Mark 1.1-8 – John the Baptizer

1.1 The Master (Jesus)
beginning: Mark starts with Christ’s adult life & ministry (no birth, genealogies, etc.)
gospel: the good news that a new king was ascending the throne [evangelion]
Jesus: from Joshua, meaning salvation (they had waited 400 yrs since the last prophet)
Christ: from Messiah, meaning anointed (expecting Him for 2,000 yrs, since Eve -Gen3.15; 4.1)
Son of God: ref. to the Divine Nature (Jn5.18; Col2.9) – “God had invaded our planet.” -JPhillips

1.2-6 The Messenger (John)
the prophets: ref. to Isa40.3; Mal3.1 specifically & to another 330 prophecies in general (Jn5.39)
..the arrival of Messiah was not sudden or unforeseen (see v3)
messenger before: John is called the forerunner (an announcer of royalty / importance)

the way of the Lord: an introduction to the sovereignty of God in the life of Jesus
paths straight: the Romans had converted many winding paths into 50,000 mi. of paved roads
..to facilitate governmental Control, Culture, Communication (and unintentionally, Christ)


John:was the ‘greatest man’ (Mt11.11) and was a ‘lamp’ to give light to men (Jn5.35, Lk1.77)
..he should have been a priest, by birth (Lk1.5), but God had different plans (Lk1.63, 76)
wilderness: the desert / deserted places
preach: John did not teach Bible studies or counsel couples, He was not called to pastor
..this preaching was often harsh and made many enemies (Herod included)
baptism of repentance: to be immersed in conviction, repentance, and forgiveness
remission: to send back, to pardon, to release from bondage

went out: they were drawn out of the city (by the Holy Spirit)
all the land: he was very popular for such a short time (crowds, by nature, are very fickle)
baptized: John the Baptizer – named for his practice of immersion (like the Ana-baptists)
confessing: they agreed with John (and with God) about their sins

was clothed: John was not soft / effeminate in any way whatsoever (Mt11.7-8)
..reminiscent of Elijah; with clothes/diet of necessity, instead of luxury
..but what made him unique was not his get-up, it was his message (backed by his life)

1.7-8  The Message
preached: his message was one of lifting up Jesus and exposing the sin of self-righteousness
mightier: as the Mighty One, Jesus is Solver, Surety, Sustainer, Strength, Stability, Salvation
not worthy: John sets forth Jesus with ultimate humility, yet awareness of his calling (Jn3.28, 30)
..even though they were cousins, boyhood playmates, and probably teenage coworkers

but: he made them aware of their need for more (conversion thru’ Christ); repentance is incomplete
Holy Ghost: at salvation, believers are immersed in (sealed by) & indwelt by the Spirit (Rom8.9)
..note John’s Trinitarian teaching that God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Jn3.34-35)
..note the symbolism btwn water & Spirit throughout the Scriptures (Isa44.3)

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