How does Mark describe the nature and purpose of his book in 1:1?  What is significant about some of the words and terms that he chooses in this verse (describe his gospel, and to describe Jesus)?

In 1:2-3, Mark draws from Malachi 3:1-5, and from Isaiah 40.  What do those Old Testament passages tell us about the ministry of God’s coming Messiah (and the one who will come before him)?

Describe the person and ministry of John the Baptist.  What kind of man do you think that he was?  What are some things that we can learn from him?

1:4-5 emphasizes the necessity of confession of sin and repentance of sin.  What does these terms (confession, repentance) mean?  How are they similar?  How are they different?  What does a healthy practice of each look like?  How can we be practicing them in our lives?

What are some ways that John’s baptism was similar to the baptism that we practice today?  What are some ways where they are different?

What are some ways that John the Baptist’s ministry reflects the ministries of Elijah, and Moses?  What are some ways that Jesus’s ministry reflects the ministries of Elisha, and Joshua?

John the Baptist seems eager to fulfill the role that God has called him to (instead of desiring for something different or greater).  And eager to step out of the spotlight, to make room for Jesus to receive the glory and honor.  Why is this important, and exemplary?  How can we seek to adopt this same posture in our lives today?