“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’
John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waste, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, ‘There comes one after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'”
As I start this personal study on Mark, I often write – even in my own personal journal – as if I am talking to someone else, even if the words are meant for myself. This is so that when I go back and re-read what my heart was saying at the time, I read it from a direct address. So before I even begin sharing with you, I want to tell you that so you know that I am not speaking AT you, this is just the way I write – even for myself.
Also, until verse 23, I actually did not write anything when I started in Mark in April 2014. So I’ll share some immediate thoughts right now. I will try to make this a weekly post, or more often, but at least once a week, so we can study this book together on a consistent basis, if you are following along.
1) Lord, please make me a messenger who is also a voice crying out, pointing people to You.
2) Please make the things I say to be accurate, pure, and truthful. Just like John recognized that You are greater, I wand to also say with him: you must increase, and I must decrease (John 3:30)
3) Lastly, Jesus does baptize us with the Holy Sprit – He is alive and working now, and wants to convict you, lead you, and walk you closer to God. Ask Him to fill you and empower you. Jesus promised this to us, and when I read the scriptures, I always ask Him to teach me (1 John 2:20-3:3).