Mark starts from the beginning. Pretty appropriate, right? Here are his first words:
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
So what, after all, is the gospel? Simply this: the good news. What good news? That we are justified through faith, by God’s grace, for the sake of the sacrifice of Jesus the Christ. Pretty good news that we are given in Him, else we would be condemned to hell. Thank You Jesus!
And then Mark starts the story by quoting Isaiah’s scroll, where God reveals how He will, over time, introduce the Savior to His world. After all, John the Baptizer – the final prophet of the Old Testament (even though we read about him in the New) – is the one prophesied in Isaiah, the voice calling in the wilderness. Make straight the paths of the Lord! cries Isaiah.
Roads in those days were pretty rough, weren’t they, dirt, winding, steep sometimes, subject to weather and the wear of cart wheels and eons of sandal-clad feet. Roman roads were different, of course, built with slave labor, made of stone in many places, elevated, durable, still visible today in some places. But was Isaiah speaking of physical roads, or spiritual roads, the heart-travelled roads each of us is embarked upon in our lives?
If you had to describe the spiritual road of your life, how would it look? Pretty rutted and muddy in places, sunny and solid in others, probably. Where is the map for your road? Have you made any wrong turns? Have you found your way back to the straight road Isaiah describes? Not without help, you haven’t. Consider as you hear the scripture for this day how you might have been helped by the One, the One of John’s prophesy, along the road, bumpy and good by turns, of your life. May God continue to bless you with His guideposts and His leading.