A Bible Exposition Of Mark 1:2-8
Get Ready, the King is Coming!
John the Baptist was the greatest man who has lived up until this point according to Matthew 11:11.
Born of women. Naturally. None has risen. Prophets rise up. John has this unique ability that set him apart. When he burst on the scene it was remarkable.
A good bible student asks the question… why is this passage in the Bible? Of all the details that could have been written about and aren’t, why does Mark include this here? If you and I are going to get the most out of this passage we have to be able to identify the answer to this question.
He is making the case that this Jesus is in fact the long expected one of Israel. All of these first three sections in the prologue are establishing even before we see Jesus begin his earthly ministry that He is the Christ.
The Prologue to the Ministry of Jesus Christ (1:1-12)
- Identification of His Ministry (1:1)
- Preparation for His Ministry (1:2-8)
- Inauguration of His Ministry (1:9-11)
- Vindication of His Ministry (1:12-13)
You are about to be introduced to the greatest person who has ever walked the earth. Because as much as he is a real man, he is also fully God. He was appointed for the rise and fall of many in Israel. You must pay homage to the Son.
The message is to come and be saved. John’s ministry was to sober and soften the Jews for receiving her king. Sober from spiritual complacency. Where you have all the time in the world, and temporal things become the most important things to you. Soft where you are longing for the Lord. You want to see Him, and know Him, and walk in a way that pleases Him.
Key Implications: if you are not in the kingdom, then today come and bow before your King that you might receive his blessing. And if you are in the kingdom, then rejoice that your King has come and is coming again.
This is the good news, the euangelion as we discussed last week.
It was used when there was a significant geo-political change that was impacting the empire. A new emperor is born. Or a great military success has taken place.
And so here, God is announcing through his servants the good news that a king is coming.
“It is announcing the good news of the arrival of God. That is its usage. It refers to the ascent of God to rule, the Lord God will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him. When you're talking about good news, you're talking about, this is the best news possible. Remember now, these are people who are captive. They are being told there is coming a restoration. The punishment and chastisement is over. You're going back and the Lord is going to ascend again into His throne and He is going to rule over you. In the forty-second chapter...or the fifty-second chapter of Isaiah, we find a similar usage of this in the same context. Verse 7, Isaiah 52, “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news. Again this is the same good news who announces peace, who brings news of happiness, who announces salvation. And what is going to bring happiness and peace and salvation? Say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.'”
Summary of The Passage
Mark kicks off with his prologue to the Gospel. After issuing the title statement, which summarizes the entire work, he moves on to the preparation of the ministry of Jesus Christ.
He quotes Isaiah and Micah (only referencing Isaiah). Micah concerning the sending of a messenger who will prepare the way, and Isaiah concerning (v. 3) that the voice in the wilderness will proclaim that people need to get ready.
In this passage we see how Mark views the revelation of Jesus Christ as being an announcement of good news. Furthermore, that He is Messiah, and He is the promised Son of God.
John’s ministry then is included only because it is such an essential context for establishing the ministry of Jesus. Jesus arrived as promised, and in part known by the man (also promised) who came right before Him. Many, but not all of the Jews were expecting (and desiring) something different than Jesus of Nazareth.
The Jews had been waiting for a very long time to hear from God… how many generations? Comparison to how old the United States is? How did that compare to what they were used to for their generations of not hearing anything from the Lord.
3 Attributes of John’s Ministry of Preparation (1:2-8)
- John prepares as promised (1:2-3)
- John preaches with Impact (1:4-6)
- John points to another (1:7-8)