Our study will show us that Jesus was our Servant Redeemer. This gospel account was written for a Roman (Gentile) audience. The Romans were known for being men of action and so this account focuses on what Jesus did as He walked in His ministry.
This gospel is widely considered to be "Peter's gospel" as most of the facts were gained from Peter. John Mark was the nephew of Barnabas and his mother was a wealthy Christian woman in Jerusalem where a group of Christians worshiped in her home. He also accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey and that is where he got the practical interpretation of the facts provided by Peter.
"The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God." NIV translation
There are three "beginnings" given in the Bible.
This one refers to the start of Jesus' ministry.
We see, immediately, that Jesus is the "Son of God" and the rest of the account will be proof of that statement as His actions and the source of the power are examined.
"It is written in Isaiah the prophet: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way' - 'a voice of one calling in the desert, "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight paths for him."'" NIV translation
As this was written to a Roman audience, this passage gives the only references to Old Testament prophets. Malachi and Isaiah are quoted speaking of the coming of John the Baptist as a herald of Jesus Christ. The Roman audience would have understood the concept of a herald announcing something to the masses and so they would have understood.
"And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins." NIV translation
The "desert region" that is referred to here is talking about the Negev in the southern part of Israel. There is an unfortunate wording of the translators here when they used the word "for" because we think of that as some sort of payment. That is not what this verse is saying and it was not what the prophets spoke of. John the Baptist told people of the fact that they must repent before they could be forgiven. Repentance is a changing of the mind to agree with God that our actions are wrong. That prepares the way for a person to accept the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died in our place to pay for our sin. It is necessary for repentance to come first so that we can see a need for a Savior. The repentance does not pay for the sin but prepares the way for us to see the payment that is Jesus Christ.