The Beginning of the Gospel

Key Verse: “There came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
—Mark 1:11

Selected Scripture:
Mark 1:1-45

OUR LESSON BEGINS AT the time our Lord turned thirty years of age. Jesus had come to John the Baptist and had been immersed in the Jordan River. The Gospel of Mark begins by saying, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1) The word ‘gospel’ means the announcing of good news. This good news was that the Messiah, the Son of God, had come to fulfill his Father’s plans and purposes.

In verses two through eight, we find a reference to Isaiah’s message regarding the sending of John the Baptist to prepare the people for the coming of Christ. The prophecy said, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”—Isa. 40:3-5

The arrival of Jesus, and his baptism by John at the Jordan River, was the fulfillment of this prophecy. When Jesus came up out of the water the account states, “The heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove” descended upon him. (Mark 1:10) In the words of our Key Verse, “There came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”—vs. 11

What had been prophesied by various prophets was now to have fulfillment. Isaiah prophesied concerning the purpose of Jesus coming (Isa. 61:1-3), and the prophet Malachi called our Lord the “messenger of the covenant.”—Mal. 3:1

John the Baptist pointed out that his baptism was with water, a symbol of the washing away of the sins against the Law, but that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit, symbol of the begettal to a new life. “A new and living way” was about to open. (Heb. 10:20) Baptism into the death of Christ was indeed a ‘new and living way,’ one which would lead to “glory and honour and immortality.”—Rom. 2:7; II Pet. 1:4

After our Lord’s baptism and his receiving of the Holy Spirit, he went into a mountain to pray, and meditate upon what his Father’s will would be for him and his ministry. Jesus was forty days without food and water, and was tested regarding his fidelity to God by the Devil. He overcame these tests through the aid of the Holy Spirit, quoting from God’s Word.—Matt. 4:1-11

Meanwhile, John had been shut up in prison for his faithfulness to God’s Word and later beheaded by Herod. (Luke 9:9) We read that Jesus then began his ministry by preaching the “gospel of the kingdom of God.” (Mark 1:14) This Gospel was indeed the ‘good news’ of a coming kingdom of peace and righteousness, under the rulership of Jesus and his body members.—Acts 17:31; Rev. 20

Our Lord called the first of his apostles, Peter and Andrew—fishermen. Jesus told them in the call that he would make of them, “fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17) Following this he called James and John. This was truly the beginning of the Gospel, the good news.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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