grant us the courage to change the things we can.” There are numerous things that can be changed in us, but it takes courage, time, discipline, patience, self forgiveness. Personality flaws can be changed by the inner power of God, working with and through other people. Sometimes, we accept personality flaws for so long that we start to believe that these flaws are part of our inner human nature which can’t be changed. The Serenity Prayer is right: we need wisdom to know the difference of things that cannot be changed and those things that can. Many of us are emotionally lazy; we develop deeply ingrained bad habits; and we imply that those unhealthy habits are part of our human nature that cannot be changed.

-The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Only Matthew, “kingdom of heaven.”) Notice Matthew 3:2. Matthew inserts the phrase, “the kingdom of heaven,” and this becomes his dominant theological motif. This is the first of 31 references to the kingdom of heaven in Matthew’s Gospel. You will find that Mathew does not like to use Mark’s phrase, “Kingdom of God.” The name, “God,” is so sacred to Matthew that he substitutes “heaven” for the word “God.”  The Gospel of John does not have one single reference to the “kingdom of heaven.” John’s dominant theological motif is that we find “life.” In John, “life” is referred to 42 times. Matthew wants us to find the kingdom of heaven; John wants us to find life; and they both want us to find the same thing.

-As it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, (Matthew, Mark, Luke) All four gospel writers quote Isaiah 40:3.

-"The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord, John the Baptist commanded the people to prepare for the coming of Christ into the world and into their hearts. Similarly, John the Baptist asks us to prepare for the coming of Christ into our lives.

We all need the Voice of God speaking to our lives.  We need a person or people who would call out to us to get ready for Christ to enter into us. We all need a voice to confront us with our sinfulness and crooked lives. We always prepare for great events in our lives whether that event is Christmas, the birth of a baby, the homecoming of a child now an adult, taking a trip, getting ready for a basketball game or any other athletic contest, making preparations for the visit of a presidential candidate. We all have experienced and know the reality of preparation for an important, upcoming event. Christ comes to us in so many different ways, and one’s heart is always to be prepared for the surprise coming of Christ into our lives, often when we least expect it. Voices of pastors, spouses, children, friends, work associates, professors, neighbors are often the voice of God, calling to us and getting our attention to get ready for the coming of God’s glorious presence into our lives.

-Make his paths straight. (Matthew, Mark, Luke) All four authors quote Isaiah 40:3 about the messenger who will prepare the way of the Lord and make his paths straight. The image of straightening a path was clear to the people of the first century. When a king was about to come into a land, the road-like-paths would be cleaned up and straightened in preparation for his royal majesty’s entrance. So it was at the coming of the King of the universe. The prophet would prepare for the coming of the Christ onto the earth and into our lives. The road crews of the ancient paths/roads would straighten them out and tidy them up in preparation for the coming royal king, and we are to straighten the moral/spiritual/habitual paths of our lives in preparation for our coming King. 

-Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.' " (Luke) Luke and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Acts 2:17. All four Gospel authors quote Isaiah 40:3, but Luke uniquely extends the quotation from Isaiah until he gets to the verse he really wants: “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Luke’s Gospel is a universal Gospel, and evangelism is all important to him. Luke also writes the Book of Acts which is the evangelism textbook for the New Testament. In Acts 2:17 we hear God say that “I will pour my Spirit on all flesh” Sons and daughters will then prophecy or speak boldly about Jesus Christ. Both young and old will have visions and dreams. Both men servants and women servants will be filled with the power of God. And they all shall prophecy.” … In this passage in Luke 3:6, Luke is laying the foundation for an evangelical, mission minded church.

-And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. (Matthew, Mark, Luke)

-Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. (Matthew, Mark)  John the Baptist was an ascetic in the wilderness. John the Baptist was compared to Elijah in Matthew. Elijah wore haircloth and a girdle of leather in 2 Kings 1:8.

God often speaks to us through poor people who are very different than we are.  All four Gospel authors emphasize John was an ascetic living in the wilderness. He was not a city boy with city clothing, but an ascetic living out in a forlorn deserted wilderness, eating locusts and wild honey and wearing camel hair and a leather girdle. Often, the voice of God comes from a situation very different than our own. Maybe the Voice of God will come from a shantytown slum outside of Nairobi (Sister Mary) or from a barrio near an open sewer in Puerto Prince, Haiti (Pedro) or from underneath a street viaduct in downtown Seattle (Willy Sam) or from homeless men who stay overnight at the homeless shelter in the church (Mack). Often the Voice of God is calling from a place of enormous poverty to us people who are living in comparatively rich houses in lovely suburbs in America.

We American Christians are way too materialistic and we often benefit from people who can be compared to ascetic voices in the wilderness. Members of our parish who visit our sister church in Haiti repeatedly tell how these people in Haiti were the Voice of God to them.

A Spirit filled ascetic from the wilderness is not merely a historical remembrance but a daily encounter when “rich Christians” carefully listen to the Word of the Lord from materially “poorer Christians” living in the Third World or on the third floor of a tenement building.

-He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I amnot worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.

John’s version: (not part of the preaching text)

-This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?"  John’s version of the story: “The Jews.” Circle the word, “Jews.” Once again, John’s version is different than the first three Gospels. We have said this repeatedly, but it simply needs to be said again. The word, “Jews,” is very important to John and he uses the word, “Jews,” 58 times in his Gospel. The Jews are always in opposition to Jesus, and they are “the enemy” of Jesus Christ in this Gospel. In the Gospel of John, the Jews are the ones who plotted for his death and killed him.

In the history of western civilization, the prejudice against the Jews can be traced to the Gospel of John. Martin Luther appreciated the Gospel of John more than the other Gospels, and it seems that Luther’s anti-Jewish prejudice and his rhetoric finds its roots in the Gospel of John. Without even knowing it, we can use the Bible to reinforce our cultural prejudices against a group, as Luther and Lutherans did for years against the Jews.

Notice that John uses the words, “priests, Levites, Elijah, the prophet” without even explaining these references. In other words, John is assuming a Jewish reading audience. We will find philosophical categories and long speeches and complex thoughts in John’s Gospel, but he was also writing to an audience that included Jewish people who understood Jewish traditions and customs

Highlight the question: “Who are you?” This is the fundamental and basic question in John’s gospel. “Who is Jesus? What is Jesus’ true identity?”

-He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I am not the Messiah." 

-And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No."  John 1:21 says, “Are you Elijah?” Jesus answered, “I am not.” Whereas in Matthew 11:14 it says, “If you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.”  (See page 99.)  The Gospel of John says that John the Baptist was not Elijah; Matthew says that he was. It seems that Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience who were definitely expecting Elijah to return before the arrival of the Messiah. Matthew interprets John the Baptist to be none other than the returning Elijah. The Gospel of John says “No, John the Baptist wasn’t Elijah.” For the Gospel of John, John the Baptist is the Voice crying in the wilderness to prepare for the coming Messiah.

-Then they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" “Who are you?” This is the dominant question for all people from all generations. What is the true identity of John the Baptist and Jesus? We continue to ask, “John, the Baptist, who are you?  Jesus of Nazareth, who are you? Are you the Messiah? Are you the persona of Elijah returned, or another prophet who is to come? Jesus, are you really a gigantic religious prophet like Moses or Mohammed or Buddha and thereby a founder of a world-wide religion? Jesus, are you truly a prophet and no more? Did your followers exaggerate your identity and convert you into the Son of God when you only wanted to be a religious prophet?” These are all fundamental questions that were being asked centuries ago and that people still ask today. 

The Jews at that time were expecting the Messiah to come, Elijah to return, and another prophet (unnamed) to return. The belief that Elijah would come before the Messiah arrived is derived from Malachi 4:5. Also in Deuteronomy 18:15, the Bible states that God “will raise up a prophet like Moses… I will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak all that I have commanded him.”




#16. JOHN’S MESSIANIC PREACHING     Matthew 3:11-12, Mark 1:7-8, Luke 3:15-18, John 1:24-28

-As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,  (only Luke) These Jewish people were perplexed by the true identity of John the Baptist. They asked \ questions among themselves and of John: “Are you the Messiah? Are you the prophet? Elijah?”

-John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming;

-I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. Untying some one’s sandals was the most menial gesture that a person could do in that society. People wore sandals for everyday foot ware in those days. Sandals were part of everyday life. Sandals consisted of a leather sole, and a thong to wrap around the ankle to keep the sandal on. Tying sandals was a daily part of life. Tying sandals was a menial task. John was saying about himself that he wasn’t even worthy to untie Jesus’ sandals. Jesus was so great and John the Baptist was so small.

-He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Previously, we have talked about being filled with the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is the same as being baptized with the Holy Spirit.

And fire. Matthew and Luke add the concept of fire and the teaching about the winnowing fork, the separation of the wheat from the chaff, and the burning with the unquenchable fire. Fire is a symbol for judgment. That is, we will discover many parables in which there is a separation between the wheat and the chaff, the good and the bad fish, the sheep and the goats, etc. We will discover that Jesus will be the Judge at the final day of history and will separate those who do the will of God from those who don’t do the will of God. Christ, the Judge, will separate those who believe and those don’t. Christ, the Judge, will separate those who say they believe but their lives do not show it when compared with those who believe and their lives show it. Fire means judgment. Fire is also a symbol of purification. As a family, we often have hot dog roasts and for dessert, we cook marsh mellows on the open fire in order to make “samores.” Then we burn off the “marsh mellow junk” off the hot dog sticks. We purify them; we burn off the crud; so we can use them again.

In the Bible, fire is often a symbol of purification, burning off the “crud” from our lives. It is similar to repentance.

-His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." (Matthew and Luke. When there are parallels between Matthew and Luke but those same words are not found in Mark, we assume those words come from the document Q.) Unquenchable fire refers to hell.

-So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.(only Luke) We often chuckle to ourselves when we read these words, because these words don’t feel like good news, from our point of view. But judgment is good news. Separation of the good from the bad is good news. Meanwhile, we remember that we as human beings are never the judges. It is Christ who is the judge and not we human beings. We forget this fact of faith so quickly. God is the judge; we are not.

#18.  THE BAPTISM OF JESUS     Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22, John 1:29-34

All four gospels have the same story. But the Gospel of John does not have Jesus’ actual baptism. Look at the four texts carefully: John does not have Jesus’ baptized and dunked into the water.

There are specific parallels in the stories: Spirit, dove, heavens opened, voice, beloved Son, well pleased.

The primary meaning is clear: the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus and Jesus was declared to be the Son of God by none other than God. Jesus Christ is designated the Son of God by God. There is no “wiggle room” as to the true identity of Jesus.

The following Bible passage is a blending/harmonization of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John:

-In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The first three gospels tell us about Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan. The Gospel of John does not. In John’s gospel, Jesus is the sinless one

-John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. (only Matthew) Note Matthew’s uniqueness: Jesus was baptized in order to “fulfill all righteousness;” in other words, to be a righteous person. Matthew persistently interprets the actions of Jesus as “fulfilling” Scripture. Since there was no baptism in the Old Testament, we cannot determine which Old Testament Scripture that Matthew used as a reference.

-And while he was praying, (only Luke). Note Luke’s uniqueness: He inserts “praying” and the Spirit becomes the “Holy Spirit.” 

-Just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. The Spirit came down from heaven, directly from God.

-And the Spirit remained on him. (only John) Note John’s uniqueness: The Spirit remained and John was an eyewitness.  Twice the Spirit “remained” on Jesus. John seems to be emphasizing that the Spirit remained on Jesus throughout his whole lifetime and did not leave him. We are also aware that the Spirit of God can enter a person and take up only temporary residence in that person and then leave. But not with Jesus.

-And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; Jesus is clearly called the Son of God by God the Father. This is clearly stated in all four gospels. We will hear the same voice of God make a similar declaration at the event of the Transfiguration e.g. “This is my beloved Son, my chosen, with whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 2:7 and parallels. #161, p. 153.) There are several events in Jesus’ life where Jesus was/is clearly declared to be the Son of God e.g. the virgin birth, baptism, transfiguration, and resurrection. In John’s gospel, the voice is not the voice of God from heaven but the voice of John the Apostle who declares that Jesus is the Son of God.

-With you I am well pleased." God is well pleased with Jesus. One of the most important realities of life is to know that God is well pleased not only with Jesus, but with us as well. God delights in Jesus and also delights in us. God delights in our God given uniqueness, even though we are sinful by nature. To know that God is pleased with us transforms our lives. We are pleased when someone declares that they are pleased with us, and we assume that Jesus was pleased when he heard that God was pleased with him.

-I have seen and have born witness that this is the Son of God. (only John) In other words, John himself was an “eye witness” and gives us an eyewitness account. The other gospel authors never claim this for themselves.  John, in I John 1:1-4, says the same thing, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life. The life was made manifest and we saw it and testify to it…that which we have seen and heard we proclaim to you…we are writing this that our joy may be complete.” In other words, it is clear that John, the Apostle, was an eyewitness of the life of Christ. The Apostle John reports these words rather than the voice of God.

Throughout this course, we are repeatedly going to encounter John, the beloved disciple, as being an eyewitness of the life of Jesus. John, in the Gospel of John, will give us numerous eyewitness accounts of events in Jesus’ life. We are going to be surprised at the numerous historical details that John will offer to us as our reporter “on the scene.”

As has been said, most scholars believe that John is one of the two eyewitness accounts of the four gospels. The second eyewitness about is the Gospel of Mark. The Gospel of Mark is a record of the reminiscences of Peter to Mark before Peter was martyred upside down in Rome. We remember that Christians are to be baptized. Matthew 28:19,  “Go therefore and make disciples of all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” This is a clear indication that the Bible wants all Christians to be baptized. Not only was Jesus baptized; all Christians are to be baptized.

In our studies, we will discover that Jesus’ disciples did baptize but Jesus himself did not.

In our baptism, similar things happen to us as happened to Jesus when he was baptized:

1) The Spirit of God comes into us and remains in us.

2) We are declared to be a child of God.

3) We hear that God is well pleased with us.


Class members briefly share their reactions to the paintings.


Baptism ofJesus



Please read the sermon that accompanies this Gospel Analysis, BAPTISM? WHAT DO WE TEACH?    

Baptism, What Do We Teach?, Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:4-11, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

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