MARK - FIRST PART
What is the Gospel of Mark about in the Bible? Watch as we explain its major themes and gain a deeper understanding of its place in the biblical story.
Who Wrote the Book of Mark?
Author: John Mark. Nicknamed Mark - According to - Acts 12:12. A young second-generation believer. Son of Mary, owner of the house where some believers in Jerusalem gathered.
It was the first gospel written, approximately at the end of the 50s or the beginning of the 60s AD. The shortest of the four. 16 chapters. It is an action-packed text. The emphasis is not on speeches, but on actions. It is a text with a lot of speed.
Curiosities of the Book of Mark:
In the book of Mark - The childhood of Jesus does not appear. The book of Mark begins directly with John the Baptist. Jesus is baptized by John. Mark tells us that Jesus was tempted, but without details. And he recounts how Jesus begins his ministry. Jesus in Mark does two things: Healing the sick and casting out demons, and after doing this, he preached. Many were amazed at his teaching; for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. Mark 1:22.
Jesus was not the king the people were expecting.
Mark’s account doesn’t shy away from the unexpected nature of Jesus’ arrival on Earth, but he also makes clear that Jesus is who he says he is: the Jewish Messiah and the son of God. Many of the Jewish people hoped that the Messiah would come to overthrow the Romans and rule as king, but that wasn’t what Jesus did. He came to serve and to usher in God’s Kingdom on Earth. And he didn’t come in royal authority and power—he came to humbly sacrifice his life in order to save his people.
Who Is Jesus?
The Gospel of Mark is a carefully crafted story that asks the reader: is Jesus the Jewish Messiah? Mark includes specific details and story to show Jesus’ messianic authority and identity as God’s son. He’s making a case for who Jesus is, and he leaves the answer up to the reader to ponder. What will you choose to believe?
What is one way this video encourages or expands your understanding of the Gospel of Mark?
Mark designed his Gospel in three acts. Describe the setting and themes that are present in each act.
There were various ways people reacted to Jesus’ identity in act two. Which reaction do you relate to most and why?
At the beginning of Mark’s Gospel account, he writes that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of God.” Then he designs the rest of the book to help readers understand Jesus as the messianic King by showing the amazing things Jesus said and did as well as how people responded to him. Some reject Jesus’ true identity, others doubt, and some believe he is who he says he is.
In Chapter 8, Mark shows Peter, a disciple, affirming Jesus’ identity as the Messiah. But what does it really mean for Jesus to be the messianic King? Is it all glory, peace, and power? Peter is humbled when he discovers that Jesus’ path to the throne would require suffering and that all those who follow him would suffer too. Let’s reflect more on this.
Read: Mark 8: 27-36
1. As you review today’s reading, make some observations. Where did this part of the story take place? When did Jesus talk to Peter, the group of the disciples, and/or the crowd? What repeated words do you notice?
2. What specific things do you imagine Jesus might have said when he was making his future suffering clear(verses 30-32)? Why do you think it wasn’t clear to Peter?
3. When Jesus corrected Peter, he said that Peter’s mind was not on God’s interests but on man’s. What does this mean? How did Peter’s misunderstanding of Jesus serve his own interests? How can you relate?
4. Review verses 35-36. How do Jesus’ words reframe what it means to be wise about our self-interest or self-preservation? How do God’s interests actually protect our own? How does this require trust?
5. Turn your reflections into a prayer. Be honest about how this story impacts you. Express joy, ask questions, admit weakness, seek help, and remember his ways are ultimately for you and not against you.