Jesus: Baptized, Tempted
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Jesus: Baptized, Tempted

Mark 1:9–13  (ID: 2669)

Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist is a well-known scene. But why was it necessary for Jesus, who was God in the flesh, to be baptized in the first place? And why did the Spirit of God then send Jesus into the wilderness for forty days to be tempted by Satan? Alistair Begg reminds us that Christ persistently identified with sinners, even enduring inconceivable temptations at the hand of Satan. Through it all, Christ satisfied His Father and ultimately procured forgiveness for lost men and women.

Series Containing This Sermon

A Study in Mark, Volume 1

“Repent and Believe” Mark 1:1–3:6 Series ID: 14101

Sermon Transcript: Print

Now, we’re turning to Mark’s Gospel, which you will know, and to 1:9. Mark 1:9. And we read the brief paragraph that ends in verse 13:

“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’

“At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the [wilderness for] forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.”

Father, now, with our Bibles before us, we humbly pray that the Spirit of God will illumine the printed page to us, will quicken our understanding, will convert us, convince us, and conform us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. For it’s in his name we pray. Amen.

On the twenty-second of May, 1992, American television viewers heard for the last time what had been a very famous refrain late in the evening, delivered by one man over a period of some thirty years. If this was more interactive, I’d see how many of you could discover this. Some of you would get it almost immediately, I’m sure. If I tell you the man’s name was Ed McMahon, then you will immediately know the phrase to which I refer, for Ed McMahon, over a period of thirty years, made a significant amount of money by sitting and laughing at the appropriate moment, having done his work of introduction with the phrase “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” And no matter what else he did in his life—and he did quite a bit in his life, and has done—his career has largely been framed by and marked by that one phrase.

In many ways, the same could be said to be true of the individual to whom we are introduced in the opening verses of Mark’s Gospel—namely, John, whom we know as John the Baptist. Because essentially, his role was to stand for a time on the stage of human history and announce the appearing of Jesus. If you like, he was there to say, “Heeeeere’s Jesus!” And in that respect, he provides an example to all of us in terms of the privilege that we’re given as followers of Jesus to tell others about him. Our role is not, ultimately, to talk about ourselves, as interesting as that may be (but usually only to ourselves), nor is it to share our great and wonderful theological insights, no matter how significant they might prove to be. But our responsibility is to point away from ourselves to Jesus of Nazareth so that men and women might meet him, might hear from him, and might come to trust and follow him.

Now, John, we learned last time, was the most successful preacher of his day. He was clear, he was direct, he was urgent, he was marked by integrity, he was humble, and his chosen form of dress and his diet were in themselves noteworthy. In fact, he had the Elijah look. And if you doubt that, you need only turn to 2 Kings and chapter 1, where, in the conversation with Ahaziah, the question comes, “[And] what kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?” And “they replied, ‘He was a man with a garment of hair and with a leather belt [round] his waist.’ [And] the king said, ‘[Aha!] That was Elijah the Tishbite.’”[1] And so, if you can imagine John the Baptist getting dressed in the morning, he was not in terms of Calvin Klein or any of the rest. Rather, he had the mode of the Tishbite. He was dressed as Elijah.

Now, he knew that his role was to fade into the background just as quickly as he might. He was the hors d’oeuvre; he was not the main course. Jesus was the one who was to come to the fore; he was the one who was to slip out. In fact, he says on one occasion—John records it—“[Christ] must become greater; [and] I must become less.”[2] And in that, he is an example to all who would ever take to the opportunity of proclaiming Jesus in any capacity at all.

Now, the people that came out to listen to him preach would have come with their own expectations, even as each of you has come this morning with some measure of expectation. I would never know just what that is, and probably it’s better that I don’t. But whatever these people expected to hear when they arrived in that Judean wilderness, they probably did not anticipate being confronted as directly as they were with the fact of their sins and with their need of forgiveness.

This again is another illustration of how direct John the Baptist was. There were many things he might have addressed, but he addresses the central, the core, issue: Men and women are dislocated from God as a result of sin. God, who is a covenant-establishing and -keeping God, still comes and pursues those who have turned their backs on him. And speaking to such a crowd, he sounds the note, which is a necessary note then and now—namely, the note of forgiveness of sins, which lies at the very heart of Christianity.

Our responsibility is to point away from ourselves to Jesus of Nazareth so that men and women might meet him, hear from him, and follow him.

The pace of his Gospel, as we saw last time, is fast moving. He was announced in the prophet, he arrives in verse 4, he announces in verse 7 that someone else is coming after him, and hey, presto, we’re now at verse 9, and the one who’s coming after him has actually arrived: “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.”

Now, as we said again last time, Mark writes according to his own purpose and in relationship to his own personality. He’s obviously not particularly verbose. It would appear that he doesn’t like narrative as much as he likes movement. He likes, it seems, to mention things, get to the heart of the matter, and move on to the next thing. And you’ll see that; if you stick with these studies, we’ll learn together that he moves pretty quickly from place to place. His brevity forces the reader’s attention to consider that which we might say is main and plain.

And in this little paragraph, he gives to us two scenes. And we’ll deal with them in turn: first of all, Jesus in the water, and then secondly, Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus in the water; Jesus in the wilderness. I know it says “desert” there, but I like “wilderness”[3] better, and brought up on the King James Version, I’m allowed to use “wilderness.”

Jesus in the Water

Jesus, first, then, in the water.

Now, the question is: What is he doing in the water? Well, first of all, we find that he is identifying with those he came to save. He is identifying with those he came to save. Mark leaves out what Matthew tells us concerning John the Baptist’s reticence. From your own study you may recall that when Jesus appeared to be baptized by John, John had said to him, “Haven’t we got this upside down? Should I not be the one who is baptized by you rather than me baptizing you?” And on that occasion Jesus had said, “Let’s just go with it this way; thus, it is fitting now to fulfill all righteousness. I’m here to do what is right before God. I am here to fulfill what God designed for Israel in its perfection. I am here to determine by my life that which is pleasing to the Father. And therefore, it is right for me to be baptized.”[4]

Now, it would be immediately wrong for us to infer from that that Jesus was saying, either by word or by action, that he himself required a baptism of repentance—because obviously, he didn’t. Mark knew that he didn’t. Mark knew that he was the Lamb of God, that he was the sinless Lamb of God, the one who would take away the sin of the world.[5] Well then, if that is the case, why is he being baptized? What is happening?

Well, what Jesus is doing is he’s making a statement—or we might say he’s making a number of statements—by taking his place in the river. He is identifying with those who, in their baptism, have acknowledged their need of repentance and have confessed their sins and have looked to God for forgiveness. Remember, in 2 Corinthians 5, in an immense statement, Paul says, “God made him who [knew] no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”[6]—so that all of the life and ministry of Jesus is entirely tied up with the fact that he is the Sin-Bearer. And he who is the bearer of sin identifies with sinners in their need at every point, if you like, along the path.

And so, as he comes to be baptized by John, his baptism is actually pointing forward to his death. Because you will recall from the Gospel of Luke that as he comes closer to the time of his death, Jesus says in Luke chapter 12, “[Now] I have a baptism to undergo.”[7] “I have a baptism to undergo.” And what he is referring to there is the fact that he is about to be plunged, if you like, into death, and in the shedding of his blood in death there will be forgiveness for the sins of all who trust in him. And here he is in his baptism foreshadowing, if you like, what will happen in his death. Here we find him standing, if you like, as the priest who will bring forgiveness by the sacrifice of himself.

Our good friend Sinclair Ferguson has a wonderful sentence in relationship to this that I haven’t fully thought out. Perhaps you can think of it with me. He says as we see Jesus here in the water, he “already … indicates how he will become our Saviour: by standing in the river in whose waters penitent Jews had symbolically washed away their sins, and allowing that water, polluted by those sins, to be poured over his perfect being.”[8]

So, here in the baptism of John, there is all this symbolism. That which is pictured in the water is not performed in the water. Jesus goes down into the same water which is tainted by all the symbolic sins of those who have been baptized, and then John takes that same tainted water and pours it over Christ in his baptism as a graphic symbol of what will happen in the pouring out of the blood of Christ on those who are repentant sinners.

So, that’s the first thing we need to recognize: that there in the water, there is an identification with sinners in their need.

Secondly, in the water, we discover that he is identified not only with, but he is identified as. And he is identified as the Father’s Son, whom the Father loves—verse 11.

Now, you’ll notice here, we have each member of the Trinity. The word Trinity does not appear in the Bible, but it describes, in theological terms, the nature of God as he makes himself known. When you read the Bible, you discover very, very quickly that there are indications of God’s being that point us in different directions.

The Spirit of God is identified as a real person, God as Father as a person, and God the Son as a person. And as we read our Bibles, we discover that in every instance, each of these individuals is equal with one another in terms of their eternity and in terms of their power and in terms of their divinity. We’ll think more about this, in part, this evening in relationship to the Holy Spirit himself. But for now, I want you to notice that here is one of the places in the New Testament where, without announcement, you find each member of the Trinity. You have God the Son in the water, you have God the Father speaking from heaven, and you have God the Spirit descending upon the Son like a dove. And the Father and the Spirit are bearing witness to the identity of Jesus.

Later on, Jesus is going to ask his disciples, “What’s the word on the street? Who do people say that I am?” And on that occasion, his followers will tell him, “There are all kinds of things being said about you.”[9] And here we are today, in the twenty-first century, and if we were to go out this afternoon and go into the streets of greater Cleveland and simply ask the question, “Who do you think that Jesus of Nazareth is?” we would receive all kinds of answers. And indeed, if I were to inquire of this congregation, I would not be at all surprised if there are not multivarious answers represented in those who are listening to me now—some saying, “Well, he’s a great man, a wonderful teacher,” whatever it might be. But here we have the authentic statement of the Father himself concerning the Son, and this in the most dramatic of fashions. Because as verse 10 tells us, “as Jesus was coming up out of the water,” there is a visible and a verbal dimension to this authenticating voice.

First of all, we’re told “he saw heaven being torn open.” “Being torn open.” We can only wonder at what that might mean. It’s not an unfamiliar notion as you read the Old Testament, and it always speaks of the fact of a kind of supernatural event whereby God is, if you like, breaking into a moment in time in a way that is just unavoidably dramatic. And here the heavens are “torn open,” reminding us that this is a supernatural event, and then the Spirit is described as “descending”—and you will notice “the Spirit” is capitalized there in the NIV, reminding us that this is a reference to the third person of the Trinity, God the Holy Spirit.

And here is where, again, we will be helped by an understanding of the Bible. If you are coming here this morning and this is the first time you’ve ever looked at this, if perhaps it’s one of the early times that you’ve read the Bible, you will get from this as much as I am able to convey to you. If you have any understanding of the Old Testament, if you have any concept of what the Jewish mind would have had in relationship to these things, then this phraseology will be all the richer for you. Because you will know that all the way through the Old Testament, when God came upon somebody for a special purpose—in prophecy, in priesthood, in kingship—the Bible tells us that the Spirit of God descended upon him.

Well, in fact, let me just give you one of these so you know what I’m… First Samuel 16:13, if you care to turn to it. Here we have Samuel setting apart David as the king of Israel. And in 1 Samuel 16:13: “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.” David’s kingship was marked by anointing. In Judges chapter 3—and you needn’t turn to it—Caleb’s younger brother Othniel is set apart, and in Judges 3:10 we read the same phraseology: “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war.”

Now, when the people of God were anticipating the coming of the Messiah, they anticipated that when the Messiah came and he stepped out, if you like, into the formalized role of his kingly rule to subdue the rebellion of men, in the formalized role of his prophetic work to deal with the ignorance of men and women, in his priestly role to bear our alienation and so on, that that messianic inauguration would surely not happen absent that which had taken place when, if you like, inferior priests and judges and kings had been set to their task. So when heaven is “torn open” and the Spirit of God descends “like a dove,” people would not immediately have said, “Oh, my, my! I wonder what this is all about?” They would have said, “Oh! Now, isn’t this just the kind of thing that our forebearers told us had happened for the kings of Israel?” and so on. And they would have recognized something of the significance in it.

And the “descending” Spirit is said to come on the one who will in turn “baptize … with the Holy Spirit.”[10] Jesus is going to finally go to heaven, and he is going to send the Holy Spirit.[11] The Holy Spirit will come and baptize and fill the followers of Jesus and equip them with an understanding of the truth and with power to take this wonderful good news to the very ends of the earth. And so you have “heaven being torn,” you have “the Spirit descending,” and then you have this voice “from heaven” in verse 11, declaring “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Now, once again, the Jew would have all kinds of bells ringing in his head. He’d say to himself, “This sounds a lot like Genesis 22: ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and offer him up there.’”[12] This would sound a lot like Psalm chapter 2 and the picture of sonship:

  “I have installed my King
  on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will proclaim the decree of the Lord:

 He said to me, “You are my Son;
  today I have become your Father.
 Ask of me,
  and I will make the nations your inheritance,
  the ends of the earth your possession.”[13]

And so people must have said to one another, “Now, when the Messiah comes, finally, these things will fall into place.”

Now, if you stand far enough back from your Bible, all of a sudden, this will start to make sense to you. If you don’t, it won’t. And indeed, if you won’t read your Bible and not study your Bible, then you will just be a spiritual pygmy for the rest of your life. There is no way you will grow to spiritual maturity listening to me thirty minutes on a Sunday. I’ll do the best I can, and my colleagues with me, but you will not understand the Bible, you will not grow in the way that you need to grow, because you will simply be waiting for a little something to hit you or move you or stir you, about which you can either feel bad or good, to nestle away so that you can lose it by the time you’ve driven halfway up to 306 or down to 43. No, you’re going to have to become a student of the Bible. And when you become a student of the Bible, everything will become that richer for you.

Because suddenly you will start to say to yourself, “Well, this makes perfect sense. He will come forward as the Son—the Son who is the Son from all of eternity, stepping forward in the act of redemption, identified in this peculiar and dramatic way, with a torn heaven and a voice from the heavens. He will identify with sinners, and he will ask the Father to give him the nations as inheritance. And when the time comes for his death, he will bear the sins of the nations. He will then send his followers out to declare his Word to the nations. He will then send the Holy Spirit from heaven to his followers so that they might be able to bear his Word to the nations, and he will then rejoice as the nations gather around his throne from every tribe and tongue and people and language and so on.”

So you come here to the baptism, and you say, “Oh, I get it now. This is the voice of the Father declaring, ‘You are my Son, whom I love.’” This is the echo of the word of prophecy in Isaiah 42, which leads us eventually to 53:

Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
 my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him
 and he will bring justice to the nations.[14]

So you see where a knowledge of the Bible matters. Because suddenly, we are looking—even just with two or three verses, we begin to get a far more panoramic view of what’s going on. Otherwise, we simply come to this as the baptism of Jesus, and “I guess Jesus got baptized, and it wasn’t that jolly good,” and we learned about the baptism of Jesus.

No, we realize that what is happening here: when God speaks, the declaration of the Father is an echo of the prospect and the anticipation of all that is now fulfilled in the water. Jesus is in the water according to the eternal counsels of God. Jesus is in the water to do that which is fitting to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus is in the water as the one who identifies with sinners in their need, preparing the way for the forgiveness that will be provided by his death. Jesus is in the water as the only beloved Son of the Father, recognizing as surely as the water descends upon him and as the Baptist ministers to him that one day he will be plunged down beneath a flood which will be a cleansing flood for men and women—a cleansing that is provided in his blood, that is pictured in the baptism that they have gone through.

Well, that’s enough on Jesus in the water.

Jesus in the Wilderness

Jesus in the wilderness. Verse 12: “At once the [Holy] Spirit,” who has descended in gentleness, now moves him out in power—that the Spirit “sent him … into the desert,” or “into the wilderness,”[15] “and he was in the desert [for] forty days.” The children of Israel were there for forty years, and there seems to be some symmetry between these two events.

And what was happening there? He was “being tempted by Satan.” He who had received the unequivocal endorsement of his Father is now faced by the implacable hostility of the Evil One. And once again, Mark chooses to record the incident with compelling brevity, and it’s not my job to spoil his brevity. You will notice that it is a scene of conflict: Spirit and angels versus Satan and the wild animals. If the angels come, as the psalmist says, to minister to the chosen of God,[16] then we should not be surprised that the angels would come and minister to Christ, the beloved Son of God.

Now, what is happening here is simple: Mark is pointing out what he is going to clarify throughout the whole of the rest of his Gospel—namely, that in the incidents that he will describe as taking place… (And they will come upon us very quickly. The driving out of an evil spirit is as good an illustration as any; the healing of many; the man with leprosy; the raising of the paralytic; and so on.) What is happening here is that Mark is pointing out the fact that behind all the earthly scenes in Galilee and beyond—all the things that he’s going to describe as he gives to us the record of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus—all of these things are ultimately represented by a supernatural conflict which underlies them; that behind all of the animosity towards Jesus, all of the rebellion of men concerning Jesus, all of their unbelief about Jesus, that all lies in the fact of an unending supernatural conflict, unending to this point.

Now, again, you need to know your Bible. I’m going to turn you to Genesis 3. If you want to turn to it, good, and if you don’t, then I hope you’ll turn to it later. But in Genesis 3:15, after Adam and Eve have disobeyed God, have turned their backs on him, have done what he told them not to do, the Lord comes to the serpent, who has been the deceiver, and says to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,

 “Cursed are you above all … livestock
  and all the wild animals!
 You will crawl on your belly
  and you will eat dust
  all the days of your life.”[17]

Now, here is the conflict, verse 15:

  “And I will put enmity
  between you and the woman,
  and between your offspring and hers;
  [and] he will crush your head,
  and you will strike his heel.”

Now, there is a sense in which the entire Old Testament is the outworking of what we discover there in Genesis 3:15: that the conflict between the seed of woman and the serpent explains all of the antagonism towards the work of God in each generation. And that runs all the way through the intertestamental period and all the way into the New Testament, in the conflicts that Jesus will engage in as Mark and the other Gospel writers describe them. And it runs all the way out through the back end of the Bible, if you like, into the centuries of man’s sins and into the twenty-first century. And while sociologists would laugh at such an assertion and historians would regard it as the apex of total foolishness, when men and women take their newspapers on a morning and say, “What in the world is going on with the world?” the answer is in Genesis 3:15: that there is a supernatural conflict which underlies all conflict. And it is this which is addressed in Christ’s encounter with Satan in the wilderness. You can read it for yourself later on.

Adam, in Genesis 1, is set within the beauty of the garden—lovely place, lovely wife, lovely animals, lovely flowers, lovely! He has dominion over it all: “You can have all of this. You can enjoy all of this. Enter into the pleasure of all of this.”[18] He’s in a garden with the enjoyment of it all; Christ is in a wilderness with the antagonism of it all. What is happening?

You must read your Bible again. First Corinthians 15, we discover that God has in Jesus the second Adam[19]—that the first Adam goes up against the Evil One and fails. The garden becomes a wilderness. We must now await the arrival of a second Adam, who will go up against the Evil One and triumph, so that one day we will live with him in the garden. And I’m sure there is something in it, some funny little bit in it, that when you read in the resurrection appearances and it says that Mary took him to be the gardener,[20] there is a sense in which he was the gardener. He was the one who by his atoning death and resurrection turns the wilderness back into a garden, turns the wilderness of human rebellion into reconciliation and transforms it all as a result of him going head-to-head with all that hell can throw against him and coming out absolutely triumphant.

The one who stood in that water, identifying with you in all of your brokenness and alienation, is the one who stood for you in that wilderness, emerging victorious so that he might undergo a baptism that would yield the benefits of forgiveness.

This is the story of good news. Jesus has entered into our world—into a world not as Adam found it but into a world as Adam left it. Isn’t that what your mother says when she comes back? She says, “Well, what the world was… Who did what to the kitchen? That’s not the way I left it! But that’s the way I found it.” Well, it’s the reverse, isn’t it? The world into which Jesus comes and the battle that he faces in the wilderness is a battle in a world not the way Adam found it but the way Adam left it.

Now, we must stop here. But this is just setting the scene for the drama of the good news about Jesus, the Son of God, which begins here, says Mark. The story of Christianity is the story of a God who does not shout from afar, who is not reached as a result of our great endeavors and internal searches, but it is the story of a God who comes to us in the person of Jesus, entering into our wilderness world—a world that is fallen, that is broken, that is sinful, and that is disintegrating. And he comes into this world in order that he might restore those broken relationships, that he might come to our alienation and our alienations and grant the fix, that he might come to our fears of the future and grant to us a joyful anticipation.

So, tomorrow morning we will read again about the financial crisis, and we will read about it for however long we’re supposed to read about it. The crisis is not financial. The crisis is personal. The crisis is a crisis of broken relationships—first, a relationship broken with God, expressed in a covetous heart; then in relationships broken with one another: “I demand more. I require more. I deserve more. I want more. I will have more, at any cost to anyone.”

The brokenness in your marriage, if it’s broken, is first of all broken on the vertical axis, not the horizontal. The brokenness in human relationships has to do with our brokenness vis-à-vis God. And the good news as told by Mark is this: You cannot fix it yourself. But the one who stood in that water, identifying with you in all of your brokenness and alienation, is the one who stood for you in that wilderness, taking on all of the threats and intimidation and temptation of the Evil One and emerging victorious, so that he might undergo a baptism that would yield the benefit of the very forgiveness that was pictured in this Jordan River.

And that benefit that is conveyed in the gospel is discovered by those who will come to God and say, “The reason this world is broken is because I’m broken. The reason things are disrupted is because I am disrupted. Lord Jesus Christ, come and forgive me, and change me, and through me, change my little world.”

Well, I think that’s enough, don’t you?

Father, “for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” the one that he loved, “that whosoever believe[s] in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”[21] Lord, help us to believe in you today, to take you at your word, to receive what you so freely offer as a gift. Thank you that you don’t shout at us from a distance, that you haven’t come to give us a philosophy to adopt or a program to put into application, but that you’ve come to us in the person of Jesus, who is our King and, in a wonderful way, a Servant King. And before him we bow. And in his name we pray. Amen.

[1] 2 Kings 1:7–8 (NIV 1984).

[2] John 3:30 (NIV 1984).

[3] Mark 1:3 (KJV).

[4] Matthew 3:14–15 (paraphrased).

[5] See John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19.

[6] 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV 1984).

[7] Luke 12:50 (NIV 1984).

[8] Sinclair B. Ferguson, Let’s Study Mark (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1999), 6.

[9] Matthew 16:13–14; Mark 8:27–28; Luke 9:18–19 (paraphrased).

[10] Mark 1:8 (NIV 1984).

[11] See John 14:16–26.

[12] Genesis 22:2 (paraphrased).

[13] Psalm 2:6–8 (NIV 1984).

[14] Isaiah 42:1 (NIV 1984).

[15] Mark 1:12 (KJV).

[16] See Psalm 34:7.

[17] Genesis 3:14 (NIV 1984).

[18] Genesis 2:15–16 (paraphrased).

[19] See 1 Corinthians 15:47.

[20] See John 20:15.

[21] John 3:16 (KJV).

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.