Since the dawn of time, fallen humanity had waited for the appearance of a perfect man who would challenge sin and Satan to deliver the human soul from the bondage of evil. Mankind had been looking for our spiritual V-Day – victory day. That day of victory would come – three years later at the cross where Jesus died, striking a fatal blow to the heart of the enemy by being raised from the dead and claiming victory over sin, death and Satan. But the victory began in a desert battle for the ages. Jesus has just been baptized, anointed by the Holy Spirit for his messianic ministry, and acknowledged by his Father as "My beloved Son. I'm very pleased with you." But he isn't allowed to bask long in the glow of this moment. He has to go to war.
The Gospel of Mark is fast-paced, always moving and completely counter-cultural. The ultimate purpose and theme of Mark’s Gospel is to present and defend Jesus’ universal call to discipleship. Mark returns often to this theme, categorizing his main audience as either followers or opponents of Jesus. Mark presents and supports this call to discipleship by narrating the identity and teaching of Jesus. For Mark, discipleship is essentially a relationship with Jesus, not merely following a certain code of conduct. Fellowship with Jesus marks the heart of the disciple’s life, and this fellowship includes trusting Jesus, confessing him, observing his conduct, following his teaching, and being shaped by a relationship with him. Discipleship also means being prepared to face the kind of rejection that Jesus faced. Do we bear the marks of a disciple?