Author: John Mark, a young believer who assisted Paul and Barnabas in their missionary work (Acts 12:25, 13:5). The fact that Mark had two given names, one Hebrew (John) and the other Latin (Mark), may indicate that he came from a family of Hellenistic Jews.
Period: 4 B.C. – 30 A.D.
Summary: Mark describes in detail Jewish customs and is therefore thought to be aimed at an audience unfamiliar with Jewish ways (in particular, Romans). Mark describes in very lifelike terms the miracles of Jesus and great detail is given to Christ’s crucifixion and death. It is thought that Mark was the first of the four gospels to be written (probably between 65 and 70 A.D). Some feel that the book was taken by dictation from the Apostle Peter because some events contained in the book are unique to Peter.
CHRIST AS SERVANT–THE FACE OF AN OX
Key verse: “. . . the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Unique Features: Originally written (as is thought) for Romans, there are very few references to the Old Testament Scriptures contained in this Gospel. Jewish words are explained (3:17, 5:41, 7:11,34, 14:36), as are Jewish customs (7:3-4, 14:12, 15:42). Latin expressions are frequently used such as Legion and Centurion. The Romans admired action, and this Gospel depicts the Lord as an active worker.
Sanctification: Chapter 1:1-13
- The witness of John the Baptist: 1:1-8
- The anointing of Jesus: 1:9-13
Service: Chapter 1:14 – 8:30
- First disciples and first work: 1:14 – 3:12
- Appointment of apostles and extension of labour: 3:13 – 6:6
- Cooperating in service: 6:7 – 8:30
Sacrifice: Chapter 8:31 -15:47
- Anticipated: 8:31 -10:52
- Approached: 11:1 -14:42
- Accomplished: 14:43 -15:47
Service Renewed: Chapter 16:1-20