Mark wastes no time. He jumps right into the action, starting with John the Baptist, who “appeared in the wilderness.” Though John opens Mark’s gospel, he is also the culmination of a long line of prophets preparing the way for God’s arrival in Jesus. He preaches to a people tired, low, and longing for change—a new world order, a new way of life. He announces the arrival of a new kingdom—but one that begins with them changing their own hearts and minds.
- Read Mark 1:1–8.
- Ask God for what you desire—to know him more intimately, to love him more intensely, and to follow him for intently.
- Imagine gathering with the people at the Jordan river. Place yourself in the scene. Take in the sight (and smell) of this wild messenger. Turn to someone in the crowd and ask why they have come out here.
- Consider how strangely God chooses to reveal his plan. Reflect on John’s simultaneous boldness and humility.
- As we said yesterday, the gospel begins with repentance. Join all those going to John to confess and repent by repeating the exercise of self-examination from yesterday. If it helps, imagine dipping your hands in water or splashing your face. Remember the power of baptism to forgive and heal.