As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'” John [the] Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Mark 1:2-4 NABRE
Mark opens his gospel with a biblical quotation mainly from Isaiah indicating Jesus’ coming was not out of the blue but was planned and prepared by God for centuries. Isaiah announces a jubilant voice, crying out that the exile will come to an end and the Lord will prepare a way by removing all obstacles, so He can lead His people through the desert to their homeland (Isaiah 40:3.) In the original passage God was speaking to His people, Mark has shared the word as pointing to God’s Son Jesus. Jesus’ coming will be prepared by a forerunner, John the Baptist. It was not by chance that John the Baptist made his appearance in the desert. The desert is the place of deprivation, loneliness and stripping of comforts as well as it is not the “official” place of the religious leaders. The Jews remember well the desert as a place of testing where their ancestors wandered with God for forty years. During this period, the Israelites learned to depend on God to guide them and provide all their needs.
When John began announcing a baptism of repentance there was a domination power suppressing the people. The people had many needs, yet there was an obvious spiritual hunger as people trek out to the desert to hear John challenge them to repent, (change their lives) and a whole hearted return to God who promises forgiveness. John challenges people to change while providing hope announcing they should prepare a way for the coming of the Lord.
Do you need to repent? How would forgiveness free you?John challenges people to change while providing hope announcing they should prepare a way for the coming of the Lord. Click To Tweet
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