What Jesus Did! 'Split Open' — Mark 1:10

Friday, January 8, 2016

While Jesus was coming up out of the water, he [John] saw the sky open. The Holy Spirit came down to Jesus like a dove.
— Mark 1:10
Illustration of Mark 1:10 — While Jesus was coming up out of the water, he [John] saw the sky open. The Holy Spirit came down to Jesus like a dove.

Key Thought

Something dramatic, earthshaking, and eternally significant is happening in Jesus' baptism. All who witnessed this event, and all of us who read about it, can't escape the power and significance of this moment. Heaven is opened. The distance between God in heaven and mortals is collapsed. The Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove on Jesus to show God's approval, blessing, and anointing of Jesus as his Son, the King. Jesus' baptism is a turning point—not just for Jesus, but for us as well. Our baptism, though clearly not as dramatic as the Lord's, is a turning point, too. We need to think about the significance of both the Lord's baptism and our own.

Today's Prayer

Father, I thank you for a clear marker in my past that designates the turning point of my life. Jesus is my Lord. You are my Father. The power of the Holy Spirit lives in me. I praise you and thank you for a fresh start and the power to have a new beginning. Please help me share this freshness of your grace with others. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

At that time Jesus came from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the place where John was. John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. While Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the sky open. The Holy Spirit came down to Jesus like a dove. A voice came from heaven and said: "You are my Son and I love you. I am very pleased with you." Then the Spirit sent Jesus into the desert alone. Jesus was in the desert 40 days. He was there with the wild animals. While Jesus was in the desert, he was tempted by Satan {(the devil).} Then angels came and helped Jesus. After this, John was put into prison. Jesus went into Galilee and told people the Good News from God. Jesus said, "The right time is now here. The kingdom of God is near. Change your hearts and lives and believe the Good News!" Jesus was walking by Lake Galilee. Jesus saw Simon and Simon's brother, Andrew. These two men were fishermen, and they were throwing a net into the lake to catch fish. Jesus said to them, "Come and follow me. I will make you {a different kind of} fishermen. You will work to gather people, {not fish}." So Simon and Andrew left their nets and followed Jesus. Jesus continued walking by Lake Galilee. He saw two more brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in their boat, preparing their nets to catch fish. Their father Zebedee and the men that worked for him were in the boat with the brothers. When Jesus saw the brothers he told them to come. They left their father and followed Jesus.

Mark 1:9-20

Related Scripture Readings

From this time on we don't think of any person like the world thinks of people. It is true that in the past we thought of Christ like the world thinks. But we don't think that way now. If any person is in Christ, then that person is made new. The old things have gone; everything is made new! All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself. And God gave us the work of bringing people into peace with him. I mean that God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold people guilty for their sins. And he gave us this message of peace {to tell people}. So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is like God is calling to people through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God. Christ had no sin. But God made him become sin. God did this for us, so that in Christ we could become right with God.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21

"But something happened to me on my way to Damascus. It was about noon when I came close to Damascus. Suddenly a bright light from the sky shined all around me. I fell to the ground. I heard a voice saying to me: 'Saul, Saul, why are you doing these bad things to me?' I asked, 'Who are you, Lord?' The voice said, 'I am Jesus from Nazareth. I am the One you are persecuting.' The men who were with me did not understand the voice. But they saw the light. I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' The Lord (Jesus) answered, 'Get up and go into Damascus. There you will be told all the things I have planned for you to do.' I could not see, because the bright light had made me blind. So the men led me into Damascus. "In Damascus a man named Ananias came to me. Ananias was a man that truly worshiped God; he obeyed the law {of Moses}. All the Jews who lived there respected him. Ananias came to me and said, 'Saul, my brother, you can see again!' Immediately I was able to see him. Ananias told me, 'The God of our fathers chose you long ago. God chose you to know his plan. He chose you to see the Righteous One (Jesus) and to hear words from him. You will be his witness to all people. You will tell men about the things you have seen and heard. Now, don't wait any longer. Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away. Do this, trusting in him (Jesus) {to save you}.'

Acts 22:6-16

So the life that I live now is not really me—it is Christ living in me. I still live in my body, but I live by faith in the Son of God (Jesus). Jesus is the One who loved me. He gave himself to save me.

Galatians 2:20

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.