Today’s passage: Mark 1:1-8
- The Gospel of Mark was written by John Mark, who served along with the Apostle Peter. Mark has written down what he learned from Peter, who serves as the eye-witness for the account, as he was “carried along” by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).
- This Gospel begins with a statement of affirmation/belief in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. He is the Son of God!
- The prophecy recorded from Isaiah concerning John the Baptist is taken from Isaiah 40:3. However, Malachi 3:1 is also used here.
- John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. The Jewish people who were coming to him for baptism were proclaiming they had NOT been following God and needed to turn from their sin. Their baptism symbolized the cleansing they needed to be consecrated to the Lord once again.
- This was to prepare their hearts for the One who was about to come…Jesus the Messiah!
Questions to consider:
- In what way does verse 1 serve as a purpose statement for this Gospel writing? What does the author want the reader to understand by reading this book?
- In what ways was the baptism of John different than what the church practices today in baptism? In what ways is it similar? How can baptism today serve as a symbol of repentance and cleansing, along with new birth, resurrection, etc.? (Romans 6:1-4)
- How does John’s voice, “Crying in the wilderness” also picture Israel’s coming into the Promised Land? How does this add to the importance of the Jewish people being baptized in the Jordan River? What is the “Promised Land” the Jewish people were about to be offered?