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Gospel of Mark

Introduction to the Gospel of Mark

By

The Gospel of Mark

Oil Painting ‘San Marcos’ by Jusepe Leonardo (1601–1653)

Public Domain

Gospel of Mark:

The Gospel of Mark was written to prove that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. In a dramatic and action-packed sequence of events, Mark paints a striking image of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Mark illustrates who Jesus is as a person. The ministry of Jesus is revealed with vivid detail and the messages of his teaching are presented more through what he did than what he said. The Gospel of Mark reveals Jesus the Servant.

Author of the Gospel of Mark:

John Mark is the author of this Gospel. It is believed that he was the attendant and writer for the Apostle Peter. This is the same John Mark who traveled as a helper with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey (Acts 13). John Mark is not one of the 12 disciples.

Date Written:

Circa 55-65 A.D. This was probably the first Gospel to be written since all but 31 verses of Mark are found in the other three Gospels.

Written To:

The Gospel of Mark was written to encourage the Christians in Rome as well as the wider church.

Landscape of the Gospel of Mark:

John Mark wrote the Gospel of Mark in Rome. Settings in the book include Jerusalem, Bethany, the Mount of Olives, Golgotha, Jericho, Nazareth, Capernaum and Caesarea Philippi.

Themes in the Gospel of Mark:

Mark records more miracles of Christ than any of the other Gospels. Jesus proves his divinity in Mark by the demonstration of miracles. There are more miracles than messages in this Gospel. Jesus shows that he means what he says and he is who he says.

In Mark we see Jesus, the Messiah, coming as a servant. He reveals who he is through what he does. He explains his mission and message through his actions. John Mark captures Jesus on the move. He skips the birth of Jesus and dives quickly into presenting his public ministry.

The overriding theme of the Gospel of Mark is to show that Jesus came to serve. He gave his life in service to mankind. He lived out his message through service, therefore, we can follow his actions and learn by his example. The ultimate purpose of the book is to reveal Jesus' call to personal fellowship with him through daily discipleship.

Key Characters in the Gospel of Mark:

Jesus, the disciples, the Pharisees and religious leaders, Pilate.

Key Verses:

Mark 10:44-45
...and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (NIV)

Mark 9:35
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." (NIV)

Outline of the Gospel of Mark:

  • The Preparation of Jesus the Servant - Mark 1:1-13
  • The Message and Ministry of Jesus the Servant - Mark 1:14-13:37
  • The Death and Resurrection of Jesus the Servant - Mark 14:1-16:20

Old Testament Books of the Bible (Index)
New Testament Books of the Bible (Index)

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