Instagram Jesus Week 1: Devotional Day 3
DAY 3 – Wednesday
Use the footnotes in your Bible to find the original context of the Old Testament verses quoted in today’s passage. What is the significance of John the Baptist’s role when understood through this lens?
There are three passages in the Old Testament I want you to look at. Let’s look at the first occurrence of the word “gospel” or “good news” in the Bible. It’s in Isaiah 52:7. Read Isaiah 52:1-10. What is the good news? What will be the result of that good news?
My Advent devotional helped me understand the Greek word for “good news” better. This is what Dr. Mateus de Campos said:
“In the first century, people didn’t have the Internet, and news traveled at a slower pace… The most important at the time was the emperor’s news. News of his accomplishments and victories was celebrated as euangelion— “good news” for the world.”
This shifts how I read the opening verses of Mark. Mark says, “This is the beginning” of the good news message finally arriving that God is victorious! He has won the battle! And the results that we can expect from God now asserting his victory is what we see in Isaiah 52: no more enemies (verse 1); you’re free of everything that’s holding you captive (verse 2); you’ve been bought back out of slavery (verse 3); you now know the name of God! And he’s speaking to you! And he’s here! (verse 6). And so on…
That’s Isaiah 52. Now head back to Mark 1 and reread the prophesies that a messenger would be coming with this good news. Mark 1:2 is the prophesy from Malachi 3:1. Malachi’s the last book before Matthew, the last word about how God is going to return. What’s the significance of John the Baptist’s role when you read Malachi? It’s that the Lord is really going to come!
Mark 1:3 is from Isaiah 40:3. Read Isaiah 40:1-5. What is the significance of John the Baptist’s role when you read those verses? Comfort and the end of warfare are coming! “The glory of the LORD shall be revealed,” and everyone’s going to see God all at once! (Isaiah 40:5).
Now that you know the back story, go back to Mark 1 and reread Mark 1:1-8. Here—listen up!—is the beginning of the message of victory about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He’s here! Come on down to the Jordan. The messenger is here, baptizing, and preparing for God’s victory lap.