Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Introduction to The Gospel According to Mark

The Gospel According to Mark is the telling of the life and character of Jesus. John Mark, the author, tells his story in a fast-paced narrative, revealing the tender and compassionate nature of Jesus. Constantly through his story, John Mark (or just “Mark”) demonstrates that Jesus was the ultimate Servant.
In Philippians 2, Paul explains that Jesus set aside “the form of God,” and “took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” He that was deity sought to fulfill the massive purposes of God and “humbled himself” becoming “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” And as Paul indicates, Jesus was the ultimate servant. During His short ministry Jesus spent much of His time travelling from place to place healing the disfigured and diseased, casting out demons, and working a myriad of miracles to meet the needs of the people around Him and to demonstrate His overwhelming power. Finally, Jesus became the “servant of all” when He laid down His life as a sacrifice for all of mankind.
Although Mark was never an apostle himself, he would have been closely associated with several of the early church fathers. Mark was the nephew of Paul’s co-worker Barnabas and is mentioned in the writings of Luke, Paul, and Peter, with Peter referring to him as “my son,” a term that most likely would indicate that Peter had been instrumental in Mark’s coming to faith in Jesus. Church history tells us further that The Gospel According to Mark was most likely the telling of the story of Jesus from Peter’s perspective since Peter no doubt would have shared it with his pupil and son in the faith, John Mark.
The pinnacle thesis statement of The Gospel According to Mark is found in Mark 10:45 where Jesus describing Himself says, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Over the next several weeks, follow along as we take a closer look at the selfless example of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Servant of God, Who was sent to minister to suffering people and to die for the sins of the whole world.

Food For Thought: Read Philippians 2:5-8 and 1 Peter 2:21-24. How do Paul and Peter describe the ministry of Jesus?