Why did Mark quote Isaiah 40 in Mark 1:1-8? Isaiah gave comfort to Jews in Babylonian exile. John prepared for the ministry of Jesus Christ. The message to Jewish captives was a highway in the wilderness leading straight home to Jerusalem. They had gone into exile — punishment for national sins. God would make amends for their suffering. Like sheep lost in the wilderness, their shepherd would bring them back home. Our world is currently in exile from God, held captive in spiritual Babylon to sin and corruption. Our home is heavenly Jerusalem and the way home is Jesus Christ. Isaiah pictures a flattening whereby the low will be elevated and the exalted will be brought low. It can picture a leveling, difficult terrain made easy to journey. Jesus is the way. His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).