The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
Mark says it here in the first sentence of his drama. This story is good news about Jesus! And here is no ordinary person. He’s God!
Ok, Mark, you have our attention. What’s the very best of the good news - the first thing you want to announce about Jesus?
Act 1, Scene 1 – The Jordan River. People are confessing their sins and the prophet John is baptizing.
After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus will give the gift of the Holy Spirit – the very presence of God! He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!
Repentance is necessary. Forgiveness is essential. But Jesus does even more: He brings the gift of God Himself! The indwelling of the Holy Spirit!
This gospel of Jesus Christ is certainly about the forgiveness of sin. But forgiveness of sin is the means to a more glorious purpose - God living with us and in us!
We are cleansed from sin to be a holy temple for the presence of God. Thus with God begins a life transformation! To be shaped into the image of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit!
This is not a sporadic or temporary emotional experience of the Holy Spirit. Christian baptism ushers in a continuing life-changing experience together with the Spirit.
Mark wants us to know something from the very beginning. Because of this Jesus - the Holy Spirit - God Himself will live in us and we will be with Him forever!
This is the very best of the good news!