1 The beginning of the [facts regarding the] good news of #Mark’s gospel is believed to be directed primarily to Gentile believers in Rome. Since Gentiles would not necessarily be familiar with the Jewish title Messiah, he emphasizes instead the fact that Jesus is the Son of God.Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written and forever remains in the [writings of the] prophet Isaiah: “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way-- 3 A voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, #A ruler or nobleman traveling in the wilderness would have a crew of workmen preparing and clearing the road ahead of him. In spiritual terms, John the Baptist was clearing the way for the arrival of the Messiah by preparing the hearts of his followers.Make His paths straight!’” 4 #Considered the last of the Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist was the son of Zecharias (Zechariah) the priest and his wife, Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were related (Luke 1:36), and Mary may have been with Elizabeth at the time John was born (Luke 1:56). John the Baptist is not to be confused with John the Apostle who, along with his brother James, was among the twelve disciples of Jesus.John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins [that is, requiring a change of one’s old way of thinking, turning away from sin and seeking God and His righteousness]. 5 And all the country of Judea and all the people of Jerusalem were continually going out to him; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a [wide] leather #This band (sash, girdle) was about six inches wide and had clasps or fasteners in front. It was used to carry personal items such as a dagger, money or other necessary things.band around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he was preaching, saying, “After me comes He who is mightier [more powerful, more noble] than I, and I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the straps of His sandals [even as His slave]. 8 As for me, I baptized you [who came to me] with water [only]; but He will baptize you [who truly repent] #The Greek here can be translated with, in, or by.with the Holy Spirit.” 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 #Mark uses the word “immediately” almost forty times in his gospel.Immediately coming up out of the water, he (John) saw the heavens torn open, and the #Mark uses the word “immediately” almost forty times in his gospel.Spirit like a dove descending on Him (Jesus); 11 and a #See note Matt 3:17.voice came out of heaven saying: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased and delighted!” 12 Immediately the [Holy] Spirit forced Him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted [to do evil] by Satan; and He was with the wild animals, and the angels ministered continually to Him. 14 Now after John [the Baptist] was arrested and #Cf 6:17 ff.taken into custody, Jesus went to Galilee, preaching the good news of [the kingdom of] God, 15 and saying, “The [appointed period of] time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent [change your inner self--your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life] and believe [with a deep, abiding trust] in the good news [regarding salvation].” 16 As Jesus was walking by the shore of the #A fresh water lake about 13 miles long and 7 miles wide, almost 700 feet below sea level and center of a busy fishing industry.Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon [Peter] and Simon’s brother, #A fresh water lake about 13 miles long and 7 miles wide, almost 700 feet below sea level and center of a busy fishing industry.Andrew, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “#The concept of “follow” can represent three separate possibilities: in the early stages of His ministry, (1) walking with Him physically (literally), that is merely being in His presence regardless of personal belief or commitment; (2) accepting and identifying with the salvation He offered; and later on (3) being identified with Him by being subject to the scorn and rejection of unbelievers because of personal belief and commitment to Him.Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example]. 19 Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, who were also in the boat mending and cleaning the nets. 20 Immediately Jesus called to them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers, and went away to follow Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example].