Mark-Jesus, The Precious Suffering Servant

Since in my previous study of Matthew, I tried to cover the basic narrative account of the life of Christ, no attempt will be made to repeat that Material of Matthew. Rather, for each section Mark’s emphasis and distinctive features will be highlighted.

Mark is the first in time and shortest in length of the Gospels. Mark probably wrote on behalf of Peter. He was a companion of Peter in Peter’s later years (1 Peter 5:13). Many early Christian writers believe Mark wrote his account of Christ’s life as he heard it preached by Peter. They also believed he wrote it with the Romans in mind. It is brief and direct, fast-paced and focuses more on the actions of Jesus than on His words. It is the second book in the New Testament and has sixteen chapters. Mark uses words such as “immediately” many times and this indicates that this is the key word in this gospel account.

In Marks Gospel, Jesus is pictured immediately as preaching the Gospel in Galilee-“The Kingdom is near. Repent and believe the Good news ” (1:15). JESUS then called His disciples and begun to do mighty miracles to prove He was the Christ. The Sabbath controversies and the unofficial rejection of Jesus by the Jewish leaders are recorded as early as chapter 3 when Jesus was accused of performing miracles by the power of Satan.

While Matthew emphasizes what Jesus taught, Mark emphasizes what He did. Mark differs from Matthew and Luke because he does not record the family line of Jesus. Neither does he mention the birth and childhood of Jesus. He begins his account of the life of Christ with the ministry of John the baptist. Mark does not record the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ rebuke of the scribes and the Pharisees, or the parables of the second coming which are found in Matthew 25. However, he gives more details of the miracles of Jesus than either Matthew or Luke. Mark presents Jesus more as a servant than as a king.

He also emphasizes the rejection of Jesus not only by the religious leaders but by His family and the people of His own Hometown. Jesus’ confrontation with the religious leaders Centered on their man made traditions and false teachings of the Pharisees.

ALL the while, Jesus was busy teaching and training His disciples and preparing them for His upcoming death, while promising His resurrection. It is in response to a request by from James and John about position in the Kingdom that Jesus rebuked them, about wanting to be first since they should really desire to be servants. For Jesus’ earthly ministry was given to the ministry of serving others, meeting emotional, physical and spiritual needs.

Who was Mark?

Mark’s full name was John Mark (Acts 12:12). His mother was Mary who was a Christian. The church met in her house to pray for Peter when he was put in prison by Herod. Mark was also a relative of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10). He accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:5). However, he left them and returned home when they came to Perga (Acts 13:13). Later, when they planned to make a second journey, Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them. Paul disagreed strongly so the two men went their separate ways (Acts 15:36-41). Mark and Paul were later reconciled for Paul mentions him favorably (Colossians 4:10). When he was in prison in Rome, Paul requested Timothy to bring Mark with him for “he is useful to me for ministry” (2 Timothy 4:11).

Some unbelieving Bible scholars have argued that the closing verses of Mark 16 should not be in the Bible (Mark 16:9-20). Some versions take this passage out of the text and put it in a footnote at the bottom of the page. However, Mark 16:9-20 is in the majority of the Greek manuscripts. It was quoted by writers such as Irenaeus who lived in the second and third centuries. Therefore, we know it was a part of the Bible in their day. It is also found in the ancient translations which are older than many of our oldest existing manuscripts. As one believing scholar said: “If these verses are not genuine, why did God in His providence so long allow them to pass for genuine?”

The Gospel to the Roman World

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