In talk #2 from the Gospel of Mark we move straight into chapter 1. We find out immediately (immediately being a work Mark uses a lot), that there are a few important themes emerging.

First, Mark writes about “the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus.”

Dr. Grant reminds us that Luke began his Gospel account in the same way, but then followed up with book of Acts as an account of “all Jesus continued” to do and teach- through His church. In this way, Mark thinks missionally. Jesus clearly began something that the church continues- even as he writes his account.

Second, Mark completely omits all the details about Jesus’ birth.

We read nothing about his childhood (i.e., no mention of teaching the religious leaders at the temple when He was 12), etc. Mark hastens the story to drive at the theme of salvation.

Third, we meet John the Baptist- an encounter that sets the priestly tone of the entire book.

John the Baptist was the son of Zechariah, a priest who was promised he would have a son while he was serving in the temple. We forget that John the Baptist was ALSO a Levite. Therefore, everything he does has priestly implications.

Turns out, the priests had two types of baptism. They had a baptism of repentance AND a baptism where the Levites were set aside for ministry.

When the Levites were set aside, they also had two other things:

  1. an anointing (a large sealed flask would be broken, shattered open)
  2. a word of declaration

Turns out, we have BOTH in Jesus’ baptism. Perhaps, rather than being a baptism of repentance, it’s a baptism of ordination. After all, all the other factors are present- just as they would have been for priests. And, we know that Jesus, according to Hebrews, is our high priest.



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