Thoughts: The first paper I submitted in graduate school came back with only two marks: a big red C and one word – prolix. I was crushed by the C, and I was embarrassed that I didn’t know what prolix meant.
The author of the gospel of Mark could never be accused of being prolix. His sixteen chapters are terse and unornamented, and his two favorite words are “immediately” and “straightway.”
The first chapter of Mark begins with Isaiah’s prophecy: “Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.”
This messenger, John the Baptist announces his mission; he baptizes many people; he preaches repentance. Mark tells us how John dressed and what he ate. John professes his unworthiness even to tie the shoelaces of the One who is coming, proclaiming, “I indeed have baptized you with water, but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” And all this in eight verses.
Discussion: Did Jesus need a precursor like John? Why or why not?
Activity: Try to make the path straight for someone else. Pay a compliment. Welcome a visitor to our church.
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