Friday, September 21, 2012

Jesus wrecks our categories

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”(Mark 1:9-11 ESV)
Here's how important this guy was. The Gospel of Mark, which is the story about Jesus, opens up with Jesus John announcing that someone is coming, and then Jesus shows up and gets baptised, like everyone else, and the heavens are torn apart. If you need any Biblical reason basis for why we need to be "Jesus-centered" in our teaching, well, among a thousand reasons one might start by saying, the heavens were torn apart when he showed up to walk out his mission. What we have hereat the very beginning of this book about the "son of God" (oh yes, that's what Mark says it's about, right at the start), is a whole lot of people repenting of their sin, and the heavens being torn open and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on Jesus. And remember what John had just said. The coming one was going to baptize people with the Holy Spirit. Those are certainly words to be taken very seriously indeed. And now the Spirit descends from heaven upon Jesus. There's just no doubt Jesus is the coming one John had been predicting, and no doubt that he is the one Mark calls the "son of God." Whatever these things mean, they must mean something utterly extraordinary, category wrecking in their newness.

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