Back to the Gospel of


Back to the Gospel of Mark

Please forgive me as I try your patience with yet more of the Gospel of Mark. This time I've backed up to

Mark 1:3
"The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight--"

I love the beautiful ambiguity of this phrasing. Is it the voice that is crying in the wilderness or do we read across the line break to hear a different meaning? Read it this way, "It is the voice of one crying 'In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord. " I had read somewhere that much of punctuation is a fairly recent, modern innovation. Ancient markings are exceedingly vague, or so I understand. So what happens when we read across the lines? I think we hear another hidden strand of the Gospel. In the barren and inhospitable wilderness of the human heart, prepare a way for the Lord. Again in that same heart, make his paths straight. This is the announcement of the reign of God that is to bring us all out of the desert. I am reminded through the echoing resonance of this verse from Ezekiel 11:19

"And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will take the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh"

So as we prepare a way in the desert for the Lord, he prepares for us a way out of the desert and toward home. We give Him stones and He hands back living hearts. I never fail to be amazed by the richness of God's word in a heart even only barely awake--a heart more stone than flesh, but yearning for His deliverance.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 4, 2003 10:50 PM.

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