< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: The Gospel of Mark

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Gospel of Mark

The book of Mark is the oldest of the 4 Gospels. It is also the shortest, so the fastest read. It also moves fast. Mark uses the words “at once” a lot.

Jesus is already choosing His disciples in the first chapter and by the end of the second chapter, the cross is foreshadowed and the book begins to move toward Jesus’ death. One third of this Gospel records the events of Jesus’ final week.

The book of Mark is believed to have been used by Matthew and Luke in their Gospels and to have also influenced John. The purpose of this Gospel was to strengthen and guide Greek-speaking Christians, possibly those in Rome. Non-Jews who probably didn’t know the Old Testament. So unlike Matthew who quoted the Old Testament a lot, Mark didn’t.

The chief questions he tried to answer were, “What was Jesus like?” And “Why did He die?”

Mark records more miracles than any other Gospel. Jesus’ miracles were meant to reveal the extraordinary nature of Christ and were signs of His power until the written word was completed. Nowadays we can read about what Christ did, but back then people had to see it or hear about it. The miracles were clear proofs or credentials of the supernatural authority of God.

We are called to tell others by words that the Lord and Savior is near to them, calling them to respond to Him and that His return to earth is also near and the time for Salvation may be shorter then they think. And we are called to prove, by works, by transformed lives, by deeds of kindness, by the power of answered prayer. We not only speak the words of Jesus, but as He promised, we also do His works by faith in Him.

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