The right start is important for a successful journey. This holds true whether you start your morning with a nutritional breakfast so you can have the mental capacity and energy for the rest of your day, or it can mean enrolling your child in the right school so they can become an outstanding learner and a productive, capable adult.
From the very first chapter of the Gospel of Mark, the disciple paints a portrait of Jesus that shapes the way we read and understand the rest of his gospel. In order to affirm Christ’s deity as the Son of God from the very beginning of His ministry, Mark begins with the fulfillment of prophecy and divine witness to the identity of Jesus Christ. Mark portrays the work of the One who has come to serve humankind as the work of God Himself.
Both Isaiah and Malachi prophesied the coming of John the Baptist, the one who would come before the Lord to make a way for His arrival (see Mal. 3:1; Isa. 40:3). John came from the wilderness. He baptized in order to “prepare the way” for the Lord to come to people and free their hearts from sin.
John baptized Jesus not because Jesus needed repentance, but so that He could stand in the place of “the many” in need of a ransom for sin (Mark 10:45). At that incredible moment, right at the very beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, Heaven responded with so much affirmation and excitement that the sky ripped open. The Holy Spirit alighted on Jesus, coming down like a dove, and the Father’s voice from Heaven audibly identified Jesus as His Son. This passage presents a beautiful picture of the Trinity, similar to the picture in Genesis 1 during Creation.
If you have time, begin your study of Mark’s Gospel by reading straight through the entire book. Mark’s account of Christ’s earthly ministry is brief and fast-paced. With a little discipline you can finish the whole book quickly and learn a great deal about our Savior who came to serve and who calls us to serve as well.