Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Mark 16:15-18 Through Baptism We are Saved
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
"Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
In this passage we see Jesus emphasizing the importance of Baptism. Baptism is not meant to be something that excludes people. Baptism is an invitation into living out the Kingdom of God. It is through Baptism that we are initiated into the Church, the ecclesiastical community which is the manifestation of the Kingdom of God. This is why the baptized will be saved. They are not being saved from some external evil power. They are being saved from themselves. Baptism is about living out the gospel message. It is about developing a relationship with God. It is about negating the needs of the self to serve the needs of others. It is the commissioning into service in the Kingdom of God.