“And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” vs. 5
For Mark the beginning of the good news of Jesus begins, not with dreams and angel visitations, but with the wilderness ministry of a fiery prophet with a message of repentance. John the Baptist was a significant figure and he attracted major crowds–he even caught the attention of the king. But he wasn’t the star of the show…in Las Vegas parlance, he was the warm-up act. His purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus and he did it by inviting people to confess their sins and submit to baptism. And it worked! Folks came from the whole region of Judea and were immersed by him in the Jordan River. But according to Mark this was only the beginning–something even better was on the way. We’re reminded of this during Advent as we move through the prescribed self-examination of the season. It’s good to wait and watch and wonder…and there’s a certain contentment that comes with our chosen rituals. But Advent only prepares the way! It’s like the moment of confession that precedes the body and the blood of Jesus in Holy Communion. It’s what we do to get ready for the explosion of power that comes in the Christ. Repentance is wonderful but the indwelling incarnate word defies description!
Thought for the Day: Why did Jesus need John?