Bible Question:

Why does the gospel of Mark begin with the baptism of Jesus? Why according to Mark is Jesus baptized at all? And what does Mark tell us about Jesus prior to his baptism?

Bible Answer:

The gospel of Mark begins with the baptism of Jesus which occurred just before Christ began His ministry. This can be determined by comparing Mark 1:1-12 with Luke 3:21-23.

Luke tells what happened to Jesus (Luke 1-3) before He was baptized – not Mark. Luke describes the births of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. Luke tells us why Jesus was born. He describes his parents, genealogy, and early childhood.

Jesus’ baptism 1) fulfilled the promise God gave John as to how he could recognize the Messiah (John 1:33), and 2) by being baptized Jesus also identified Himself with our need for repentance. Matt 3:13-15 tells us this – not Mark. Why does the gospel of Mark start this way? Only God knows since He controlled what was written. He did not tell us.


The gospel of Mark is primarily focused on Jesus as a servant. This includes His ministry, death and resurrection. Mark is brief and to the point. Jesus came to save mankind from the penalty of their sins.

Suggested Links:

Baptism of Jesus
Is Baptism Required For Salvation?
Is baptism symbolic?
Baptism – Symbol of Spiritual Life
Searching For God