Mark 1 Commentary

The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God- Mark’s Purpose is established immediately: to identify Jesus as the Son of God. There is no genealogy as in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The events are summarized and minimal. The Baptism, the interaction with John the Baptist, and  the temptation of Christ are all abbreviated. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: The first prophecy (“Behold I send my messenger…”) is Malachi 3:1, and the other (“A voice cries…”) is Isaiah 40:3.  The author only mentions Isaiah here. Isaiah lived 700 years before Jesus.  Prepare the way of the Lord– Purify your hearts for him. Proclaiming a baptism of repentance- Baptism was the symbol of the repentance, of admitting you sin, and asking for God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness heals us spritually, so we may move forward with God in our life.  Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey- This is similar to Elijah the prophet. He lived humbly off of whatever God provided.  The strap of whose sandals I am not fit to untie– John admitted he was not worthy to even touch the shoes of Jesus. None of us are, it is only by his grace and love for us that we enter a relationship with him. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit– Not ceremonially with water, but spiritually forgive you, purify you.  He saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove- There is no recording of anyone else witnessing the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus. The way it reads here, it appears as if Jesus saw the Holy Spirit descending upon him,  but later we learn from the gospel of John, that John the Baptist testified to it. Jesus came up out of the water, indicating his baptism may have been full immersion in the water. If you will, make me clean- The leper’s approach to Jesus was one of humility, he kneeled and asked for God’s will.  When the now healed man spoke freely about it, crowds of people came in search of Jesus to be healed. This is an example of the power of Christian testimony.

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