The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”
John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Comment: Mark doesn’t waste time but gets from line one down to the guts of what he wants to say. And here we have three related but separate events in 5 verses. The Christmas story isn’t mentioned but…
- Sentence one includes ‘gospel’, that is ‘good news of victory’; ‘Jesus Christ’ the ‘Saving Messiah’ promised by God throughout the Old Testament from the very beginning; The concept of God having a Son. Much could be said but remember the Gentile gods had many offspring in their mythology – Jesus wasn’t like that. The Jews would not countenance the, to them, blasphemous thought of God having a human son. One of the major aims of this record is to show that this crucified man was actually the second person of the Triune God of the Hebrews become the promised Messianic God-Man.
- He quotes Isaiah and Malachi to present John (Elizabeth and Zechariah’s son), as the promised forerunner of the Messiah.
- He then talks of John’s very successful ministry causing many to repent, confess and be baptized.
Prayer: Make me wiling to learn what You want to teach me, Father God.