Reading for Today


Reading for Today:

Leviticus 7:1–8:36
Psalm 24:7-10
Proverbs 9:10-12
Mark 1:1-22

Leviticus 8:23, 24 right ear…right hand…right foot. Using a part to represent the whole, Aaron and his sons were consecrated to listen to God’s holy Word, to carry out His holy assignments, and to live holy lives.

Mark 1:15 The time is fulfilled. Not time in a chronological sense, but the time for decisive action on God’s part. With the arrival of the King, a new era in God’s dealings with men had come. the kingdom of God. God’s sovereign rule over the sphere of salvation; at present in the hearts of His people (Luke 17:21), and in the future, in a literal, earthly kingdom (Rev. 20:4–6). at hand. Because the King was present. Repent, and believe. Repentance and faith are man’s required response to God’s gracious offer of salvation (see Acts 20:21).

Mark 1:17 Follow Me. Used frequently in the Gospels in reference to discipleship (2:14; 8:34; 10:21; Matt. 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; 10:38; 16:24; 19:21; Luke 9:23, 59, 61; 18:22; John 1:43; 10:27; 12:26). fishers of men. Evangelism was the primary purpose for which Jesus called the apostles, and it remains the central mission for His people (see Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8).

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Mark 1:22 authority. Jesus’ authoritative teaching, as the spoken Word of God, was in sharp contrast to that of the scribes (experts in the Old Testament Scriptures), who based their authority largely on that of other rabbis. Jesus’ direct, personal, and forceful teaching was so foreign to their experience that those who heard Him were “astonished” (see Titus 2:15).

DAY 18: What was the purpose of John’s baptism?

The Gospels all introduce John the Baptist’s ministry by quoting Isaiah 40:3 (see Matt. 3:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23). John was called “My messenger” (Mark 1:2), the divinely promised messenger, sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. In ancient times, a king’s envoys would travel ahead of him, making sure the roads were safe and fit for him to travel on, as well as announcing his arrival.

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As the last Old Testament prophet and the divinely ordained forerunner of the Messiah, John was the culmination of Old Testament history and prophecy (Luke 16:16) as well as the beginning of the historical record of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not surprisingly, Jesus designated John as the greatest man who had lived until his time (Matt. 11:11). John’s baptism, being the distinctive mark of his ministry (Mark 1:4), differed from the ritual Jewish washings in that it was a one-time act. The Jews performed a similar one-time washing of Gentile proselytes, symbolizing their embracing of the true faith. That Jews would participate in such a rite was a startling admission that they needed to come to God through repentance and faith just like Gentiles.

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John’s baptism was for true repentance. His ministry was to call Israel to repentance in preparation for the coming of Messiah. Baptism did not produce repentance, but was its result (Matt. 3:7, 8). Far more than a mere change of mind or remorse, repentance involves a turning from sin to God (1 Thess. 1:9), which results in righteous living. Genuine repentance is a work of God in the human heart (Acts 11:18). John’s rite of baptism did not produce forgiveness of sin (Acts 2:38; 22:16); it was only the outward confession and illustration of the true repentance that results in forgiveness (Luke 24:47; Acts 3:19; 5:31; 2 Cor. 7:10).

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