The Gospel of Mark: A Primer

The Gospel of Mark, written by Paul’s travel companion, John Mark, is the first account of Jesus to be written (around 55 A.D.), and is the model for the other Gospel accounts that were to follow; Matthew, Luke and John.  It is a concise, action-packed, chronological look at the life, identity, and purpose of Jesus of Nazareth.

Mark is the most translated book of all the books in Scripture. This might be the case, as it is incredibly suitable for introducing people of all backgrounds, races, and classes to the person of Jesus, as it is the one gospel aimed to speak to the secular ear.

Although the gospels contain dialogue and teaching, they are not basically instruction. The intent is to focus on events surrounding one historical figure – Jesus. However, it is not intended to be a biography, as the gospels focus primarily on the last three years of Jesus’ life. What sort of biography ignores most of the subjects life except the end?  Also, the gospels are not a myth or a legend. Some contend they are as they contain miraculous elements, but Jesus’ life and record are verified by historians and archaeologists.

So What Are The Gospels?

The word gospel means “news.” Just as an anchor on the nightly news reports what happened that day, the gospels are too reporting the “news” of who Jesus is and what he did. It’s important to realize that Christians chose the word evangelion to express the core ethos of their faith. This word means evangel, or herald, or messenger…someone who is announcing good news to a city, country or kingdom.

This means that the word gospel was selected to communicate good news about what God has done, rather then what we need to do in order to be made right with our creator. It is good news that Jesus both died and rose for us. If those historic events didn’t happen, then Christianity is a lie.

Why the Gospel of Mark?

That brings us to the Gospel of Mark. John Mark accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey and looked to be an unfaithful servant, as under pressure, he turned back and went home. How amazing that the Holy Spirit chose this man, to record for us the faithfulness of the Servant of God, the Lord Jesus. Mark was also a companion of Peter, and this gospel contains primarily the thoughts, witness, and viewpoints of Peter.

The Gospel of Mark is the incredible eyewitness story of a King who didn’t sit on an earthly throne but humbled himself into a servant who died a death on a cross. Mark presents Jesus’ life in two acts: his identity as King (Chapters 1-8) and his purpose in dying on the cross (Chapters 9-16). This is not dry history! It is full of action, hope, life, and moves with breathless speed in the narrative. Mark communicates that the status quo in the world has been shattered and there is one who has come to renew all things.

I hope that you will journey with us as we explore the breathtaking, real-life account of Jesus, and that no matter where you are on the faith spectrum, you would consider what this means for your life, your soul, your family and your future. Come along for the ride.

Join us this Sunday at 11:00am as we begin our new series The Gospel of Mark: To The Cross.