Mark begins with “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
The beginning of the gospel.
Gospel is good news. The beginning of the good news.
That is actually where I am. I am at the beginning of the good news. I am on the cusp of good news. I am longing for good news. I am begging God for good news.
The voice of God fills the Old Testament with with gospel. It was good news. God loved His creation and, over and over God told Israel He loved them. His people rejected His love, then they embraced it, then rejected, then embraced.
Then at some point in Israel’s rejection, God stopped pursuing them. The voice of the Bridegroom stopped calling to the Bride. His voice was silent. For 400 years it was silent. Not a peep.
400 years there was no sound of the voice of God. No good news. Israel was hungry for good news. They were ready for some gospel.
That is me. I am ready for the gospel. I am tired and dry and ready. I am ready for the gospel.
Not just any gospel. I am ready for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, who’s very name means YHWH saves.
Even His name says, “I have not forgotten you.” “When you are lost, I will find you.” “When you are distant, I will come to you.” “When you are dead, I will raise you.” “I am YHWH and I will save you.”
The Jewish idea of salvation was the bringing of Shalom. It is the righting of wrong. It is the re-creation of all that is fallen in creation. It is God saying, “I take you broken and will make you whole.”
The crier cries, “Prepare the way.” And YHWH comes.
YHWH save me. Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus. Make me whole.
***Next Week Mark 1:9-13***
I’m glad I’m on this journey with you! God is good!
I’ve been sitting with this passage this week, and pondering the place of repentance in preparing the way for the Good News of Jesus (John the baptizer was preaching a baptism of repentance in preparation for the Christ).
I’m convicted that sometimes I want to hold on to my rebellion, and at the same time hold on to Jesus. It simply can’t be done. I have to repent (turn around, and walk the opposite direction) if I am to receive this Good News.
Repentance is never pleasant. It is turning on our own way.
An interesting thought…repentance is turning to walk in the same direction as Jesus. “Follow Me,” He said.
Maybe it isn’t quite so difficult when we focus on Him and His invitation more than on what we are leaving behind. I appreciate Dean’s insight into repentance preparing the way. Maybe choosing repentance even while unsure we can follow through, then taking the next step in Jesus’ footsteps, then the next,……
I pondered the transition from sacrifice to baptism for repentance. The beginning of the gospel was proclaiming the cleansing from sin by immersion in water. We know this represents Jesus’ blood sacrifice. How could those at the beginning understand the meaning. Then John promises baptism by the Holy Spirit !.!.! Who’s that? What’s that? What a challenge of faith… Lord, help me accept your path.
“Preparing the way” is what kept rolling around in my head and heart this week.
Your thoughts helped refresh me about how prepared was Israel.
But, without being too self centered about the text: how have I been prepared for Christ’s work in my life? And how can I be humble and effective and intentions and spontaneous as I prepare the way for Jesus in the lives of my friends and family?
Thank you for your thoughts and earnestness.
Stoked to do this with you!
I am pondering the idea of God sending a messenger, a forerunner. Why would God need to send somebody before sending Jesus? It demonstrates He knows us… we will always struggle to believe and received.
In thinking about your your thoughts: “Even His name says, “I have not forgotten you.” “When you are lost, I will find you.” “When you are distant, I will come to you.” “When you are dead, I will raise you.” “I am YHWH and I will save you.”
His name is a gift in and in itself- He names Himself that if we call Him we know hope. He will come to us. He will raise us. He will save us. At this point of the story, we can know His desire to have relationship with us… “
His name is, indeed, a gift.
” I am tired and dry and ready. I am ready for the gospel.” As soon as I read this, God brought to my mind Isaiah 51:1.
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.”
I am thirsty!! Thanks for posting this.
I love that passage (Isa. 55)! Thirst quenching and soul satisfaction come only from God. Often when I find myself parched and desperate, I reaching again and again for what does not satisfy. John said the difference would be in Jesus’ gift of the Holy Spirit, promised later by Jesus to those who come to him to drink (John 7:37-38). I think it is a deep satisfaction, sometimes without the immediate pleasure or apparent reward of the temporary things I love.
Hope in the journey. Good news. Compassion new every morning. Relationship. Blessed.
This is great Derrick. Thank you for allowing me to come on this journey.
The part of these verses that seems to stand out the most is Jesus being baptized by John and then Jesus coming up out of the water and seeing the heavens opening so that God’s Spirit could descend ‘like a dove’ on Jesus. Then God His Father saying, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased.” This is such an awesome picture of the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus as a fluttery softness lighting on Him. I have read the other Gospels to get the full picture and all that was happening. Each account is somewhat different, but all are in unison concerning Jesus being baptized and the Spirit descending on Jesus and His Father announcing that Jesus is His beloved Son whom He is well pleased. There was no guessing at this point who Jesus was because God announced it! God was very proud of Jesus because He was obedient to what His Father wanted Him to do, plus He loved Jesus because He is His one and only son and child!!
The GOOD NEWS is that you are a child of God. Package deal. Think about it….