Mark 1:1-8 The Gospel Of The Prophets.

Mark 1:1-8 The Gospel Of The Prophets.

Mark’s gospel record begins on a point too often missed. Perhaps it is best to quote verses 1-2a (Cf. Mt. 14:33; Lk. 3:22), and not 2b, in order to see the profound truth stated here at the beginning. “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets.” The prophets wrote about the gospel. In fact, the wilderness community are said to have had the gospel preached to them, but they did not mix that message with faith (Heb. 4:2). This may be the beginning of the record of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to fulfill what the prophets pointed ahead to, but they still preached the same the gospel.

The last of the prophets pointed forward to one who would come to prepare the way for the Messiah (v. 2b; Mal. 3:1). When writing a book it is always good to draw a connection with the preceding chapter in the story line, and that is what has been done here. This one would also be given a specific message of repentance – straightening out what was crooked (v. 3; Is. 40:3). Like all the new testament writers, he thought it important to appeal to at least two witnesses to confirm a judgment in matters of life and death (Dt. 17:6; 19:15; Mt. 18:16; II Cor. 13:1). John was this preacher of repentance (v. 4 Cf. Mt. 3:1).

John also gave expression to repentance in a cleansing ritual of baptism, symbolic of the promise of the remission of sins confessed (v. 5 Cf. Mt. 3:5). To this end he also pointed toward the one who came to fulfill that promise of remission – Jesus the Christ, the Son of God (v. 6 Cf. Mt. 3:4). The One he was pointing to was much greater than him (v. 7 Cf. Jn. 1:27), because for one thing he could forgive sins (Cf. 2:5; Mt. 9:5; Lk. 5:23; 7:48-50). John also made it clear that this One also would be instituting and baptising with a superior baptism – one “with the Holy Spirit” (v. 8 Cf. Mt. 28:18-20; Lk. 24:46-49; Acts 1:4-5; 11:16).

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