“Preparing the way” (Mark 1:1-8)

Our first look at Mark’s gospel begins in many ways, with an introductory title to his gospel. He writes,

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1).

Mark alerts us to the fact that what he is writing is a gospel or good news. It is good news about Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. Mark will not give us a genealogy of Jesus. He simply assumed he is the Christ and he declares that he is God’s son. And yet, how does this good news of Jesus begin? With someone else!

Mark alerts us to Jesus but then immediately moves toward the one who will introduce Jesus, one who will prepare his way.

2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU,
WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY;
3 THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS,
‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD,
MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT’ ” (Mark 1:2-3).

Isaiah prophesied that one would be sent ahead of the Christ who would prepare his way. He would be a voice crying in the wilderness to make the ways of Christ. And how does one prepare to meet the Savior? John begins with repentance:

“John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4).

John was a man who lived simply (Mark 1:5-6) and who had a simple message as well. Jesus is holy, worthy of worship, and powerful.

7 And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.
8 “I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:7-8)

We would do well to remember this truth as well: A simple, repentant life lived in the presence of a holy, powerful savior.

 

 

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