Mark 1:7
(7) There cometh one mightier than I.--See Note on Matthew 3:11; but note the slight difference--not, as there, "whose shoes I am not worthy to bear," but "the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose." Latchet," a word now obsolete, was the "thong" or "lace" with which shoes or sandals were fastened. To stoop down and loosen the sandals was commonly the act of the servant who afterwards carried them, but it expressed more vividly what we should call the menial character of the office, and therefore, we may believe, was chosen by St. Mark. (See Introduction.)

Verse 7. - The latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. This was the menial office of the slave, whose business it was to take off? and put on the shoes of his master, stooping down with all humility and respect for this purpose. Thus John confessed that he was the servant of Christ, and that Christ was his Lord. In a mystical sense the shoes denote the humanity of Christ, which by its union with the Word became of the highest dignity and majesty. St. Bernard says, "The majesty of the Word was shod with the sandal of our humanity."

1:1-8. Isaiah and Malachi each spake concerning the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in the ministry of John. From these prophets we may observe, that Christ, in his gospel, comes among us, bringing with him a treasure of grace, and a sceptre of government. Such is the corruption of the world, that there is great opposition to his progress. When God sent his Son into the world, he took care, and when he sends him into the heart, he takes care, to prepare his way before him. John thinks himself unworthy of the meanest office about Christ. The most eminent saints have always been the most humble. They feel their need of Christ's atoning blood and sanctifying Spirit, more than others. The great promise Christ makes in his gospel to those who have repented, and have had their sins forgiven them, is, they shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost; shall be purified by his graces, and refreshed by his comforts. We use the ordinances, word, and sacraments without profit and comfort, for the most part, because we have not of that Divine light within us; and we have it not because we ask it not; for we have his word that cannot fail, that our heavenly Father will give this light, his Holy Spirit, to those that ask it.And preached, saying, there cometh one mightier than I after me,.... From whence it appears, that John was a preacher of Jesus Christ; of the dignity of his person, the excellency of his office, and the nature and importance of his work:

the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose; expressing the great veneration he had for him, and the great sense he had of his own unworthiness, to be concerned in the lowest and meanest service of life for him; and that he was far from being worthy of the high honour done him, to be his messenger and forerunner; See Gill on Matthew 3:11.

Mark 1:6
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