Mark 1:1-8

The start of the good news

1 This is the start of the good news about Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God. 2 The prophet Isaiah wrote this message from God in his book:

‘Listen! I will send someone to prepare a way for you.

He will tell people my message.

3 His voice will shout in the wilderness:

“The Lord will come soon, so prepare a way for him.

Make the paths straight for him.” ’

1:3Isaiah was telling people about a man called John. John would say to the people that they should prepare themselves for the Messiah. People mended the roads before a king travelled along them. Isaiah was using this like a picture in words, to help people to understand how to prepare for the Messiah.

4 So John went to a place in the wilderness. He baptized people and he spoke a message from God. He said to people, ‘You have done many wrong things. You must turn away from them and change how you live. Then God will forgive you and I will baptize you.’

1:4Baptism showed that a person wanted to change. They would tell God that they were sorry for the wrong things that they had done and they wanted to obey God.

5 Many people who lived in Jerusalem and in the country of Judea went to listen to John. The people told God about all the wrong things that they had done. Then John baptized them in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothes made from the hair of a camel. He also wore a belt made from leather. His usual food was locusts and honey from the wilderness.

1:5Judea was in the south of Israel and Jerusalem was the capital city.

7 John said to the people, ‘Another person will come soon. He is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to undo his shoes for him. 8 I have baptized you with water. But this man will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’