October 17, 2018
Mark’s Gospel opens like a movie, with a strange character stepping into frame. He wore strange clothes, preached a strange message in a strange place—and the entire Judean countryside was transfixed. Alistair Begg raises an intriguing question: Could John the Baptist’s strangeness have increased his impact? It wasn’t his clothes and diet that set him apart. Rather, the “strangeness” of John was directly connected to his role as a herald, announcing the arrival of the coming Messiah through the preaching of God’s Word.
1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.1
2As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,2
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
3the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare3 the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”
4John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7And 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. 8I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;4 with you I am well pleased.”
Copyright © 2022, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.