Mark 1:5 Commentary - Mr. D's Notes on Selected New Testament Books by Stanley Derickson5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
This text has appeared in many of my studies to explain the word "all" adequately. "All the land of Judea" is the phrase that Mark uses, but we know that "all" of Judea did not go out to John. Many went even multitudes went to be baptized but not "all" as in every single person in Judea.
It is rather like my speaking generically of "the church" being lost in worldliness. Do I mean that every last church on the planet is lost in worldliness? No. It is only a figure of speech to indicatea seeming totality, but not every single one.
It would seem that these folks were attempting to get right with God to the best of their ability. Yes, some were probably just following the crowd while others were making an outward show for the benefit of others, but many if not most were attempting to set things right before their God.
Long and hard have been the discussions of the word translated baptized. Many say that it can relate to pouring or sprinkling, but the thought of the word is to dip, to wash, or to whelm. None of these really picture sprinkling or pouring in my mind.
Did you notice when I read the quote from Josephus that even he believed John was immersing the people? "For immersion in water"
Immersion is the only logical conclusion since he was doing it in a river. If only sprinkling or pouring, he could have done it in Jerusalem where there was clear water and a Men's Warehouse and McDonalds.
Now if you want to talk about washing, when I was a kid my mother worked outside the home so I was expected to wash the lunch dishes when arriving home after school. I would fill the sink and put all the dishes in the water and go watch television for an hour or so. By the time I returned I could just pick them out of the water and rinse them under the faucet. Now as to the silverware, I always did it a little differently because the soaking did not always do the trick. She had a Pyrex coffee maker and I would put it under the faucet, put the silverware in and run the hot water into the coffee pot for several minutes as hot as it would go. Again, after a little television and the silverware was clean.
Wash means wash to me, it means under water and cleaned.
They were confessing their sins. "Sins" is the normal word translated sin in the New Testament. Simply it relates to missing the mark or in this case missing the mark set by God for our spiritual lives.
As to “confessing” we see Rom 14:11 speaks to all bowing to confess Christ in the end. This is the same word. It relates to the agreement on sin or having the same view of your action as the Lord does. Now this is pretty difficult in our own day since there is little in life that is really wrong if "YOU" deem it okay. Sin is a rather obscure idea these days. We may make a mistake but never sin.
When men speak of their infidelity it is a mistake, or maybe even a BIG mistake, but seldom do they have God's view of their sinful act. Indeed seldom do they have their wife's view of the sinfulness of their act. Confession must be the thought of knowing how God feels about the situation and agreeing with Him that it was truly wrong. Php 2:11 uses the same term.
"And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father." They will agree with God about Who Christ is.When you go to your prayer time and seek forgiveness, take a little time to consider your wrongs and see if you can come to God's view of what you have done. That is what confession is really about.
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Mr. D's Notes on Selected New Testament Books by Stanley Derickson
Rev. Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. Copyright 2006
Used by Permission.