South City Reformed Baptist Church


The quote from Isaiah cannot be found verbatim in Isaiah in the OT. Mark is using a composite quote. That quote is from two prophets, Malachi and Isaiah, but Mark gives credit to Isaiah, the bigger of the two. Also, Mark is interpreting the prophecy, as he quotes it. In Mal 3:1, Malachi says 'prepare MY way,' whereas Mark says 'prepare YOUR way'. Whose way is it then? Answer: It is Yahweh's way. Malachi in the OT ends with the mention of this messenger. And Mark starts with the mention of the messenger, almost as a recap. Mark 1:3 has Isaiah's part of the quote from Isa 40:3, which mentions LORD, God's covenant name Yahweh. John the Baptist prepares the way for Yahweh the LORD, and he does this by preparing the way for Jesus the Lord. 
JOHN'S MESSAGE WAS PREPARATORY 700 years before Jesus, Isaiah brought words of comfort as he foretold the coming of Messiah. John's role was to call the people from the world and sin to repentance in preparation for Jesus, and his baptism was also a preparatory baptism by purification, following the idea of the washing during proselytisation. It was not a washing away of non-Jewishness but washing away of sin. Malachi's message was to call back the people to God, to return to Him.  
JOHN'S METHOD WAS PREPARATORY John's purifying baptism was preparatory for the coming of the Christ. It was also preparatory in the sense that it foreshadowed a greater reality. The Spirit baptism of Jesus was the real deal. 
JOHN THE MAN, HIS ROLE, WAS PREPARATORY A man of lowly estate, preparing for the Very God of very God.
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