Introduction to Blog on the Gospel of Mark

In the Lutheran Church, the readings in the worship services are divided over three years.  The Gospels are also spread over those three years.  This being year two finds a heavy use of the Gospel of Mark. Mark is quite unique from the other synopic Gospels (Matthew andd Luke).  To bring to light some of the differences, I am writing a few blogs on the Gospel of Mark during 2018. I will try to have them to be near to the events we celebrate in our worship services. 

Blog - Gospel of Mark

Mark – John’s Ministry (1:1-8)

The fast moving pace of Mark is already found already in verse 1. Mark’s Gospel gets off to fast start be skipping Jesus’ and John’s birth narratives and goes right to John preparing the way for Jesus.

Verse 1 also points to Jesus Christ as the central figure in this book.  It will be His life, death and resurrection which will be the focal point of this book from start to finish.

The name “Christ”, used here as a proper name. It is also descriptive of our Lord’s mission.  Christ means “the anointed one.” 

Mark connects John and Jesus to the Old Testament.  This helps his Gentile readers to understand that these two are based solidly on God’s Word (v. 2)

The desert is important in that it was where God’s people were formed after the exodus.  It was the staging area for the entrance into the Promised Land. So now, with John, the desert is the place where preparation begins for the formation of a new people who will become the Church.

In our city there is a street that has a very curvy section which really slows traffic.  The city leaders have decided to straighten that segment.  In order to do this they have removed or demolished everything that would keep this from happening. That is what John was doing when he was preaching repentance (vv. 3-4). Israel had strayed from God and His Word.  There needed to be a complete spiritual overhaul. This was needed for them to be ready for Jesus and the gospel. 

There are two different baptisms spoken of in this text (vv. 4, 8). John’s baptism was for repentance which led to salvation.  Jesus instituted baptism in the name of the Trinity in Matthew 28:19. The fire reference describes what happened at Pentecost.   

John clothing and food was simple. It allowed the message to come through loud and clear.

Tying and untying the master’s shoes were among the lowliest tasks performed only by non-Jewish slaves.  Even though John was a prophet he debases himself to the lowest possible level.