Thoughts for the Day

Monday, 2nd August 2021: Mark - 1

Gospel Mark 1 John the Baptist Good News Jesus

Reading : Verses from Mark, Chapter 1


The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah:

'See I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness;
"Prepare the way of the Lord:
make his paths straight" '.

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.... Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, 'The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me, I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'

And in those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Over twenty years ago I remember sitting one Advent in St Mary's Church, Hanley Castle, on a hushed winter's night with over twenty people. There was real sense of expectation in the air and no-one was talking, each person was looking at a copy of the words from St Mark's Gospel. There were those who had never read the bible aloud before and there were seasoned readers, but all of us were there to listen to the whole of St Mark's Gospel. Each person read their appointed portion, and somehow the story came alive in a way that it never had before, as each miracle, each parable, each incident led into the next one and we saw the Gospel as a whole, complete, story.

Unlike Matthew and Luke, Mark's Gospel starts with the 'forerunner' - John the Baptist, who comes to announce the arrival of the Son of God. He comes to bring 'Good News'. He comes to announce that the Messiah will baptize the people with the Holy Spirit. And before we can even take this news in we hear that 'Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee' and was baptized by John. This is the Son of God that Mark says is good news for us all.

Have we forgotten the majesty of the opening of this, the earliest, the shortest, and the most succinct Gospel our Bible? Mark simply opens with these words, to tell the greatest story every told: The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.


Lord Jesus,
help us to remember the amazing
Good News that Mark brought to the world,
as he tells the story of how
God's Son came to earth
to save each one of us from
eternal damnation
by taking our sin upon Himself
and reconciling us to God once more.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to read this cartoon style overview of Mark's Gospel:

The following is a live recording of David Suchet reading the whole of the Gospel of Mark from St Paul's cathedral. There is quite a lot of introduction before you get to the actual reading, which he speaks as though it has never been heard before:

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