The Prologue of Mark
Update: I recently posted a study on the second part of the prologue (Mk 1:9-13), in which I stopped at Mk 1:13 (but mostly out of time constraints for the lesson I had to squeeze into 45 minutes last Sunday).
For sources cited in this entire study, please see the bibliography.
Click on any of the following links to read more in-depth commentary on each verse. Most of the material can also be found in the slideshow below (albeit in abbreviated form).
- Mark 1:1 Commentary: Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God
- Mark 1:2-3 Commentary: The Prophesied, Preparing Messenger from the Wilderness
- Mark 1:4 Commentary: John the Baptizer, the Prophesied Wilderness Prophet
- Mark 1:5-6 Commentary: John the Baptist, Elijah, Jordan
- Mark 1:7-8 Commentary: The Coming, Stronger One’s Greater Baptism
Video Overview of Mark
This video is embedded in the original slideshow but will not play in the viewer below. See the insightful, animated video from The Bible Project below:
- The beginning of Gospel (“Good News”) starts with John the Baptist.3 In spite of the future suffering, the narrative is still Good News.4
- Mark lets us see Jesus from “God’s angle” (cf. Job 1-2).5 Others in the narrative will struggle with His identity: the Messiah, the Son of God.
- John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus by preaching that people should repent: turn from their sin and turn to God6 – wholeheartedly (cf. Mk 12:29-33)
- John the Baptist is the Elijah-like forerunner of Jesus; Jesus is “the manifestation of God”.7 He is equated with God (the Father)
- John had a large following. Yet, his aim was not to gain popularity, but to point to Christ.8 We, too, should aim to “deflect”9 all glory to Christ, not seek to gain renown for ourselves.
- John the Baptist “stands as the point between the past promise and the future fulfillment of redemptive history…”10 He is like Moses, who “prepared the people for the coming of the kingdom of God but was not himself able to enter the ‘promised land’ (Deut. 34)”.11
- This is all part of God’s prophesied, master plan (of redemption) – the fulfillment of written prophecy
To download a .PDF version of this slideshow, please click here.