Mark 1:7-9 The Voice (VOICE)
7 He preached a message in the wilderness.
John the Baptist: Someone is coming who is a lot more powerful than I am—One whose sandals I’m not worthy to bend down and untie. 8 I’ve washed you here through baptism[a] with water; but when He gets here, He will wash[b] you in the Spirit of God.
The Jordan River is the setting of some of the most memorable miracles in the Old Testament. On their journey through the wilderness to the promised land, the Israelites walked across the Jordan River on dry ground because God parted its waters. Elisha, one of the prophets of God, healed Naaman by telling him to bathe seven times in its waters. Partly because of miracles like these and partly because of a growing wilderness spirituality, many of the Jews in John’s day are out to hear him and be ritually baptized in the Jordan’s cool, cleansing waters. They are looking for God to intervene miraculously in their lives as He has done in the past. What they don’t know is that God is about to intervene, for at that time Jesus leaves Nazareth and heads south.
9 It was in those days that Jesus left Nazareth (a village in the region of Galilee) and came down to the Jordan, and John cleansed Him through baptism there in the same way all the others were ritually cleansed.