This past Sunday, we explored Mark’s recording of Jesus’ teaching on the second coming. Jesus clearly indicated that this event will be a surprise. We simply need to be ready. This week, we journey back to Jesus’ first coming. We will explore the first eight verses of Mark’s Gospel.
Mark describes the anticipation of Jesus’ arrival from the perspective of the prophets and John the Baptist. John (the Baptist) had a unique and crucial role in preparing the way for Jesus. Mark highlights John’s role as he relates the story of Jesus.
Mark tells us,
(Mark 1:7–8 ESV) And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
You can sense the expectancy in his words. John came to baptize with water. This was an important shift from the Jewish belief that salvation was assumed because of Jewish heritage. John called people to recognize their sin and repent. People were coming in droves to respond to his message. But John was only paving the way for Jesus. Jesus would baptize with a greater substance (the Holy Spirit). John was tilling the soil for Jesus to do his real work. He was getting ready for Jesus.
As we continue to walk through the season of Advent, may we be challenged to anticpate and prepare for God. Join us on Sunday as we gather at the table for communion and study Mark 1:1-8 together.