Part 1 Mark 1:1-3
As we begin this study of Mark, we will break the book down into little sections, then post them on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. The thought is to do just a few verses and then expound upon them to give us all a better understanding of Christ, His mission and our response and in some cases the response of those that heard his words and saw His acts of compassion and love.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the Prophets: Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.” 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.”
Mark makes it clear from the very beginning that this book is about the gospel of Jesus and identifies Jesus as the Son of God.
Mark makes it very clear as the other gospel writers that someone would come before Jesus to prepare the way for Jesus. Mark uses the language of Isaiah to identify who it would be that prepares the way for Christ. Isaiah lamented before the people. Comfort, yes, comfort my people! Says your God. 2 “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the Lord’s hand Double for all her sin.” 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the LORD: make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be make straight and the rough places smooth; 5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed. And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
God has always chosen to make his purpose known, to give us advance warning or council of things that are about to come. Before the flood came, God sent Noah to prepare a way of escape and offer to others the plan of escape, yet only Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives were saved. Eight in all.
When it came time for the Israelite people to return to Canaan, the land promised to Abraham, God sent Moses to prepare the hearts of the people and to show them and to all the inhabitants of the earth, God’s great power and his superiority over all other gods. Yet through this great power you could see the love and care God had for His people.
When the Israelites lost sight of God, God sent Jeremiah and Isaiah to prophesy before the people of the coming destruction, but their message was also a message filled with hope. For within the pages of their writings the promise of the Messiah is given. God also made sure the people understood that this temporary destruction was not permanent for as God used a heathen nation to bring punishment upon his people, he would also use another heathen nation to restore his people. Again, with this promise came the hope of a soon coming Messiah.
During the Babylonian captivity, God prepared and then gave Daniel instructions on exactly when the Messiah would come and information to help God’s people understand these last days in which we live. Is it then any wonder that God would send someone just before the Messiah was to come to prepare the way for his coming. All four Gospels tell us of John the Baptizer who was to prepare the hearts of a nation to receive their Messiah.
In our next post, we will explore, who this John was and what message he preached to the people. But let me leave this post with a question. If we are God’s people, and God has promised that His Son, Jesus Christ would again return to this earth, not as a baby, but now in clouds of glory, then is it possible the message we will learn of in our next post is a message you and I should be preaching today?
Is it possible, that we, as in you and I, are to be a voice crying out in the wilderness to prepare the way of the LORD?