Mark 1:4: John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Look past John the Baptizer’s wild, sun-seared visage, and you’ll hear exactly the same message that every prophet of God since the dawning of time has preached: Man is sinful and in need of forgiveness. Every ideology in the world today believes that men are weak or imperfect or mistake-prone. But “sinful” is a different story. Sin is not merely a description of what we do in relation to each other; it is a definition of who we are in relation to God. So, at the very outset of Mark’s account, the essence of the gospel is already unmistakable. It is not a peace rally or an anti-establishment cause or an equal rights movement. It is salvation for sinners. A baptism from death into eternal life!
“I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”