In the dust of the Rabbi- Day 18


Title: The message by John the Baptist


Scriptures to Read: Mark 1:1-6; Matthew 3:1-6; Luke 3:1-6


Commentary:


John the Baptist fulfills OT prophesy

Mark’s theme is Jesus the Messiah, the Servant of Jehovah. Notice here how he makes reference to Isaiah, because that will be the background out of which he writes concerning the ideal servant. He quotes from both Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 since both these prophecies are fulfilled by John. These are both literal prophesy plus have literal fulfillment.


The content of John’s message

The content of John’s message is three things.
1. Repentance.
Repentance is not feeling sorry for one’s sin. Rather, it is a change of mind, a radical reorientation of world view, a turning from sin to God.
2. His teaching is kingdom centered.
The motivation for their repentance was the nearness of the kingdom of heaven. And by kingdom he meant the messianic kingdom foretold in the Jewish Scriptures. This is what his Jewish audience would have understood. Had he meant something different, such as a spiritual kingdom, he would have needed to explain it. He is proclaiming that the messianic kingdom is at hand, that is it is imminent.
3. Those who respond to John’s message undergo a baptism of repentance.
We’ll discuss the meaning of baptism in a Jewish context later on. Just keep in mind that baptism was a common Jewish practice for centuries before the time of John.


John the Baptist’s dress code and diet

John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.


John gains a following very quickly

And he immediately gets a lot of attention. Although he is in the desert area, in the Jordan river, just north of the Dead Sea, he gets quite a large following rather quickly.

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