Who was John the Baptist and how does his ministry reflect the expectation of God’s people throughout the Old Testament? Was John announcing something totally unprecedented? Did his baptism simply come out of the blue? Why was he in the wilderness? Mere coincidence? The answers to all these questions are readily available if we read Mark with eyes saturated with the poetic imagery and prophetic anticipation of the Old Testament. And what we learn should astound us – for rather than telling us a host of things about John, Mark wants us to come away with a deeper understanding of the identity of Jesus.