Mark begins his gospel in an artless, matter-of-fact sort of way. It’s as if he has something to get off his chest and doesn’t have time for pleasantries. No genealogies. No pregnant octogenarians. No babies born in barns. Nothing. Just “boom!” we’re in the middle of an on-going story.
Right out of the gate jumps John the Baptist. Part wild man, part TV preacher. Don’t get too close, he can smell your fear.
“Prepare the way of the Lord!” he roars. His camel-hair shirt battered by the wind and his beard dusty from a lifetime spent spitting out sand in the desert. He speaks with an authority that isn’t his own. His breath is aflame with words that burn. “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven has come near!” (the rest here)