The Book of Mark and Mark, the Person

Summary of Mark

The book of Mark is a Gospel that contains Narrative History, Sermons, Parables, and some Prophetic Oracles.

Mark was not one of the 12 disciples.

This Gospel has somewhat of an emphasis in miracles (27 total) which is significantly more than any of the other Gospels.

The key word in Mark is “Immediately” which is used 34 times causing the reader to move from one account to the next rapidly.

Mark is the shortest of the synoptic gospels and was written about 64 A.D. The key personalities of this book are Jesus Christ, His Twelve Disciples, Jewish religious leaders, Pilate, and John the Baptist.

It was written by John Mark who was one of the missionaries who accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their mission trips. It is possible that Mark wrote this Gospel at the urging of Peter (his companion in Rome) since he had firsthand knowledge of the things that Mark wrote about.

The purpose of the Gospel of Mark is to show that the Lord Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God who was sent to suffer and to serve in order to rescue and restore mankind.

The 16 chapters of the Gospel of Mark can be divided into two parts, 8 chapters each. In the first 8 chapters Jesus is essentially traveling north and preaching until chapter 8.

In Chapter 8, Jesus is in the city of Caesarea Philippi where He asks His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” (vs. 27). Peter replies, “You are the Christ.”

Throughout the last 8 chapters, Jesus is traveling south, back to Jerusalem; all the way to Calvary’s Cross.

Chapter 1 – there is a quick introduction of John the Baptist and his preparation for the coming Messiah. It also includes the baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan, and the temptation in the desert by Satan. The focus quickly changes to the message and ministry of Jesus.

Chapters 2-10 – Jesus selects His disciples:

And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach (3:14).

The rest of these passages almost completely refer to Jesus as a Servant. It presents Jesus either teaching, healing, helping, performing miracles, blessing, feeding, challenging authority, and feeling compassion.

Chapters 11-16 – these final chapters declare the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ again another example of servanthood. He is betrayed, dragged through a faulty trial, and then unmercifully beaten, humiliated and crucified; all for the purpose of serving sinners.

The final chapter is the miraculous resurrection of His physical body, numerous appearances, and command of the Great Commission, and finally His ascension to the right hand of God.

Mark

Mark’s Gospel is the second book of the New Testament and is often called the Gospel of Mark or the book of Mark.

Mark was a Jew from Jerusalem. His full name was John Mark. His mother’s name was Mary and her house served as a meeting place for the first Christians (Acts 12:12).

Mark was a cousin to Barnabas (Col 4:10) and he accompanied Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:5). Mark later went to Cypress with Barnabas, and later joined Paul again.

Through 1 Pet 5:13 it is suggested Mark and Peter were in Rome. Rome was referred to as “Babylon” by the early Christians.

Peter calls Mark “my son,” which shows the kind of relationship between Peter and Mark, and further suggests that the Gospel of Mark had its origin in Rome.

If the account of Papias (bishop of Hierapolis, 140 A.D.) and other early traditions are accepted, then the Gospel of Mark is based on Peter’s words, and written shortly after Peter’s death in about 64-65 A.D.

Mark’s book is fast-paced, starting with the beginning of the ministry of Jesus and ending with the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Mark depicts Jesus as a Servant of God who came to do God’s will.

The miracles and healings and power show that Jesus was no ordinary servant, but was truly the Son of God (15:39), or in other words, God Himself in the flesh (Jn 1:14; 1 Tim 3:16).