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.”
Verses 1-3: We can “prepare the way” by explaining people's need for forgiveness, demonstrating Jesus' teaching by our conduct and telling them how Jesus can give their lives meaning.
We can “make His paths straight” by correcting misconceptions that might be hindering people from approaching Jesus.
Verses 1-5: To prepare to receive Jesus, you must repent, turn away from the world`s dead-end attractions, sinful temptations and harmful attitudes and turn to God. He can give you a new start! Hallelujah!
Verse 6: John dressed much like the prophet Elijah. (2 Kings 1:8)
The religious leaders had flowing robes, reflecting their great pride in their positions. However John the Baptist's striking appearance reinforced his striking message.
We as followers of Jesus, are to stand out from the world. We are not to blend in with the world`s ways of dress or speech or behaviour. We are to represent the most high and holy God, to become more like Him in every way possible. We are called to be holy as He is holy!
1 Peter 1:15-16
But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
Mark 1:8: Baptism in water demonstrates repentance, humility and a willingness to turn from sin. Jesus offers to us both forgiveness of sin and the power to live for Him! Hallelujah!!
Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
The “sign” that really brings us to faith, is the power of the Gospel, God`s message, that answers the cry of the heart that is searching for Him!
Praise the Lord for His marvellous plan of salvation! (Resource: Application Study Bible)