We are in the Christ Stream as we start the book of Mark – the expedient gospel. We are reading from the Lexham English Bible this week.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Mark is the expedient gospel. One person compared it to an old detective show where the inquisitor would cut off a testimony that was getting too mired in detail to interject, “just the facts, please …” Mark jumps straight to the baptism of Jesus to begin his gospel. Jesus is 30 years old. He wants to make sure that the proof of his wonders gets known to the world. His is the shortened, most concise gospel. The childhood of Jesus is not in Mark. There are no angel announcements, genealogies, John/Baptist buildup, childhood stories to include Joseph, wisemen nor shepherd visits, Jesus as a baby or as a 12-year-old in the Temple. We see the word “immediately” in Mark dozens of times, markedly more than in the other gospels. Mark wants us to know the wonders of Jesus and then the next wonder, and the next and next.
Mark does make a point that all kinds of people were coming from all over to be baptized by John in the Jordan. The managers of all the synagogues had to wonder “where is everybody?” Matthew notes this detail too as he also was writing to Jews mainly. Wait until Jesus comes along and the crowds looking to encounter him grow exponentially! Then there’s really going to be sparse crowds left behind for the priests to speak to. Only Mark mentions John/Baptist’s ‘impressive’ outfit and diet. At any rate, Jesus is baptized and all four gospels include that the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus at that time.
Lord, you are talking to us when Jesus is talking to us. The people saw it and came running to you. The leaders saw Jesus and resented Him. We want to pay attention to all that you have to show us. Thank you for coming to us. Amen.