GOSPEL MEDITATION #2
Mark 1:1-8 John the Baptist’s Ministry
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- Mark has no genealogy or birth narrative, rather he begins right in with the ministry of John the Baptist.
- The prophet Isaiah, here the first part is from Malachi 3:1;
the second part is from Isaiah 40:3. The major prophet is
generally quoted before the minor prophet.
- In that era, prior to the arrival of a king or military chief,
the way would be prepared, and the coming announced.
- Baptism, a common practice among devout Jews, focused
on repenting of sin, and the people then would have
understood that a new day was coming.
- The longed for Messiah of God was about to appear – this
was John’s message. The prophets had long spoken of this
day and now it was here.
- John was the proto-typical prophet, like Elijah (see 2 Kings
1:8), and looked the part as well.
- John made it as clear as he could that he was not the
Messiah himself; the Messiah was so much greater that even
John was not worthy to perform the most menial or lowly
tasks for this one sent from God.
- The baptism was one of placing the whole body into and not
with water. Greek grammar makes this clear.
- Allowing oneself to be baptized meant repenting of sin and
declaring a longing to see the Messiah.
- The One Coming would baptize in the Holy Spirit.