The Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begins with what the prophet Isaiah said would happen. Isaiah wrote: "Listen! I (God) will send my helper ahead of you. He will prepare the way for you." "There is a person shouting in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his paths straight.'"
— Mark 1:1-3
Where does the Gospel actually begin? Where does God's good news originate? Matthew and Luke begin their accounts of Jesus' life with the stories surrounding his birth. John begins with the creation of the world where the Son of God was not only present, but also did the creating. Mark, with his focus on good news, chooses to begin a different place. If folks are going to be open to the good news of God, then someone is going to have to be a servant and prepare the way for Jesus to come and for his word to be heard. In many ways, the good news always begins in this place. The real question is whether we are willing to be used as servants like John the Baptist—who is introduced in the next verse—and prepare the way for Jesus' good news to be heard by our friends.
Father in heaven, please use my life to prepare the way for Jesus to come with his good news into the lives of my friends, acquaintances, and family. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
The Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begins with what the prophet Isaiah said would happen. Isaiah wrote: "Listen! I (God) will send my helper ahead of you. He will prepare the way for you." "There is a person shouting in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his paths straight.'" So John the Baptizer came and was baptizing people in the desert area. He told the people to be baptized to show they wanted to change their lives. Then their sins would be forgiven. All the people from Judea and Jerusalem went out to John. These people told the sins they had done, and then they were baptized by John in the Jordan River. John wore clothes made from camel's hair. John had a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. This is what John told the people: "There is a person coming later who is greater than I am. I am not good enough to kneel down and untie his shoes. I baptize you with water. But that person who is coming will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. " At that time Jesus came from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the place where John was. John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. While Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the sky open. The Holy Spirit came down to Jesus like a dove. A voice came from heaven and said: "You are my Son and I love you. I am very pleased with you."
Related Scripture Readings
After this, John was put into prison. Jesus went into Galilee and told people the Good News from God. Jesus said, "The right time is now here. The kingdom of God is near. Change your hearts and lives and believe the Good News!"
So the followers came to John. They said, "Teacher, remember the man that was with you on the other side of the Jordan River? He is the man you were telling people about. That man is baptizing people, and many people are going to him." John answered, "A man can get only what God gives him. You yourselves heard me say, 'I am not the Christ. I am only the one that God sent to prepare the way for him.' The bride always belongs to the bridegroom. The friend that helps the bridegroom just waits and listens. He's happy just to hear the bridegroom talk. That's how I feel now. I'm so happy that he (Jesus) is here. He must become more and more important. And I must become less important.
The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me and for the Good News will save his life forever.