Listen to a brief explanation, or read it below.
I learned this Bible reading tip from Dr. Jim Coakley, one of my professors at Moody Theological Seminary in Chicago.
Explanation: Pay attention when a character is introduced for the first time in a book of the Bible. This “first impression” may be a key to understanding the character and his or her role in the story, both positively and negatively. Look for the character’s first actions, words, and physical description.
Example: John the Baptist’s physical description in Mark 1:6, “Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.”
This is a hyperlink to Elijah the prophet’s physical description in 2 Kings 1:8, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.”
Mark is connecting John with Elijah. That’s important because of the prophecy in Malachi 4:5, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.” John is that other Elijah, which means Jesus’s coming is what brings the day of the Lord!