DATE: 50-60s AD
John Mark was the son of Mary, a wealthy and prominent woman in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). Barnabas was Mark’s cousin (Col. 4:10). Peter was a close friend (1 Peter 5:13) and possibly the one who shared the gospel with Mark and led him to faith in Jesus. Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas on Paul’s first missionary journey but left and returned to Jerusalem. Because of this, Paul refused to take him on the second journey, so Mark went with Barnabas to Cyprus (Acts 15:38-40). About twelve years later, Mark rejoined Paul (Col. 4:10; Philem. 24), and shortly before his execution, Paul wrote to Timothy asking him to bring Mark to see him in Rome (2 Tim. 4:11). This shows that the relationship between Paul and Mark was restored.
The Gospel of Mark was written to present Jesus as the Suffering Servant, the Son of Man, who “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). There is no genealogy recorded in Mark, for a genealogy would not have been relevant for a servant.
Mark focuses on what Jesus did. It is a book of action that is almost like reading a film script (the word euthus, “at once” or “immediately,” occurs more than 40 times). The book describes events, places, and people, and it tells of Jesus’ mighty and miraculous works in conquering demons, disease, and death. The Gospel of Mark fully illustrates what Jesus proclaimed His mission and work to be (Luke 4:18-19)
- to preach the gospel to the poor
- to heal the brokenhearted
- to preach deliverance to the captives
- [to give] sight to the blind
- to set at liberty them that are bruised
- to preach the acceptable year of the Lord
We see Jesus’ mission revealed in all of the Gospel accounts, but in Mark’s account His works and words seem to come to life by Mark’s use of the present tense and questions that seem to be addressed to the readers, as well as to whom the words were originally spoken in the historical context. Mark is a great book to grow in the knowledge of what Jesus did on earth. It reveals His perfect service in surrender to the will of His Father and His suffering service in offering His life in love for mankind.
Mark contains about 63 quotations or allusions from the Old Testament, which is far fewer than the128 in Matthew and between 90 and 100 in Luke. It is generally agreed that Mark received much of the information in his Gospel from Peter. With Peter’s apostolic authority to support Mark’s writing, there has never been any challenge to the Gospel of Mark being included in the canon of Scripture.
OUTLINE OF THE GOSPEL OF MARK
I. The Service of the Servant, 1:1-10:52
A. His Preparation, 1:1-13
1. By the ministry of John the Baptist, 1:1-8
2. By His baptism, 1:9-11
3. By His temptation, 1:12-13
B. His Preaching, 1:14-20
C. His Power, 1:21-3:12
1. Over a demon, 1:21-28
2. Over disease, 1:29-39
3. Over leprosy, 1:40-45
4. Over the paralytic, 2:1-12
5. Over a tax collector, 2:13-20
6. Over the old religion, 2:21-22
7. Over the Sabbath, 2:23-28
8. Over deformity, 3:1-6
9. Over demons, 3:7-12
D. His Personnel, 3:13-35
1. The call of the Twelve, 3:13-21
2. The condemnation of rejectors, 3:22-30
3. The call to be in Jesus’ spiritual family, 3:31-35
E. His Parables, 4:1-34
1. The sower, 4:1-20
2. The lamp, 4:21-25
3. The seed growing gradually, 4:26-29
4. The mustard seed, 4:30-34
F. His Prerogatives, 4:35-9:1
1. Over the storm, 4:35-41
2. Over demons, 5:1-20
3. Over sickness and death, 5:21-43
4. Rejected by His own townspeople, 6:1-6a
5. In commissioning the Twelve, 6:6b-13
6. As affecting Herod, who killed John the Baptist, 6:14-29
7. In feeding five thousand men, 6:30-44
8. In walking on water, 6:45-52
9. Over sickness, 6:53-56
10. Over the Pharisees’ traditions, 7:1-23
11. Over a Syrophoenician woman, 7:24-30
12. Over a deaf mute, 7:31-37
13. In feeding four thousand, 8:1-10
14. In condemning the Pharisees, 8:11-13
15. In His teaching on leaven, 8:14-21
16. Over blindness, 8:22-26
17. Over Peter, 8:27-33
18. Over the lives of His disciples, 8:34-9:1
G. His Previews, 9:2-50 \
1. Of His glory, 9:2-29
2. Of His death, 9:30-32
3. Of rewards, 9:33-41
4. Of hell, 9:42-50
H. His Preaching in Perea, 10:1-52
1. Concerning divorce, 10:1-12
2. Concerning children, 10:13-16
3. Concerning eternal life, 10:17-31
4. Concerning His own death and resurrection, 10:32-34
5. Concerning ambition, 10:35-45
6. To blind Bartimaeus, 10:46-52
II. The Sacrifice of the Servant, 11:1-15:47
A. Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on Sunday, 11:1-11
B. Cursing of the Fig Tree on Monday, 11:12-19
C. Teaching on Tuesday, 11:20-13:37
1. Concerning faith, 11:20-26
3. Concerning the Jewish nation, 12:1-12
4. Concerning taxes, 12:13-17
5. Concerning resurrection, 12:18-27
6. Concerning the greatest commandments, 12:28-34
7. Concerning His deity, 12:35-37
8. Concerning pride, 12:38-40
9. Concerning giving, 12:41-44
10. Concerning the future, 13:1-37
D. Anointing by Mary and Agreement to Betray by Judas, on Wednesday, 14:1-11
E. Supper and Betrayal on Thursday, 14:12-52
1. Preparation for the Last Supper, 14:12-52
2. Partaking of the Last Supper, 14:17-21
3. Institution of the Lord’s Supper, 14:22-25
4. Walk to Gethsemane, 14:26-31
5. Prayer in Gethsemane, 14:32-42
6. Betrayal and arrest in Gethsemane, 14:43-52
F. Trials and Crucifixion, on Friday, 14:53-15:47
1. Christ before Caiaphas, 14:53-65
2. Peter’s denial of Jesus, 14:66-72
3. Christ before Pilate, 15:1-15
4. Abuse by the soldiers, 15:16-20
5. Crucifixion of Jesus, 15:21-32
6. Death of Jesus, 15:33-41
7. Burial of Jesus, 15:42-47
III. The Success of the Servant, 16:1-20
A. His Resurrection, 16:1-8
B. His Appearances, 16:9-18
C. His Ascension, 16:19-20
Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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