Mark is widely believed to have been written by John Mark, the cousin/nephew of Barnabas who ran away in the middle of a missionary journey with Barnabas and Paul, whom Barnabas wanted again on the 2nd journey and Paul said no, and Paul and Barnabas split. It is believed that Barnabas took Mark with him and they travelled with Peter. What Mark writes down seems to be from Peter’s eye witness accounts. The gospel of Mark is also famous for being an action gospel. These words “….and immediately,…. at once, …..quickly, ……without delay, …..right away” occur quite often.

Do you obey Christ immediately? –Tweet this!

In chapter 1: Mark writes this is the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ the Messiah as prophesied in the prophets Malachi and Isaiah. Right away we see Jesus baptized in the Jordan, Jesus tested in the wilderness, John the Baptist put in jail, Jesus starting to teach about His kingdom, Jesus calling Simon and Andrew, Jesus driving out an impure spirit on the Sabbath, Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law, Jesus going away to be alone and to pray, and *Jesus healing a man with leprosy.

In chapter 2: 4 men bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus by making a hole in the roof of the house Jesus was talking to people in. Jesus forgives his sins and tells him to “take up his mat and walk” and he does. Jesus calls Levi and then eats at his house with tax collectors and “sinners”, when questioned by the priests, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus is questioned about His disciples’ lack of fasting and  19 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast. His disciples pluck some heads of grain on the Sabbath and when questioned Jesus  said “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”.

In chapter 3: Jesus heals on the Sabbath again. This time a man with a shriveled hand, Jesus asks the people what to do on the Sabbath (evil or good, kill or save a life) and they remain silent.He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Crowds follow Jesus so He asks the disciples to keep the boat ready for Him. Jesus appoints the *12 disciples (who are later called apostles meaning “sent”). Jesus is accused of driving out demons by beezelebub but replies 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Jesus also says the sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. Jesus’ mother and brothers come to take Him away, but Jesus says *”those who do the will of His Father are His mother and His brother and His sister”

In chapter 4: Jesus talks about the parable of the sower, a lamp on a stand, the parable of the growing seed, the parable of the mustard seed. Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” 10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you and He explained everything to them. While they cross over the lake in their boat, a storm comes up and Jesus is sleeping. They wake Him up and He rebukes the wind and the waves and it becomes calm again. The disciples are terrified at God’s power over nature.

RELATED POST : Matthew part 2: The Living God.

In chapter 5: Jesus and His disciples go to Gerasenes and heal a demon(s) possessed man. The demon(s) reply that their name is Legion(which means many) and they ask to be sent to a herd of pigs(about 2000 in number) and the entire herd rushes down a cliff and drowns in the sea. *The man healed wants to come with Jesus, but He says no. Jesus then raises Jairus’ daughter from death. He only take Peter, James and John and the girl’s parents with Him into the room. On the way there , a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years touches His cloak and is healed. Jesus knows immediately power had gone out from Him and looks around. The woman confesses and Jesus says it’s her faith that healed her.

In chapter 6: Jesus goes to his hometown and teaches in the synagogue but the people who knew Him growing up are offended at Him, and He does not do a lot of miracles. Jesus sends out the 12 two by two and gives them power over impure spirits and tells them not to take anything with *them. We get more details about John the Baptist’s imprisonment and subsequent execution. *Jesus feeds the 5000 men with 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus goes to a mountain to pray while the disciples take the boat to cross the lake to Bethsaida. Jesus walks on the water around dawn, the disciples are frightened and think it’s a ghost. Jesus tells them not to be frightened and He gets into the boat and immediately the wind dies down. They reach Gennesarat.

In chapter 7: Jesus tells the people that Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.’ 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.’ It is implied from the context that *Jesus had declared all foods clean. Jesus heals a greek woman’s daughter of a demon. *He heals a deaf and mute man. They people are amazed and exclaim He does everything well. 

The people are amazed and say that He (Jesus) does all things well –Tweet this!

In chapter 8: Jesus feeds 4000 men (women and children would have taken this number up higher) with 7 loaves of bread and a few fish, and the disciples gather up 7 basketfuls of leftover food afterwards. Jesus warns against the *yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod. Jesus heals a *blind man at Bethsaida. Peter declares Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus predicts His death. Peter rebukes Him and is in turn rebuked. Jesus talks about the cost of following Him and the importance of acknowledging Him before people, otherwise the Son of Man will not acknowledge them before His Father.


*(he says “if you’re willing, make me clean” and Jesus  replies” I am willing” but further admonishing the man not to talk about Jesus healing him but to show the priests and take the offerings needed). * Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.

*The 12 disciples are Simon/Peter, Andrew, James and John (called sons of thunder), Simon the Zealot, Phillip, Bartholomew(called Nathanael in John), Judas Iscariot(Matthias takes his place after he betrays Jesus), Levi/Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus and Thaddeus. These are given power to drive out demons and to preach repentance and the coming of the kingdom in Jesus’ name.

*Notice Jesus does not mention they are His Father. He gives His respect and honour and glory to only One Father.

*18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis[b] how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.  Remember in an earlier passage that Jesus warns the person healed of leprosy to be quiet about Jesus but show the priests and offer the appropriate offerings.

*Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”

*12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. (the 12 disciples).

*This time they aren’t to take extra clothes, shoes, or money. They are to go to a home in every village, and if they accept the disciples, they are to stay there till they leave( the disciples are not to look for a better place to stay). Later when Jesus commissions them to go again and preach the good news, He tells them to go prepared. With extra clothes, sturdy shoes and all their money. (the first time the disciples have favour with the people and are welcomed, the second time they’ll be attacked by the people )

*Jesus feeding the 5000 men (and there were women and children too who were not counted) is mentioned in all 4 gospels.

*Jesus will confirm this to a Peter in a vision much later (in Acts) that Peter is not to call anything unclean that Christ has made clean. By this Peter gets the go-ahead to preach to the gentiles as well.

*In this healing of a deaf and mute man, Jesus puts His fingers into the man’s ears, He spits and then touches his tongue, He sighs, looks up to heaven and says Ephphatha (which means be opened).

*Just like yeast when it is mixed with dough, makes its way through the whole thing and causes the bread to rise, if attention was given to the Pharisees’  and Herod’s teachings, it would spread everywhere and corrupt everything.

*For this healing, Jesus spits on the man’s eyes and puts hands on him and at first the images aren’t clear. Jesus lays hands on him again and this time the man sees clearly.

Whew! I expected to finish gospel of Mark in one post since it has only 16 chapters, but looking at the word count already, I’m not going to do so. This really is an action packed gospel. Every chapter has so much going on 🙂 Read along if you can, and I’ll post Mark part 2 next week. Till then,