Not Just News…
Gracious God, I’m so thankful for the good news of Jesus. I await greater insight into it now.
Read Mark 1:1-8
 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”-  “a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'”  And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.  John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.  And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.  I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was the essence of John’s preaching?
From our cynical, twenty-first-century viewpoint it can be hard to recapture the sheer excitement of the first sentence of Mark’s book. But Mark himself was in no doubt. He was writing about someone who was going to change the world. This wasn’t just news, it was gospel—really good news!
At the same time, this “good news” story was rooted in the past, in the prophetic tradition of the people of Israel. By quoting from Isaiah, Mark was reminding his readers of the hope they once cherished of the coming of Messiah. The new story Mark was about to tell wouldn’t contradict the past, it would fulfill it—“And so John came…” (4).
John was a sort of human signpost. Dressed like the Old Testament prophet Elijah, John stood at the point where the past and the future intersected. Nothing would ever be the same again. History was about to take a radical new direction.
The message he preached to the enthusiastic crowd started with a call for the people to acknowledge their need of a personal new start. And that was just the beginning…
Bring to God the areas of your life which particularly need a radical new direction today. Ask for God’s help.
Lord, thank You for the good work You’ve begun in me. I pray that You’ll continue it every day.
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