"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
“Guided by Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm, preachers will find in the Gospel of Mark not only important things to say on the passages in this great Gospel but also a sense of the urgency and excitement in saying them. Wilhelm is in tune with the meaning of Mark, and she comprehends its power and significance for today.” —Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology
In this engaging treatment of the Gospel of Mark, Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm combines biblical scholarship with a close reading of the Gospel text to meet the needs of preachers today. Swift and purposeful, the Gospel of Mark proclaims God’s reign and urges the participation of all God’s people in the witness of the good news that God has transformed human reality through Jesus Christ. This insightful commentary helps that message come alive while providing pertinent suggestions about how preachers can proclaim this message to today’s churchgoers.
Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm is Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Indiana.