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Mark 1:1-15: Gospel Beginnings

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Mark.

Do you have any friends who begin mystery novels at the back? Like endings, beginnings tell us a lot. In them writers set the context for what is to come and often drop hints which later prove to be important. The beginning of Mark's Gospel is no exception. This passage introduces several important themes which will be developed in the following chapters.

Warming Up to God

What does it mean to you that Jesus is King? What images and feelings does that bring to mind? Meditate on Jesus as King for a while in preparation for reading Mark's Gospel.

Read Mark 1:1-15

Discovering the Word

  • Verses 2 and 3 combine quotations from Malachi and Isaiah. What do these two quotations have in common?
  • How does John's ministry prepare the way for Jesus?
  • How does John emphasize the greatness of the one who will come after him (vv. 7-8)?
  • Despite his greatness, Jesus came to John for baptism. What does this tell us about Jesus' relationship to us?
  • How do the events surrounding Jesus' baptism prepare him for his temptation in the desert?
  • How does Jesus summarize his mission at the beginning of his ministry?

Applying the Word

  • What temptations are you currently struggling with?
  • What encouragement do you find here for facing your own temptations?

Responding in Prayer

Ask God to help you find the encouragement and strength you need to face temptation.

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