"Mark makes evident that the wilderness in his story carries a dual significance: At times it is a hostile and threatening atmosphere, at other times it is a place of preparation." [source]
Mark 1:1-20 - The Beginning Of Jesus' Ministry
The ministry of John the Baptist, Mark 1:1-8. Always the message of John precedes that of Jesus Christ; first the changed attitude of the will, then faith. The greatness of the Baptist revealed itself in his humility. He saw what we must see, that a negative religion, symbolized by water, is not enough: we need to be set on fire.
The opening pages of Christ's public life, Mark 1:9-20. Jesus was recognized by the Baptist, who beheld the opened heavens and the descending Spirit. If the Lord was thus anointed ere He commenced His life-work, how much more must we be! Hast thou become united with Him in His death, made one with Him in His resurrection, and anointed by that same Spirit? Then be sure that thou, too, must be tempted. Sons of men must go the way of the Son of man, now under the opened heavens, then tempted of the devil; on one side the wild beasts, on the other the angels; now driven to loneliness, and then to the crowded street of the cities, there to gather disciples by the energy and beauty of a victorious life. [source]
Chapter Summary: Mark 1
1The office of John the Baptist 9Jesus is baptized; 12tempted; 14he preaches; 16calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John; 23heals one that had a demon; 29Peter's mother in law; 32many diseased persons; 40and cleanses the leper