Note: The opening 13 verses of the Gospel of Mark take place in the wilderness. Only when John is in prison does Jesus go into Galilee (v14). John baptised for repentance (v4) but Jesus had nothing to repent of (v11 – God was well pleased with his son). Why then did Jesus get baptised? – an example to his disciples, to signify the end of the old covenant represented by John (Matt 11:13). The centre of the section (vv6-7) emphasises the superiority of Jesus over all that John represented.
A. 1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; 2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
B. 4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
C. 5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
D. 6 And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; 7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
C’. 8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
B’. 9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. 10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: 11And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
A’. 12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. 13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.