Mark - Introduction

Book Introduction - Mark

Read first chapter of Mark

WRITER: The writer of the second Gospel, Mark, called also John, was the son of one the New Testament "Marys", and nephew of Barnabas. He was an associate of the apostles, and is mentioned in the writings of Paul and of Luke Acts 12:12 Acts 12:25 ; Acts 15:37 Acts 15:39 ; Colossians 4:10 ; 2 Timothy 4:11 ; Philemon 1:24 .

DATE: The date of Mark has been variously placed between A.D. 57 and 63.

THEME: The scope and purpose of the book are evident from its contents. In it Jesus is seen as the mighty Worker, rather than as the unique Teacher. It is the Gospel of Jehovah's "Servant the Branch" Zechariah 3:8 as Matthew is the Gospel of the "Branch. . .unto David" Jeremiah 33:15 .

Everywhere the servant character of the incarnate Son is manifest. The key verse is Mark 10:45 . "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister." The characteristic word is "straightway," a servant's word. There is no genealogy, for who gives the genealogy of a servant? The distinctive character of Christ in Mark is that set forth in Philippians 2:6-8 .

But this lowly Servant, who emptied Himself of the "form of God," "and was found in fashion as a man," was, nevertheless, "the mighty God" Isaiah 9:6 as Mark distinctly declares ( Mark 1:1 ) and therefore mighty works accompanied and authenticated His ministry. As befits a Servant-Gospel, Mark is characteristically a Gospel of deeds, rather than on words.

The best preparation of the heart for the study of Mark is the prayerful reading of Isaiah 42:1-21 ; 50:4-1152:13-53:12 ; Zechariah 3:8 ; Philippians 2:5-8 .

Mark is in five principal divisions:

  1. The manifestation of the Servant-Son, 1:1-11.
  2. The Servant-Son tested as to His fidelity, 1:12,13.
  3. The Servant-Son at work, 1:14-13:37.
  4. The Servant-Son "obedient unto death," 14:1-15:47.
  5. The ministry of the risen Servant-Son, now exalted to all authority, 16:1-20.

The events recorded in this book cover a period of 7 years.