Let’s try a new type of blog post. In this series, I plan to walk through a portion of the book of Mark in a devotional way. These are meant to be written as a supplement to your quiet time as you read through Mark. You can anticipate that each post will have questions to answer to help you observe and interpret the text, a way to apply the text and prayer prompts that come from the passage. I pray it will be helpful to you as you engage the text of Scripture in a deeper way.
As we begin looking at the first chapter of Mark, notice a few things from the text. (Note: I am working from the ESV version.)
- The word immediately is used at least 35 times in the book of Mark. Where is the word “immediately” found in the first chapter? (You may want to print a copy of the text and circle this word in red.) Why do you think he uses it so often?
- Another word that’s repeated in this chapter is “wilderness.” What events happen in the wilderness? (You may want to underline this word in yellow.)
- How many times is the Holy Spirit (or Spirit) mentioned in the text? (Underline it in blue.) What is Mark trying to emphasize with this?
What does the first verse of Mark tell you about the author’s purpose? How does it describe Jesus? Why do you think he describes Him like this?
In verses 2-3, what two men is the prophecy about? How do you know?
What do we learn about John the Baptist in this passage? What was his purpose?
What was John’s message to the people (see verses 4-5 and 7-8)?
What was the people’s response to John the Baptist? See verse 5.
Why do you think Jesus was baptized by John? Did he need to show repentance? For help see Matthew 3:14-15.
What is the difference between the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus according to verse 8?
What parts of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) are in the description of Jesus’ baptism? What does each of them do?
Mark wrote down his testimony about the gospel, or good news of Jesus. Take some time today to write down or record a testimony of what Jesus has done in your life.
John the Baptist came with a message of repentance and confession. We are all sinners who need to confess and repent of our sin. What sin do you need to confess to God today? See 1 John 1:9-10.
John the Baptist didn’t seem to care what people thought of him and his message as long as he was faithful to obey God. How has God asked you to be obedient, no matter what people think of you? What fears are preventing your obedience?
John knew Jesus was worthy and he was not. How have you shown today that He is worthy and you are not?
Praise God for the written testimony of Jesus’ work that Mark wrote (v 1)
Praise God for fulfilling prophecy and always telling the truth (v 2-3)
Ask for humility to see your sin, confess it and repent of it (v 4)
Sit in awe of God for forgiving and not holding a grudge over our sin (v 4)
Ask the Lord to help you do the works He has planned for you to do, regardless of what people think (v 6)
Ask God for wisdom to see your proper place, as He is exalted and you are diminished (v 7)
Thank God for the gift of His Spirit that dwells in all believers (v 8)
Thank God that Jesus was perfect and didn’t need to show His repentance through baptism (v 9)
Adore God for the Trinity and how His ways and knowledge are so high they can’t be fully understood by us (v 10-11)
Thank God for Jesus’ righteous life that is credited to us if we repent and believe in Him (v 9-11)