The purpose of Mark is to present the the person, work, and teachings of Jesus. John Mark is the author and he is not one of the twelve disciples, but accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey. (Acts 13:13). The audience the Christians in Rome where the Gospel is written. The time was between A>D 55and 65. The people include Jesus, the 12 disciples,Pilate, and the Jewish religious leaders. The key places where Capernaum, Nazareth, Caesarea,Philippi,Jericho,Bethany,Mount of Olives,Jerusalem,and Gologotha.
The setting was The Roman Empire under Tiberius Caesar. The empire with its common language and excellent transportation and communication systems, was ripe to hear Jesus message which spread quickly from nation to nation.
We see Jesus confront demon, healing a man who has leprosy, and forgiving and healing the paralyzed man lowered into Jesus presence by friends. Next, Jesus calls Matthew(Levi) and has dinner with him and his questionable associates. This initiates the conflict with Pharisees and other religious leaders who condemn Jesus for eating with sinners and breaking the Sabbath.
In Chapter 4, Mark pauses to give a sample of Jesus’ teaching–the parable of the farmer and the illustration of the mustard seed– and the plunges back into the action. Jesus calms the waves, drives out demons,and raises Jairus’s daughter from the dead.
After returning to Nazareth for a few days and experiencing rejection in his hometown, Jesus commissions the disciples to spread the Good News everywhere. Opposition from Herod and the Pharisees increases. and John the Baptist id beheaded. But Jesus continues to move, feeding 5000, reaching out to the women from Syrian Phonenicia, healing the deaf man, and feeding 4000.
Finally, it is time to reveal his true identity to the disciples. Do they really know who Jesus is? Peter proclaims him Messiah but then promptly shows that he does not understand Jesus’ mission. After the Transfiguration, Jesus continues to teach, heal confronting Pharisees about divorce and rich young man about eternal life. Blind Bartimaeus is healed.
Events move more rapidly toward a climax. The Last Supper, the betrayal, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection are dramatically portrayed, along with more examples of Jesus’ teachings. Mark shows us Jesus, moving, serving,sacrificing,and saving! As you read mark, be ready for action. Be open for God’s move in your life, and be challenged to move into your world to serrve.