What is the strangest thing anyone has ever asked you to do? What is the deepest commitment someone has asked you to make? Those are the kinds of questions that arise so naturally as we listen to this story from Mark's gospel today. There are other questions though. Why did Jesus use the words that He did? And, what exactly was He calling them to? A ministry was beginning in Galilee. Actually, it took Jesus coming back in from the wilderness to even start His kingdom work in a place as unremarkable as Nazareth of Galilee. Mark's gospel begins with a Spartan account - all business and no flourish. No heart-warming birth story here. No shepherds or angels. Not even a genealogy to give us background. In fact, Jesus is already an adult as Mark picks up the story...with John. John is at work, a living fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy of the "voice of one crying in the wilderness." We overlook the movement that had begun, as people were traveling outside the city to hear this one and some of them were being baptized. Jesus had come out and presented himself to John for that baptism, and immediately God's spoken blessing settled over them in the form of the Spirit. Now, the spotlight turns to Jesus and takes us into today's text. For the Christ has gone further out after his baptism, so far that this was called a wilderness. His long retreat is broken by the news that John has been arrested. Jesus takes up John's message and begins preaching.