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The Strong Forerunner and the Stronger Son

The Strong Forerunner and the Stronger Son

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY ALEXANDER MACLAREN


ST. MARK i. i-n
BY ALEXANDER MACLAREN


ST. MARK i. i-n

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 14, 2014
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The Strong Forerunner and the Stronger Son BY ALEXADER MACLAREST. MARK i. i-n 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. 4. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the bap tism of repentance for the remission of sins. 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. 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 i to stoop down and unloose. 8. I indeed have baptized you with water : but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. 9. And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from azareth 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: 11. And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." THE first words of " In Memoriam " might be taken to describe the theme of Mark s Gospel. It is the " strong Son of God " whom he sets forth in his rapid,
 
4 The Gospel of St, Mark [Chap. i. i-ii impetuous narrative, which is full of fiery energy, and delights to paint the unresting continuity of Christ s filial service. His theme is not the King, as in Matthew; nor the Son of man, as in Luke ; nor the eternal Word manifested in flesh, as in John. Therefore he neither begins by tracing His kingly lineage, as does the first evangelist ; nor by dwelling on the humanities of wedded life and the sacredness of the family since He has been born ; nor by soaring to the abysses of the eternal abiding of the Word with God, as the agent of creation, the medium of life and light; but plunges at once into his subject, and begins the Gospel with the mission of the forerunner, which melts immediately into the appearance of the Son. I. We may note first, in this lesson, the prelude, including verses i, 2, and 3. We need not discuss the grammatical connection of these verses, or the relation of verses 2 and 3 to the following section. However that be settled, the result, for our present purpose, is the same. Mark considers that John s mission is the beginning of the gospel. Here are two noteworthy points, his use of that well-worn word, "the gospel," and his view of John s place in relation to it. The gospel is the narrative of the facts of Christ s life and death. Later usage has taken it to be, rather, the Less. I] The Strong Forerunner and Stronger Son 5 statement of the truths deducible from these facts, and especially the proclamation of salvation by the power of Christ s atoning death ; but the primitive application of the word is to the history itself. So Paul uses it in his formal statement of the gospel which he preached, with the addition, indeed, of the explanation of the meaning of Christ s death (i Cor. xv. 1-6). The very name

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