Summary: Mark’s gospel presents Jesus Christ as the Son of God who has come in the flesh teaching with authority to our amazement.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Summary Sentence : Jesus, as the Son of God has come in the flesh teaching with authority to our amazement.
Our study is more than just an attempt to familiarize ourselves with a text. It is not less than that but it certainly is more than that. Our goal to met and know Jesus through the inspired writing of Mark.
“These words must be considered the title of the entire Gospel of Mark…the glad news which tells about Jesus Christ. This is exactly what Mark’s Gospel presents, telling about Jesus’ person, teachings, works, death and resurrection.”
R.C.H.Lenski Interpretation of St. Mark’s Gospel p. 21
“Since Mark heads his work the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, it might be possible to take this as a title for the whole work, and to understand him to mean that his whole account of the life and ministry of Jesus is the beginning or basis…of the good news.”
M.D. Hooker The Gospel According to Saint Mark p. 33
“…according to tradition this Gospel was composed to satisfy the urgent request of the people of Rome for a written summary of Peter’s preaching in that city…In writing it did Mark intend merely to supply information…Was it his purpose, as some maintain, merely to record a narrative,…How did he view Jesus? Merely as a very interesting personage…Or did he primarily regard Jesus to be the mighty conquering Savior King, to whom all men should turn in humble faith? Surely the latter!” William Hendriksen The Gospel of Mark p. 16-17
“If the Gospel of Mark was written sometime during the period A.D. 65-67, this passage from Tacitus sheds much light on its life setting. The Roman church was experiencing the fires of persecution. Even martyrdom was not unknown among its members. Mark addresses himself to this situation. His purpose in writing was “not historical or biographical, but it was intensely practical. He was writing a book for the guidance and support of his fellow Christians in a situation of intense crisis.” Walter Wessell The Expositors Bible Commentary vol. 8 p. 610
“…derision accompanied their end: they were covered with wild beast’ skin and torn to death by dogs; or they were fastened on crosses, and when daylight failed were burned to serve as lamps by night. Nero had offered his Gardens for the spectacle, and gave an exhibition in his circus.”
Tacitus Annals 15.44
Mark 1:13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.
One of the differences between Jesus and those to who Mark writes is; For Jesus during his time of temptation angels ministered to Him, for us in our time of temptation Jesus ministers to us. And that ministry comes in one form through the Gospel of Mark.
It appears that Mark is someone who may have know Jesus both personally (limited 14:51-52) and through Peter (substantially). (1 Peter 5:13) She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark.
Mark is the shortest of the Gospels. It contains a vocabulary of a little over 1200 words. Approximately 80 of which are unique to Mark. Mark uses those 1200 words down in such a as to produce some very definite themes. These themes are detected through both repetition of words, phrases and descriptions. There are at least 5 themes that are very obvious and emerge immediately.
Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus is the Son of Man, Jesus came to proclaim and to be proclaimed. Jesus produces amazement, Jesus is the authority.
Our purpose at this point is not to explain the significance of these themes, but simply to demonstrate their existence. This will give us a frame work thought which to understand Jesus as Mark presents Him. “…Jesus Christ, the Son of God…”
Mark 3:11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they would fall down before Him and shout, "You are the Son of God!"
Mark 8:27 Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, "Who do people say that I am?"
Mark 8:29 And He continued by questioning them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ."
Mark 15:39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
Jesus is the Son of Man
This phrase occurs at least 14 times through-out Marks’ gospel. All, with the exception of 2 (2:10,28) occur in the last half of the book. While presently we are not seeking to give full explanation of this phrase we do offer this a couple of brief points;