Tuesday, March 16, 2010



“This is the title of the book, the subject of which is the Gospel; a joyful account of the ministry, miracles, actions, and sufferings of Christ: the writer of it was not one of the twelve apostles, but an evangelist; the same with John Mark, or John, whose surname was Mark: John was his Hebrew name, and Mark his Gentile name, Acts 12:12, 25, and was Barnabas’s sister’s son, Colossians 4:10, his mother’s name was Mary, Acts 12:12.

“The Apostle Peter calls him his son, 1 Peter 5:13, if he is the same; and he is thought to have wrote his Gospel from him.” --- John Gill’s Expositor.

Author: John Mark

Analysis of the Gospel of Mark:

1) Mark, the son of Mary of Jerusalem, Acts 12:12.

2) Referred to as John Mark in Acts 12:2. See Introduction.

3) A relative of Barnabas, Colossians 4:10.

4) Associated with Paul and Barnabas on their First Missionary Journey, Acts 12:25 -13:5.

5) Temporarily alienated from Paul, Acts 13:13; 15:37-39.

6) Afterwards restored to his friendship, 2 Timothy 4:11.

7) Ancient tradition certifies that Mark was a companion of Peter.

8) The book is called Peter’s Gospel by some very ancient writers. It is generally conceded that Peter may have furnished, or suggested, much of the material found in the book.

Key Word: "Straightway" indicating immediate action; repeated throughout the entire book.

To Whom Addressed: It is thought that the writer had in mind the Roman or Gentile Christians in his preparation of the book. That it was not especially adapted to Jewish readers seems clear from the fact that it contains few references to Old Testament prophecy. Furthermore, the explanation of Jewish words and customs would indicate that the author had foreigners in mind when he wrote. See, Mark 3:17; 5:41; 7:1-4, 11, 34.

Main Theme: "Christ, the Tireless SERVANT of God and Man." The Life of Jesus is portrayed as crowded with kindly deeds:

1) His devotions interrupted, Mark 1:35-37.

2) No time to eat, Mark 3:20.

3) Yielding to such perpetual calls for service that his friends said he was unbalanced, Mark 3:21.

4) Pursued when he sought rest, Mark 6:31-34.

Distinctive Features:

1) It is the shortest of the four Gospels.

2) The style is vivid and picturesque.

3) Much of the subject matter is found also in Matthew and Luke, but it is not mere repetition, for it contains many details not found in either of the others.

4) The Gospel of Mark opens, like that of John, with a declaration of the divinity of Jesus Christ, but unlike John he does not enlarge upon the doctrine.

5) A careful study of the book reveals the fact that the aim of the author is to let the wonderful works of Jesus testify to his deity, rather than frequent statements of the writer.

Many Personal Touches are found in this gospel:

1) Jesus "was with the wild beasts," Mark 1:13.

2) "He surnamed them Boanerges," Mark 3:17.

3) "Jesus was much displeased," Mark 10:14.

4) "They were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid," (the Apostles), Mark 10:32.

5) "The common people heard him gladly," Mark 12:37.

6) "Is not this the carpenter?" Mark 6:3.

Although emphasizing Christ’s divine power, the author often alludes to his HUMAN FEELINGS:

1) His disappointment, Mark 3:5.

2) His weariness, Mark 4:38.

3) His wonder, Mark 6:6.

4) His sighs, Mark 7:34; 8:12.

5) His affection, Mark 10:21.

Mark stresses the MIGHTY WORKS of Jesus:

NOTE: Matthew harks back to the past, and deals largely with the prophecies for the sake of Jewish readers, and also gives much space to the discourses of our Lord. Mark is more condensed; has little to say concerning prophecy; gives only a brief report of the discourses, BUT LAYS GREAT STRESS UPON THE MIGHTY WORKS OF JESUS.

Nineteen miracles are recorded in this short book which demonstrate the supernatural power of the Master:

1) Eight, which prove his power over disease, Mark 1:31, 41; 2:3-12; 3:1-5; 5:25; 7:32; 8:23; 10:46.

2) Five, showing his power of nature, Mark 4:39; 6:41, 49; 8:8-9; 11:13-14.

3) Four, demonstrating his authority over demons, Mark 1:25; 5:1-13; 7:25-30; 9:26.

4) Two, show his conquest over death, Mark 5:42; 16:9.

Synopsis: The book may be divided in six parts—

Part I

1) The introductory and preliminary events leading up to the public ministry of Christ, Mark 1:1-13.

2) In this first chapter Mark plunges abruptly into his subject, and pours forth a torrent of description in the first thirteen verses. He opens with the announcement that Jesus is the Son of God, Mark 1:1.

3) He then dwells upon the five preparatory steps for his work:

a. The coming of his herald, John the Baptist, Mark 1:2-8.

b. The Lord’s baptism(immersion) in water, Mark 1:9.

c. The Holy Spirit descended upon Him, Mark 1:10.

d. God the Father’s divine witness to his Sonship, Mark 1:11.

e. His conflict (His Temptation) with his arch enemy, Satan, Mark 1:12,13.

Part II

1) The Early Galilean Ministry, Mark 1:14---7:23.

2) Mark omits entirely the early Judean Ministry, John 2:13---4:2.

Part III

The tour to Tyre and Sidon, Mark 7:24-30.

Part IV

Christ’s teaching and work in Northern Galilee, Mark 7:31---9:50.

Part V

The closing Ministry in Perea and the journey toward Jerusalem, Mark 10:1-52.

Part VI

The events of Passion Week, Mark 11:1---16:8.

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