Mark 1:1-8

Mark 1:1-8

Mark 1:1-8 (God’s Word Translation)

John Prepares the Way

This is the beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophet Isaiah wrote,“I am sending my messenger ahead of you to prepare the way for you.” “A voice cries out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord!
Make his paths straight!’ ” John the Baptizer was in the desert telling people about a baptism of repentance[a] for the forgiveness of sins. All Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went to him. As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. John was dressed in clothes made from camel’s hair. He wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. He announced, “The one who comes after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to bend down and untie his sandal straps. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”


  1. 1:4 “Repentance   ” is turning to God with a complete change in the way a person thinks and acts.

Verse 1

 Good News…derived from the Old English godspell, our word gospel can be better rendered good news or more properly, good story. How true that is, the story of a Redeemer coming to bring us back to God is the best story we can ever be told.

Word Nugget:
1:1 gospel, euaggelion; Strong’s #2098: Compare “evangel,” “evangelize,” “evangelistic.” In ancient Greece euaggelion designated the reward given for bringing good news. Later it came to mean the Good News itself. In the NT the word includes both the promise of salvation and its fulfillment by the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Euaggelion also designates the written narratives of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Mark 1:1


Son of God In the human, Jesus, we find the incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son. The most amazing part of the story of Jesus is that the 2nd person of the Trinity was given to the world by God the Father so that all the believing would have everlasting life. (Note: everlasting is the more proper rendering as opposed to eternal. Eternal is simply a statement of time while everlasting is a statement of both time and quality.) This 2nd Person in the Godhead is given as a Redeemer offered to the world to pay the blood price to cover over sin

ESV Study Bible Note: 1:1 Rather than emphasizing the events leading up to Jesus’ public ministry in terms of his genealogy and family roots (as do Matthew and Luke) or in terms of its theological foundation (as does John), Mark focuses on its actual beginning. The gospel is the good news of the fulfillment of God’s promises. In the OT (Isa. 40:9; 52:7; Nah. 1:15) “good news” is connected with the saving intervention of God to help his people. of Jesus Christ. The gospel is proclaimed by Jesus, the Messiah, but in a secondary sense the good news is the report about Jesus. Mark communicates both at the beginning and end of his Gospel (Mark 1:1; 15:39) that Jesus is the Son of God. Mark 1:1

TWO TITLES (Dr. Mark Strauss)
“Before Mark introduces John the Baptist as the forerunner to Jesus, he provides two significant titles for Jesus that succinctly describe who He is and what He came to do. The first, Christ, represents what Jesus came to do. Rather than a name, the word Christ is a title (the Greek translation of the Hebrew for Messiah) that means “Anointed One.” Jesus was anointed to perform the redemptive work of being prophet, priest, and king of His people. He is the divinely appointed, commissioned, and accredited Savior of humankind. (See Hebrews 5:1–4; Isaiah 11:2–4; 49:6; John 5:37; and Acts 2:22).
The second term, Son of God, refers to Jesus’ nature rather than His office. He isn’t the Son of God because of anything He has done (miraculous birth, incarnation, resurrection, etc.), but rather because of who He is. Mark uses Son of God in its messianic sense and links it closely to “Messiah.”
In the ancient way of thinking, a man’s life was continued in his son. A son would inherit the property of his father—and the firstborn received a double portion. A son was perceived as the extension of the father’s rule and position in the house. So Jesus’ title “Son of God” shows that even when He was separate from the Father, He lived to do the will of God and shared His very nature. Mark 1:1”


Verse 2

Just as the Apostle Matthew did, Mark takes us back to the Old Testament in laying the groundwork to understand Messiah. (Incidentally, Mark portrays Jesus as Messiah the Servant wile Matthew presents Him as Messiah the King, Luke portrays Him as Messiah the Kinsman-Redeemer, and John portrays Him as the Divine Son.)

ESV Study Bible Note: 1:2–3 Mark identifies John the Baptist as the predicted one who prepares the way of the Lord (cf. Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1). Isaiah the prophet is named because he was more prominent and more of the quoted material comes from him. When the text is expounded in the following verses, Mark refers only to the Isaiah citation. John will be identified by Jesus as the one who comes in the spirit of Elijah (Mal. 4:5; Matt. 11:13–14; Mark 9:11–13; cf. also note on Luke 3:2). The path or “way” is to be readied for “the Lord,” and surprisingly the one who comes after John is both the Lord and the Messiah (Mark 8:29). The following Gospel account demonstrates that Jesus, the Messiah, is also a member of the Godhead. Mark 1:2



1:4 John prepares the way by calling people to repentance- turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness of sins. Repentance had to precede baptism, and thus baptism was not the means by which sins were forgiven but rather was a sign indicating that one had truly repented. John labors in the wilderness as a place of purification and fulfillment of prophecy (Isa. 40:3).

John is the last in the vein of the Old Terstament Prophets; zealous for God’s Name and concerned with the holiness of God’s people. In fact, if one were to do a careful study of the Old Testament Prophets, they would easily find that, from the beginning, the message of all of the prophets has been the same, “Turn back to God; He is the only savior”

1:5 all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem. John’s ministry represents a fulfillment of the promise of a new exodus (cf. Isa. 11:11–15; 40:3–11; 42:16; 43:2, 5-7, 16-19; 48:20-49:11; 51:10) in which Israel is delivered from the wilderness, and, so to speak, enters into the river Jordan again (as in Josh. 3:1–4:24) to receive God’s promises of end-time salvation. confessing their sins. God was working in people’s hearts, calling them to turn back to himself, in preparation for the coming Messiah.

1:6 John’s clothing and food correspond to that of other preachers in the desert (cf. 1 Kings 17:4, 9; Mal. 3:1; 4:5–6). Dr. Strauss-Mark’s physical description of John the Baptist (1:6)—his unique diet and style of dress—creates an additional connection between the new prophet and the Old Testament Elijah(2 Kings 1:8). Even though John must have been a powerful presence, his message of repentance is based on the anticipation of “one more powerful than I” (1:7 NIV). John’s comment about his own unworthiness to untie Jesus’ sandals—the work of a slave—is a vivid image of the homage he pays to Jesus and the work He will do (1:7). And although John is baptizing people with water, Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit (1:8).
1:7–8 John’s expectation of the mightier one is connected with Isa. 40:3. The coming one (Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1) is both human (sandals) and divine (“the LORD,” Isa. 40:3) and will baptize . . . with the Holy Spirit (see note on Matt. 3:11). Untying the straps of sandals can be the responsibility of a low servant, but it was something that a Jewish person was not supposed to do. The baptism with the Spirit represents the fulfillment of God’s promises in the OT (see Isa. 32:15; 44:3; Ezek. 11:18–19; Joel 2:28). Mark 1:4-7


Of special note is that John’s Baptism echos the Mikvah, the ceremonial washing before worship in the the Tabernacle and later the Temple. Even to this very day. Baptism symbolizes a spiritual washing, cleansing the stains of sin once for all to make us fit for the presence of God.  Note: it is not the immersion, itself, that cleanses and saves from sin. Rather it is the outward expression of the inward washing.


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