Will you join me on questioning my way through the Gospel of Mark? By questioning, I don’t refer to doubts or cynicism, but rather using questions as a tool to dig into our hearts and motives and draw closer to Jesus. I’ll be asking questions here every Friday (or thereabouts). Please, feel free to share your answers.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.”
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’ “
John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
- Have you prepared your heart? John preached repentance, which in Isaiah’s terms is “making straight paths.” This might be a painful, long, process, but it’s also the daily picking up of our crosses.
- Do you expect Jesus to show up today? John built expectancy in his followers. “After me will come . . .”
- Have you been baptized by the Holy Spirit? Don’t be turned off by this biblical term. Simply put, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, and He sent him on Pentecost. If you love Jesus and He’s your Lord, you have the Holy Spirit. So recognize that and be thankful. Depend on the Spirit’s power and presence in your life. Only through the Holy Spirit can you do the work of preparing, making straight paths.
Share with me. How do you prepare yourself? How does the Holy Spirit help? How does Jesus answer your expectations for him?