2 As it is written and forever remains in the [writings of the] prophet Isaiah:
“Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way— 3 A voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, [a]Make His paths straight!’”
4 [b]John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins [that is, requiring a change of one’s old way of thinking, turning away from sin and seeking God and His righteousness]. 5 And all the country of Judea and all the people of Jerusalem were continually going out to him; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
Mark 1:3A ruler or nobleman traveling in the wilderness would have a crew of workmen preparing and clearing the road ahead of him. In spiritual terms, John the Baptist was clearing the way for the arrival of the Messiah by preparing the hearts of his followers.
Mark 1:4Considered the last of the Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist was the son of Zecharias (Zechariah) the priest and his wife, Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were related (Luke 1:36), and Mary may have been with Elizabeth at the time John was born (Luke 1:56). John the Baptist is not to be confused with John the Apostle who, along with his brother James, was among the twelve disciples of Jesus.
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