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The Preaching of John the Baptist

The beginning of the [facts regarding the] good news of [a]Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

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Footnotes

  1. Mark 1:1 Mark’s gospel is believed to be directed primarily to Gentile believers in Rome. Since Gentiles would not necessarily be familiar with the Jewish title Messiah, he emphasizes instead the fact that Jesus is the Son of God.

Introduction

Since [as is well known] many have undertaken to compile an orderly account of the things which have been fulfilled among us [by God], exactly as they were handed down to us by those [with personal experience] who from the beginning [of Christ’s ministry] were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word [that is, of the teaching concerning salvation through faith in Christ], it seemed fitting for [a]me as well, [and so I have decided] after having carefully searched out and investigated all the events accurately, from the very beginning, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus;(A) so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been [b]taught [that is, the history and doctrine of the faith].

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Footnotes

  1. Luke 1:3 Luke may have been a Gentile. If so, he is the only Gentile author whose work is included in the NT. In addition to The Gospel of Luke, he wrote The Acts of the Apostles, and is thought by some scholars to have been the author of The Letter to the Hebrews.
  2. Luke 1:4 Or orally instructed.

The Deity of Jesus Christ

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word ([a]Christ), and the Word was with God, and [b]the Word was God Himself.(A) He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being. In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines on in the [c]darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it].(B)

The Witness of John the Baptist

There came a man commissioned and sent from God, whose name was [d]John.(C) This man came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe [in Christ, the Light] through him. John was not the Light, but came to testify about the Light.

There it was—the true Light [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] which, coming into the world, enlightens everyone.(D) 10 He (Christ) was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. 11 He came to that which was His own [that which belonged to Him—His world, His creation, His possession], and those who were His own [people—the Jewish nation] did not receive and welcome Him. 12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—(E) 13 who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].

The Word Made Flesh

14 And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception).(F) 15 John testified [repeatedly] about Him and [e]has cried out [testifying officially for the record, with validity and relevance], “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me [f]has a higher rank than I and has priority over me, for He existed before me.’” 16 For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift]. 17 For the Law was given through Moses, but grace [the unearned, undeserved favor of God] and truth came through Jesus Christ.(G) 18 No one has seen God [His essence, His divine nature] at any time; the [One and] only begotten God [that is, the unique Son] who is in the intimate presence of the Father, He has explained Him [and interpreted and revealed the awesome wonder of the Father].(H)

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Footnotes

  1. John 1:1 In John the Apostle’s vision (Rev 19), he sees Christ returning as Warrior-Messiah-King, and “...His name is called The Word of God...and LORD OF LORDS.” (Rev 19:13, 16).
  2. John 1:1 In this phrase, “God” appears first in the Greek word order, emphasizing the fact that “the Word” (Christ) was God—so “God Himself.”
  3. John 1:5 I.e. the world immersed in sin: all that stands in opposition to God and biblical truth.
  4. John 1:6 The births of both John the Baptist and Jesus were foretold by the angel, Gabriel (Luke 1:5-80). This passage is about John the Baptist, the son of Zacharias the priest and his wife, Elizabeth. Elizabeth was related to Mary the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:36). John the Baptist is considered to be the last of the OT prophets, and is not to be confused with John the Apostle who wrote this Gospel, three brief letters (1 John, 2 John, 3 John) and Revelation.
  5. John 1:15 Here John the writer uses the Greek perfect tense (“has cried out”), emphasizing the truth and continuing importance of John the Baptist’s testimony.
  6. John 1:15 Lit has become before (in front of) me, because He was first of me. The Greek is difficult because John the Baptist was making a word-play on the adverbs/adjective “after” (or “behind”), “before,” and “first.” The playful wording assumes the form of a riddle which, like some of Jesus’ parables, conceals the speaker’s meaning from those who are hostile toward him and have neither the patience nor the spiritual inclination to learn from him.

The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

The record of the genealogy of [a]Jesus the [b]Messiah, the son (descendant) of [c]David, the son (descendant) of Abraham:(A)

Abraham [d]was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of [e]Judah and his brothers [who became the twelve tribes of Israel]. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Aminadab, Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz by [f]Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of [g]David the king.

David was the father of Solomon by [h]Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.(B) Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa. Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah. 11 Josiah became the father of Jeconiah [also called Coniah and Jehoiachin] and his brothers, at the time of the deportation (exile) to Babylon.(C)

12 After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor. 14 Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud. 15 Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob. 16 Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by [i]whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah (Christ).

17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen; from David to the Babylonian deportation (exile), fourteen generations; and from the Babylonian deportation to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 1:1 Heb Yeshua (Joshua), meaning The Lord is salvation.
  2. Matthew 1:1 Gr Christos. Greek for Messiah, which means Anointed One. Throughout his gospel, which is directed primarily to Jewish believers, Matthew uses OT Scripture to emphasize the fact that Jesus is their promised Messiah.
  3. Matthew 1:1 The shepherd boy who killed the Philistine giant Goliath, and later became king of Israel.
  4. Matthew 1:2 Lit begot, fathered, from the Greek word gennao, meaning “to father a child” (early modern English beget) and so throughout the genealogy whenever father occurs.
  5. Matthew 1:2 Gr Judas; names of people in the OT are given in their OT form.
  6. Matthew 1:5 The woman who assisted the Hebrew spies before the conquest of Jericho (Josh 2:1-21).
  7. Matthew 1:6 David is the only one addressed as “the king.” The text places an emphasis on David, showing that Jesus is a descendant of David and an heir to the throne of David and the Davidic Covenant.
  8. Matthew 1:6 Lit her of Uriah.
  9. Matthew 1:16 The Greek singular feminine pronoun hes, translated “whom,” shows that Jesus was born of Mary alone, without Joseph’s participation; however, Jesus was considered Joseph’s legal son and heir. Accordingly, Matthew’s genealogy confirms Jesus as a legitimate descendant of David.

Genealogy of Jesus

23 When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son [by marriage] of Eli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Hesli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Heber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.(A)

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Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

In the days of Herod [the Great], king of Judea, there was a certain priest whose name was [a]Zacharias, of [b]the division of Abijah. His wife was [c]a descendant of Aaron [the first high priest of Israel], and her name was Elizabeth. They both were righteous (approved) in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. But they were childless, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both far advanced in years.

Now it happened while Zacharias was serving as priest before God in the appointed order of his priestly division, as was the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter [the sanctuary of] the temple of the Lord and [d]burn incense [on the altar of incense].(A) 10 And all the congregation was praying outside [in the court of the temple] at the hour of the incense offering. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 When Zacharias saw the angel, he was troubled and overcome with fear. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, because your petition [in prayer] was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him [e]John. 14 You will have great joy and delight, and many will rejoice over his birth, 15 for he will be great and distinguished in the sight of the Lord; and will never drink wine or liquor, and he will be filled with and empowered to act by the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb.(B) 16 He will turn many of the sons of Israel back [from sin] to [love and serve] the Lord their God. 17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous [which is to seek and submit to the will of God]—in order to make ready a people [perfectly] prepared [spiritually and morally] for the Lord.”(C)

18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I be certain of this? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in age.” 19 The angel replied and said to him, “I am Gabriel; I stand and minister in the [very] presence of God, and I have been sent [by Him] to speak to you and to bring you this good news.(D) 20 [f]Listen carefully, you will be continually silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe what I told you; but my words will be fulfilled at their proper time.”

21 The people [outside in the court] were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering about his long delay in the temple. 22 But when he did come out, he was unable to speak to them. They realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he kept making signs to them, and remained mute. 23 When his time of priestly service was finished, he returned to his home.

24 Now after this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and for five months she secluded herself completely, saying, 25 “This is how the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor on me, to take away my [g]disgrace among men.”(E)

Jesus’ Birth Foretold

26 Now in the sixth month [of Elizabeth’s pregnancy] the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin [h]betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming to her, the angel said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was greatly perplexed at what he said, and kept carefully considering what kind of greeting this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Listen carefully: you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and eminent and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob (Israel) forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”(F) 34 Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin and have no intimacy with any man?” 35 Then the angel replied to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you [like a cloud]; for that reason the holy (pure, sinless) Child shall be called the Son of God.(G) 36 And listen, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. 37 For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.” 38 Then Mary said, “[i]Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel left her.

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Footnotes

  1. Luke 1:5 I.e. Zechariah. The spelling is different because a Greek word cannot end with an “h,” and in place of “ah” the common Greek ending “-as” was substituted.
  2. Luke 1:5 King David organized the priests into 24 groups or divisions, each headed by a president. A division served twice a year for a week at a time (1 Chr 24:1-19).
  3. Luke 1:5 Lit from the daughters of.
  4. Luke 1:9 I.e. normally a once-in-a-lifetime privilege for a priest.
  5. Luke 1:13 John the Baptist is considered the last of the Old Testament prophets. His mother, Elizabeth, and Mary the mother of Jesus, were related (1:36), and Mary may have been with Elizabeth at the time John was born (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. John and James were the sons of Zebedee and Salome. John the Apostle authored the Gospel of John, three brief letters (1 John, 2 John, 3 John), and Revelation.
  6. Luke 1:20 Lit behold.
  7. Luke 1:25 At this time childlessness was a social stigma.
  8. Luke 1:27 The first stage of marriage (called shiddukin in Hebrew) in Jewish tradition and law, usually lasting for a year before the wedding night; unlike an engagement, it was legally binding and required a divorce to nullify it. The woman remained with her parents during the betrothal year and was referred to as a “wife” even though the marriage was not consummated during this period of time.
  9. Luke 1:38 Mary’s response was significantly different from Zacharias’ (v 18). Zacharias would not take Gabriel’s word, and instead wanted some kind of miraculous sign as proof.

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