ciwlogo_sm.gif An Overview Of The Gospel Of Mark

Writer Of The Gospel Of Mark

Mark was not one of the original twelve disciples. Nor was he an apostle. He is first introduced to us in Acts 12. Historically the time was A.D. 44. His home was in Jerusalem (cf. Acts 12:12,25). He came from a well-to-do family. His mother, Mary, owned a large house in Jerusalem and had a servant girl named Rhoda. The followers of Jesus gathered there. It has been suggested that this house may have been the site of “the upper room”, as well as the place where the disciples gathered after Jesus' ascension (cf. Mark 14:15; Acts 1:13). There is no concrete evidence, however, to verify this speculation. Peter did go to this house, where Jesus' followers gathered, immediately after the Lord's angel saved him from martyrdom at the hands of King Herod Agrippa I by releasing him from prison.

Mark's Hebrew name was John (cf. Acts 12:12). It appears that he may have come to know and believe the gospel of Jesus through Peter, for Peter called him “my son” (cf. 1 Peter 5:13). In A.D. 44 Barnabas, a cousin of Mark's (cf. Colossians 4:10), and Paul took Mark with them from Jerusalem to be their assistant in the church of Antioch, Syria (cf. Acts 11:27-30; 12:25; 13:1). This led to Mark's future work as a missionary. In A.D. 46 he accompanied Paul and Barnabas on Paul's first missionary journey (cf. Acts 13:4,5). Shortly afterwards, however, he left them in Pamphylia to return to Jerusalem (cf. Acts 13:13). For whatever reason he left, Paul did not think it was appropriate and considered it a forsaking of the work before them. When Paul and Barnabas later prepared to make their second missionary journey around A.D. 50, Barnabas desired to take Mark along. Paul strongly protested. They then parted company over this disagreement. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus. Paul took Silas and traveled over land through Syria and Cilicia enroute to Galatia (cf. Acts 15:36-16:11).

Nothing more is definitely known from Scripture about Mark's missionary work. It appears from Scripture that his work took him to the regions of what is now called Turkey, namely the Roman provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia (Minor), and Bithynia. This would seem to be the case because, when Peter wrote his first letter to the Christians in these areas, he included a greeting to them from his son Mark (cf. 1 Peter 5:13). This would suggest the Christians in these areas knew Mark personally. His work in these regions is further suggested by Paul's including a greeting from Mark to the Christians in Colosse, with the added note that they had received instructions regarding Mark and that they should welcome him if he came to them (cf. Colossians 4:10). Paul also included a personal greeting from Mark to Philemon, who was a member of the church in Colosse (cf. Philemon 24).

In addition to having been a co-worker of Barnabas, and working in the regions mentioned above, Mark became a close associate of Paul's and Peter's in Rome as well. Mark was with Paul in Rome around A.D. 60 to 61, the time of Paul's first Roman imprisonment, at which time Paul wrote his prison epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon (cf. Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24). This is made obvious by the greeting Paul included from Mark to the Colossians and to Philemon. During Paul's second Roman imprisonment, and not long before his martyrdom in A.D. 67 to 68, Paul requested that Timothy, who was in Ephesus, bring Mark with him to Rome. Paul wanted Mark in Rome with him, because Mark was of useful service to him (cf. 2 Timothy 4:11). It is possible, but not certain, therefore, that Mark was in Rome with Paul at the time of Paul's martyrdom. The greetings from Mark in Paul's letters and Paul's request for Timothy to bring Mark with him to Rome clarify that whatever grievance Paul had had with Mark was by A.D. 60 cleared up and forgiven.

Mark was also with Peter in Rome around A.D. 62 to 64, after Paul's release from his first Roman imprisonment. This is evident, because Mark was with Peter when Peter wrote his first letter in Rome between A.D. 62 and the spring of A.D. 64, which included a greeting from Mark (cf. 1 Peter 5:13).

The ancient church historian Eusebius stated that Mark went to Egypt, where he founded the congregations of Alexandria and became their first bishop. It has been said that he died a martyr's death there.

Mark, like the other three gospel writers, did not mention himself by name in his gospel as its author. Early church tradition is unanimous in crediting the gospel's authorship to Mark. Papias, a disciple of the apostle John, wrote around A.D. 130 that John had said Mark had written, not in its proper chronological order, the things he had learned from Peter regarding what Jesus had said and done. This being true, the apostle John credited Mark with the authorship of the gospel that bears his name and indicated that the gospel is really the gospel of Peter.

Papias asserted that the content of Mark's gospel contained the content of the gospel that Peter taught and preached. Mark's gospel bears the stamp of Peter's presence and first hand experiences as an eyewitness to what Jesus said and did. Jesus' calling of Peter to be a disciple and apostle appears early in the first chapter (cf. Mark 1:16-18). Jesus' activities and teaching in Capernaum are shortly thereafter reported to have taken place in close association with Peter's house. Jesus left the synagogue and went to Peter's house where he healed Peter's mother-in-law of a fever (cf. Mark 1:29-31). There the people were bringing to Jesus their sick and demoniacs. The whole city of Capernaum gathered at Peter's door (cf. Mark 1:32-34). When Jesus went to a solitary place, it was Peter and his companions, meaning the other disciples, who hunted for Jesus (cf. Mark 1:35-37). It was most likely Peter's house that is called Jesus' home in Mark 2:1. There so many people gathered to hear Jesus and packed the house that no one could enter through the door. Thus the paralytic had to be lowered down to Jesus on a stretcher through Peter's dismantled roof for Jesus to heal the man (cf. Mark 2:1-12). It is again likely that it was Peter's house that is called Jesus' house in Mark 2:15, where the tax collectors and “sinners” gathered to eat with Jesus amid the complaints of the Pharisees and teachers of the law. It appears that it was to Peter's house that Jesus' family and brothers came to take Jesus into custody, because they thought he was out of his mind. Mark's gospel alone recorded this personal incident with the family of Jesus and how they thought he was crazy. This appears to be an observation that was preserved by Peter, to whose house they came looking for Jesus (cf. Mark 3:20,21). With regard to Peter's house being Jesus' house and home in Capernaum, see also Mark 7:17 and 9:28. Mark's gospel reaches a high point in the eighth chapter. First it is Peter, as spokesman for the group of disciples, who confesses that Jesus is the Christ. Then shortly thereafter it is Peter who rebukes Jesus for announcing his forthcoming suffering, death, and resurrection (cf. Mark 8:27-33). All these first hand experiences indicate Mark's gospel was an eyewitness account of Peter's, which reflections he included in the gospel of Jesus that he preached.

Occasion Of The Gospel Of Mark

Eusebius in his Church History mentions a statement made by Clement of Alexandria toward the end of the second century. Clement reported that those who heard Peter were so impressed with his oral discourses on the gospel of Jesus that they pleaded for Peter's companion to put his discourses into writing, so they could always recall them. This may have prompted Mark to write his gospel.

Mark began his gospel with the words, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” This is the title of the gospel. Mark's gospel is, then, about how the good news of Jesus' words and works, which were being proclaimed by the apostles, particularly with regard to Peter, began. Bearing in mind what Clement is said to have reported above, it seems that the hearers of Peter and the Christian converts wanted to know more about the gospel of Jesus that they were hearing. They wanted to know how this good news began and came into being. They wanted the words and the works of Jesus put down in writing for them. This Mark did for them in his gospel.

Characteristics Of The Gospel Of Mark

Mark emphasized for his readers the deeds of Jesus and presented Jesus as a man and servant of action. Jesus spoke and it was done. Forty-two times Mark used the Greek adverb euthus to indicate that Jesus was given to action. This adverb means immediately, at once, and straightway. This indicates Mark wrote his gospel for readers who were impressed with a simple, straightforward account, and with power and action.

Mark quoted from the Old Testament only once, at the outset of his gospel. This indicates Mark did not write his gospel for Jewish Christians who were familiar with the Old Testament, as Matthew did. Rather, he wrote his gospel for Gentile readers who were not familiar with the Old Testament Scriptures.

Mark explained Jewish customs for his readers, which they otherwise would not have understood, such as the Jews' ceremonial washings (cf. Mark 7:3,4) and that the preparation day was the day before the Jews' Sabbath (cf. Mark 15:42). This, too, indicates Mark wrote his gospel for Gentile readers.

Mark translated Jewish Aramaic terms for his readers (cf. Mark 3:17; 5:41; 7:11 & 34; 14:36; 15:22). This is more evidence that Mark wrote for Gentile readers.

Mark employed Latinisms in his gospel, that is, he used Latin words his readers readily understood rather than their Greek equivalents. This indicates Mark wrote his gospel for Christians in Rome and Italy.

Mark's gospel is the simplest and shortest account of all the gospels. It is a straightforward account that would have suited the Roman's practical, straightforward approach to things.

For Whom The Gospel Of Mark Was Written

The preceding characteristics indicate that Mark wrote his gospel for Christians in Rome and Italy. This conclusion is supported by the evidence of Mark's presence in Rome in the A.D. 60's.

Place Where The Gospel Of Mark Was Written

It seems clear that Mark wrote his gospel in Rome for the Gentile Christians there. Ancient Christian tradition supports Rome as the place where Mark's gospel was written.

Date When The Gospel Of Mark Was Written

Historical accounts indicate that Peter died a martyr's death under Emperor Nero in Rome about A.D. 64. If Clement of Alexandria was correct that Mark wrote his gospel while Peter was still living, because Peter's hearers wanted his gospel discourses preserved in writing for them, then the date for Mark's writing his gospel would have been around A.D. 63 to 64. But Papias' statement that according to the apostle John, Mark wrote what he heard from Peter, has been understood to imply that Mark wrote his gospel after Peter's death. Irenaeus wrote in the latter half of the second century, perhaps on the basis of Papias' statement, that Mark wrote his gospel after the death of both Peter and Paul. Paul died a martyr's death after Peter around A.D. 67 to 68. Since there is a lack of unanimity among these ancient Christian writers, it is perhaps best to say Mark wrote his gospel around the mid 60's A.D.

Purpose Of The Gospel Of Mark

To record for the Gentile Christians in Rome and Italy a written account of the gospel of Jesus Christ as it had been preached by Peter.

Theme Of The Gospel Of Mark

Jesus proved he is Christ, the Son of God, through his ministry of service (his active obedience) and through his suffering and death (his passive obedience) and resurrection. Christ, the Son of God, is the Messianic Servant.

Outline Of The Gospel Of Mark

Scholars have outlined the Gospel of Mark in a variety of ways with marked similarities and differences. The following outline incorporates some of their outstanding features.

The following outline incorporates the theological division of Prof. Joel Gerlach on the basis of Mark 10:45, which states: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This division divides Mark's gospel into two parts. The first part covers the active obedience of Christ in his ministry of teaching and working miracles as recounted by Mark in chapters 1 through 10. The second part covers the passive obedience of Christ in giving his life as a ransom for us all as recounted by Mark in chapters 11 through 15, and then the exultation of his glorious resurrection in chapter 16.

The following outline also incorporates from other commentators and scholars like R.C.H. Lenski, Martin H. Franzmann, Harold Wicke, and Adam Fahling in his book The Life of Christ, the outline of Mark's gospel according to the different phases of Jesus' public ministry, which began in Galilee, extended to regions beyond Galilee, and concluded in Jerusalem.

Outline

Part 1: The Prologue, Mark 1:1-13

A. Title: “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” Mark 1:1

B. Preparations for the coming and the ministry of Christ, the Son of God, Mark 1:2-13

1. The preaching of John the Baptist prepared the people for the coming and ministry of Christ, the Son of God, Mark 1:2-8

2. The ministry of Christ, the Son of God, is prepared for and begun with God the Father's approval of the man Jesus as his Son, and the Holy Spirit's anointing with his gifts the man Jesus who is the Son of God, Mark 1:9-11

3. The ministry of Christ, the Son of God, is prepared for when he, as the human substitute for all mankind, meets and defeats Satan, his archenemy, Mark 1:12,13

Part 2: Jesus Proved He Is Christ, The Son of God, Through His Ministry Of Service In Teaching And Working Miracles Of Mercy (His Active Obedience, cf. Mark 10:45a), Mark 1:14-10:52

A. Jesus' early Galilean ministry, Mark 1:14-3:6

1. Jesus preached the gospel of God. The kingdom of God was at hand. The people should repent and believe so that God may rule in their hearts, Mark 1:14,15

2. Early in the second year of his ministry Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John to be fishers of men and thus calls men into discipleship with him, Mark 1:16-20

3. Jesus serves in his ministry of teaching and miraculous works of mercy at the synagogue of Capernaum. His fame spreads into the surrounding district of Galilee, Mark 1:21-28

4. Jesus sets up the headquarters for his Galilean ministry in the house of Peter and Andrew, Mark 1:29-29

a. Jesus' heals Peter's mother-in-law of a fever, Mark 1:29-31

b. Jesus ministry of mercy and miracles frees the sick from their ailments and the demon possessed from their demons, as the city of Capernaum gathers at Peter's door, Mark 1:32-34

c. Jesus expands his ministry of teaching and mercy to all of Galilee, Mark 1:35-39

d. Jesus heals a leper, who so spreads Jesus' fame that Jesus can no longer enter a city publicly. The crowds then flock to him in the unpopulated areas where he ministers to them, Mark 1:40-45

5. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law begin to oppose Jesus and his ministry of teaching and mercy, Mark 2:1-3:6

a. They oppose Jesus' forgiving the sins of the paralytic, who was lowered through Peter's dismantled roof, Mark 2:1-12

b. They oppose Jesus calling Levi (Matthew), a tax collector, and for eating with tax collectors and “sinners”, Mark 2:13-17

c. They oppose Jesus' disciples' not fasting, which they did not do because Jesus was with them, Mark 2:18-22

d. They oppose Jesus' allowing his disciples to violate the Pharisees' Sabbath regulations by picking heads of grain on a Sabbath day, Mark 2:23-28

e. They oppose Jesus' violating the Pharisees' Sabbath regulations by healing the withered hand of a man in the synagogue on a Sabbath day, Mark 3:1-6

B. Jesus' later Galilean ministry of teaching and mercy, Mark 3:7-6:6

1. The fame of Jesus' ministry spreads to the areas surrounding Galilee. He continues to free the sick from their ailments and the demon possessed from their demons. Even the demons, Jesus' enemies, acknowledge he is the Son of God, Mark 3:7-12

2. Jesus appoints his twelve apostles to carry his ministry of teaching and mercy to many others, Mark 3:13-19

3. Opposition to Jesus and his ministry increases, Mark 3:20-35

a. Jesus' own brothers try to take him into their custody, because they think he is crazy, Mark 3:20,21

b. The teachers of the law accuse Jesus of being demonically possessed himself and in league with Satan. Jesus asserts the folly of their accusation, reveals he is greater than Satan, and declares that they have no forgiveness for their sin against the Holy Spirit, Mark 3:22-30

c. Jesus distinguishes that his true family of brothers is his disciples, who listen to him and do the will of God of heeding the gospel he is preaching, Mark 3:31-35

4. Jesus teaches the crowds in parables as a judgment on their hardened, unbelieving hearts. But he explains the meaning of the parables to his disciples for their spiritual growth in understanding the truths of the kingdom of God, Mark 4:1-34

5. Jesus unveils in his ministry of mercy the divine power he possesses as the Son of God to support the gospel he is preaching. He does so that his disciples' faith in him would be confirmed, Mark 4:35-5:34

a. Jesus mercifully calms the storm to save his disciples. He then rebukes them for their weakness of faith in him. In this miracle he shows his divine power over nature, Mark 4:35-41

b. Jesus mercifully casts out the demons from Legion to release him from their evil tyranny. He then instructs Legion to proclaim to his townspeople what great things God had mercifully done for him. In this miracle he shows his divine power over his demonic enemies, who can do nothing without his prior approval, Mark 5:1-20

c. Jesus mercifully raises Jairus' daughter in the presence of his three closest disciples. In this miracle he shows his divine power over death and to give life, Mark 5:31-24 & 35-43

d. Jesus mercifully heals a woman of her long term hemorrhage, showing his divine power over illness, and commends her for her faith in him that gives her his divine peace, Mark 5:25-34

6. Jesus brings his ministry of teaching and mercy to his home town of Nazareth. His townspeople are offended by his teachings and miracles, and refuse to believe in him, Mark 6:1-6a

C. Jesus embarks upon his retirement journeys into the regions outside of Galilee at the close of the second year and the beginning of the third year of his ministry, Mark 6:6b-8:30

1. Jesus sends out his twelve apostles to conduct his ministry of teaching and mercy that he entrusts to them, Mark 6:6b-13

2. The people are divided over who Jesus is. King Herod thinks Jesus is John the Baptist who has been resurrected from the dead, whom Herod had earlier beheaded, Mark 6:14-29

3. After the apostles return from their missionary journey, Jesus retires to a lonely place to be with them. A multitude gathers to him. There Jesus feeds the five thousand, displaying his divine mercy and power that provides the necessities of life for the people, Mark 6:30-44

4. Jesus retires to Bethsaida with his disciples. He walks on the water and calms the wind, again showing his divine power over nature, Mark 6:45-52

5. Jesus retires to Gennesaret, where he conducts his ministry of mercy to serve the people, Mark 6:53-56

6. When the Pharisees and teachers of the law criticize Jesus for not teaching his disciples to obey the traditions of the rabbis, Jesus rebukes them for their hypocritical teachings that set aside the commandments of God. Jesus teaches the multitude that what defiles a person is not external things he consumes, but the sins that proceed from his own evil heart, Mark 7:1-23

7. Jesus retires to the city of Tyre in Syria, where he extends his ministry of mercy to a Gentile woman of Syrophoencia and her daughter, Mark 7:24-30

8. Jesus retires through Sidon in Syria to the region of the Decapolis. There he mercifully opens the ears and the mouth of a deaf mute to the astonishment of the people, Mark 7:31-37

9. Jesus retires to a lonely place where a great multitude comes to him. Jesus has mercy on the hungry people and serves them by miraculously feeding the four thousand. He then retires to the district of Dalmanutha, Mark 8:1-10

10. When the Pharisees demand a miraculous sign to test him, Jesus tells them that he will give them no sign to attest to his identity and authority, Mark 8:11-13

11. Jesus warns his disciples about the leaven, the false teachings, of the unbelieving Pharisees, Mark 8:14-21

12. Jesus again retires to Bethsaida, where he mercifully serves a blind man by restoring his sight, Mark 8:22-26

13. Jesus retires with his disciples to Caesarea Philippi. There Peter, in behalf of the group of disciples, confesses Jesus to be the Christ, who was promised by God in the Old Testament Scriptures, Mark 8:27-30

D. Jesus brings his ministry of teaching and mercy in Galilee to a close, Mark 8:31-9:50

1. Jesus begins to impress the message of the cross on his disciples, Mark 8:31-9:1

a. Jesus announces his forthcoming suffering and death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead, Mark 8:31,32a

b. When Peter rebukes him for going to the cross, Jesus rebukes Peter and instructs his disciples that to be his disciples they also must deny themselves to carry the cross assigned to them in connection with confessing him and his gospel, Mark 8:32b-9:1

2. Jesus allows his three closest disciples to see his divine glory, which he had been keeping hidden. They see the glory into which he will enter through his suffering. They also hear God the Father's command to listen to Jesus, who is his beloved Son, Mark 9:2-8

3. His three closest disciples do not understand what Jesus' rising from the dead meant and ask about Elijah's coming first. Jesus explains that Elijah, John the Baptist, had come. Jesus himself would suffer as John the Baptist before him had suffered, Mark 9:9-13

4. Down from the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus mercifully casts out a demon from a boy, whom his disciples could not help, Mark 9:14-29

5. Jesus proceeds through Galilee, teaching his disciples along the way about his coming suffering, death, and resurrection, which they still did not understand, Mark 9:30-32

6. Jesus teaches his disciples that the greatest among them must be the servant of all the others, a role which Jesus had been modeling for them, Mark 9:33-37

7. Jesus corrects the disciples' misconception of their exclusivity in serving him. Everyone who serves as his servant will be rewarded. His disciples should not cause others to stumble in their faith and should eliminate whatever would cause themselves to stumble. They are to have salt in themselves and be at peace with one another, Mark 9:38-50

E. Jesus conducts his ministry of teaching and mercy as he travels to his cross in Jerusalem, Mark 10:1-52

1. Jesus conducts his Judean and Perean ministry of teaching, Mark 10:1

2. Jesus teaches the Pharisees and his disciples that the Jews' loose divorce law is wrong. Marriage is to be upheld as a life-long union as God had made it in the beginning, Mark 10:2-12

3. Jesus teaches his disciples to let the little children be brought to him, for the kingdom of God belongs to them, Mark 10:13-16

4. Jesus teaches the rich man, who wants to inherit eternal life, to give up his possessions to follow him. The rich man refuses to give up his possessions to follow Jesus, Mark 10:17-22

5. Jesus teaches his disciples how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God and be saved. Those who are saved are saved by God's doing, not their own, Mark 10:23-27

6. Jesus teaches his disciples that those who leave their life for him and his gospel will be rewarded on earth, as well as be persecuted and receive eternal life, Mark 10:28-31

7. Jesus again teaches his disciples on the way to Jerusalem that he is going there to suffer at the hands of the Jewish leaders and to be put to death by the Gentile Romans, but that he would rise on the third day, Mark 10:32-34

8. James and John desire to be recognized as the greatest of the disciples, over which the others become angry. Jesus again teaches them that whoever desires to be greatest among them must be the servant of the others, Jesus himself is their example. He came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as the ransom to save many (all), Mark 10:35-45

9. Jesus passes through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem, where he mercifully restores the sight of blind Bartimaeus, who believes Jesus is the promised Christ, the Son of David, Mark 10:46-52

Part 3: Jesus Proved He Is Christ, The Son of God, Through His Suffering And Death (His Passive Obedience, cf. Mark 10:45b) And His Resurrection, Mark 11:1-16:20

A. Jesus' ministry in Jerusalem, Mark 11:1-13:37

1. Jesus makes his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday as Christ the King, Mark 11:1-11

2. Jesus looks for fruits in keeping with repentance, Mark 11:12-12:12

a. Jesus condemns the fig tree without any fruit, Mark 11:12-14

b. Jesus pronounces his judgment on the impiety of the Jews by cleansing the temple for the second time, and in so doing calls them to repentance, Mark 11:15-18

c. The withered fig tree provides Jesus the opportunity to teach his disciples about the power of faith and prayer, Mark 11:19-26

d. Jesus refuses to validate his divine authority for the unbelieving Jewish religious leaders, Mark 11:27-33

e. Through his Parable of the Rebellious Tenants, Jesus announces the judgment and destruction that God will bring on the unbelieving Jewish leaders, who refuse to repent of their unbelief and to accept him as the Son of God, Mark 12:1-12

3. Jesus disarms his opponents, Mark 12:13-44

a. The Pharisees and the Herodians, Mark 12:13-17

b. The liberal Sadducees, Mark 12:18-27

c. Jesus compliments a teacher of the law for seeing clearly what is the will of God in the Old Testament Scriptures, Mark 12:28-34

d. Jesus unmasks the spiritual blindness of the teachers of the law, who could not see that the Christ would be both the Lord and man in one and the same person, Mark 12:35-37

e. Jesus warns those in the temple against the hypocrisy of the teachers of the law, Mark 12:38-40

f. Jesus points to the widow's offering of two mites as an example of true faith, love for God, and piety, Mark 12:41-44

4. Jesus teaches his disciples about the things that would take place in the future, Mark 13:1-37

a. Jesus foretells the coming destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, Mark 13:1,2

b. Jesus teaches his disciples what signs to look for that point to his coming and to the end of all things, Mark 13:3-23

b.1 The signs that would occur in society and nature, Mark 13:3-8

b.2 The signs that would occur within the church on earth, Mark 13:9-13

b.3 The destruction of Jerusalem and the Jews as a nation, and the great tribulation, Mark 13:14-23

b.4 The last signs in the universe that signal Jesus' glorious return, when his angels will gather up his elect believers, Mark 13:24-27

c. Jesus' Parable of the Budding Fig Tree teaches his disciples that when they see all these preceding things taking place, they will know his coming is at hand, Mark 13:28-32

d. Jesus teaches his disciples to stay alert for his glorious return, Mark 13:33-37

B. Jesus' suffering and death, Mark 14:1-15:47

1. At the hands of the Jews, Mark 14:1-72

a. The Jewish leaders desire to seize Jesus secretly so they may kill him, Mark 14:1,2

b. Mary anoints Jesus with a costly perfume. Knowing his death on the cross is imminent, Jesus commends her for anointing him for his burial, Mark 14:3-9

c. Judas Iscariot plots with the chief priests to betray Jesus to them for a sum of money, Mark 14:10,11

d. Jesus has two disciples prepare the Passover meal in the upper room, Mark 14:12-16

e. Jesus announces during the Passover meal that one of his disciples would betray him. He would go to his suffering and death as the Old Testament Scriptures foretold that he would, Mark 14:17-21

f. Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper during the Passover meal, Mark 14:22-25

g. Jesus leads his disciples to the Mount of Olives. He tells them they will all desert him and that Peter will deny him three times, Mark 14:26-31

h. Jesus prays in Gethsemane and faces the bitter prospect of his imminent suffering and death on the cross, Mark 14:32-42

i. Jesus meets his betrayer, Judas, who brings an armed crowd to seize him. Judas betrays him with a kiss. Jesus is arrested and his disciples flee, Mark 14:43-52

j. Jesus is taken to the high priest and illegally tried by the Jewish leaders. They condemn him to death and beat him for blasphemy, because he admits he is Christ, the Son of God, Mark 14:53-65

k. Peter denies knowing Jesus and immediately afterwards weeps in remorse, Mark 14:66-72

2. At the hands of Pilate and the Gentile Roman soldiers, Mark 15:1-47

a. The Jewish leaders turn Jesus over to Pilate for execution. Pilate interrogates Jesus, Mark 15:1-5

b. Pilate offers the Jewish mob a choice between having Jesus released or the insurrectionist and murderer Barabbas. Spurred on by the Jewish leaders, the mob chooses Barabbas and demands Jesus be crucified. To satisfy the mob, Pilate has his soldiers scourge Jesus and take him to be crucified, Mark 15:6-15

c. After mocking and beating Jesus, the Roman soldiers lead Jesus out of the palace to be crucified, Mark 15:16-21

d. The soldiers crucify Jesus on Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, between two criminals. The Jewish passers-by and leaders mock Jesus as Christ, the King of Israel, Mark 15:22-32

e. God shrouds Jesus' suffering in darkness for three hours and forsakes Jesus to the torments of hell for the sins of the world. Upon Jesus' giving himself into death, the veil in the temple is torn in two. Mankind now has direct access to the God of mercy and salvation through Jesus' death. The Roman centurion, who was in charge of crucifying Jesus, confesses that Jesus was truly the Son of God, Mark 15:33-41

f. Pilate turns the dead body of Jesus over to Joseph of Arimathea for burial. Joseph buries Jesus' body in the tomb, Mark 15:42-47

C. Jesus' resurrection, Mark 16:1-20

1. The women discover the tomb is empty and hear from an angel that Jesus has risen from the dead. They hurry to tell Jesus' disciples, Mark 16:1-8

2. The risen Lord Jesus first appears to Mary Magdalene. She reports the good news of Jesus' resurrection to the disciples, who refuse to believe it, Mark 16:9-11

3. Jesus appears alive to the two disciples who were walking to Emmaus. The disciples do not believe their report of Jesus' resurrection either, Mark 16:12,13

4. Jesus appears to the eleven disciples. After rebuking their unbelief, he commissions them to preach his gospel to all people, Mark 16:14-18

5. Jesus ascends into heaven to sit at the right hand of God. The disciples then go out preaching Jesus' gospel everywhere, while the Lord confirmed their message with attesting miracles, Mark 16:19,20



Unpublished work. Copyright 2001 JCS of Christian Inconnect. All rights reserved.  No part of this document may be reproduced for distribution or publication without prior permission from Christian Inconnect.

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