26 February 2012

Mark 1:9-15

"You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." (v. 11)


In this passage, God affirms Jesus right at the start of his ministry: "You are ... my beloved; with you I am well pleased." These are not words spoken to Jesus after any good work, but before he commences his work. And following this affirmation and the blessing of Baptism, Jesus is driven into the wilderness by the Spirit of God (verse 12).

In Mark's Gospel Jesus' ministry begins with a period of testing and fasting. His training field includes periods in the wilderness (eg Mark 1:35).

It is tempting, in ministry, to go headlong into work.

Jesus' style recognises the need to commence ministry with a spirit of restraint, self examination, prayer and reflection. There is no attempt to achieve quick results. Rather, there is a challenge to resist the temptation for instant miracles, glory, heroism and self seeking.

Jesus comes out of his meditation with a clear priority: the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom of God (verse 15).

To Ponder

Do you see in this passage an insight into the Holy Trinity? What might that be?

What are the occasions that anyone has said to you, "with you I am well pleased"?

However anyone treats you, to what extent can you see yourself as God's "beloved"?

How far are you driven by the need to be a heroine/hero? What does that achieve?

Bible notes author

The Revd Inderjit Bhogal

Inderjit Bhogal is a Methodist minister with a wide experience at local, regional, national and international levels. He is a former president of the British Methodist Conference and is currently working as leader of the Corrymeela Community in Northern Ireland.