The people of Israel had experienced a time span of 400 years in which God had been silent. During this time, they suffered persecution, trials, tribulations and captivity. And it seemed to them that God had remained silent. Hence this period is often called the 400 year period of silence, for during this time, no prophet had been sent to them, to rebuke, encourage and comfort that God indeed was within their midst.
Despite this, they had great and precious promises given to them by their prophets of old. And Mark begins his Gospel account within the framework of the Old Testament narrative story. For it is a continuation of the story of God and his creation. It’s the continuation of the story of relationship. Relationship between God and his creation and relationship of God’s creation with each other.
And so Mark dramatically begins his of account, with the promise spoken through the prophet Isaiah, that indeed God was fulfilling his promise to them.
Mar 1:2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See! I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way.
Mar 1:3 He is a voice calling out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord! Make his paths straight!'”
Mar 1:4 John was baptizing in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism about repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Mar 1:5 People from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were flocking to him, being baptized by him while they confessed their sins.