Mark 1:1-4 - This is the beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. Long ago Isaiah the prophet wrote, “I will send my messenger ahead of you. He will prepare your way.” “A messenger is calling out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord. Make straight paths for him.’ ” And so John the Baptist appeared in the desert. He preached that people should be baptized and turn away from their sins. Then God would forgive them. (NIrV)
Devotional Series: John the Baptist - A Prelude to Greatness
Every story has a beginning. The Gospel of Mark does not contain the birth stories of either John the Baptist or Jesus Christ. But just as Luke began with John’s story, Mark sets the scene with the ministry of John the Baptist. The beginning or the start of the story of the good news is John the Baptist.
Not all stories start with the main character. Jesus is the focal point of the gospel. But he isn’t the start of the story. Both Isaiah and Malachi prophesied that there would be a forerunner to the Messiah. That forerunner’s ministry and teachings would be the sign of the coming of the Messiah.
Isaiah 40:3 - A messenger is calling out, “In the desert prepare the way for the Lord. Make a straight road through it for our God. (NIrV)
Malachi 3:1 - The Lord who rules over all says, “I will send my messenger. He will prepare my way for me. Then suddenly the Lord you are looking for will come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant will come. He is the one you long for.” (NIrV)
If Christ had a forerunner to his ministry, chances are we will have people in our lives who we may or may not be aware of who have been trailblazers or paved the way for where we are today in our ministries, careers, and families. They are our beginnings. How often are we able to acknowledge that what we have did not start with us? Many of us are willing to accept and acknowledge the hand of God in our lives but easily forget the people he has used to help us get to where we are.
Perhaps this passage ought to remind us that very few of us are self-made. Like Jesus, we all probably have someone who is or was a forerunner to where we are now. The question is are we willing and able to acknowledge this?