Mark is the servant Gospel. Therefore, like a servant, the book of Mark moves very quickly. It tells the story of Christ in only 16 chapters whereas the other Gospels take longer. The brevity of Mark does not diminish the value of the book, however. It is a very valuable book and at times gives us insights not found in the other Gospels. This first chapter of Mark may be divided into five major parts as follows:
Mark begins the story of Christ with the ministry of John the Baptist. Mark gives no genealogies to start the story of Christ; for as a servant Gospel, it reflects the fact that servants, who were lowly and humble, seldom possessed their ancestry records. Christ in His first coming was indeed a lowly servant.
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (Mark 1:1). The message or proclamation, which John the Baptist will give, is the message of the book of Mark. It is about Jesus Christ. The Gospels put the focus on Christ.
• The communication about the Person. "Gospel" (Mark 1:1). The word means good news. Mark is going to write good news about Jesus Christ. And indeed no news is better news for the world than the news about Jesus Christ.
• The character of the Person. "Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (Mark 1:1). This title depicts Christ in three ways. First, as Savior. "Jesus" means Savior. Jesus can save us from our sins. And only He can save us. Second, as Messiah. "Christ." This means the Anointed One which refers to Israel's promised Messiah. Third, as God. "Son of God" expresses the Deity identification of Christ. Mark does not waste words here about the character identity of Jesus Christ. The threefold identification of Christ is a masterpiece of conciseness. We must be right on the identity of Christ or we have no "gospel" to proclaim.
The ministry of John the Baptist was prophesied in several Old Testament books, namely, Isaiah and Malachi.