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  • Writer's pictureTrey Harper

Mark's Gospel

I like Mark’s Gospel. Not because I named my firstborn, Mark, but because he is concise. Mark gets the job done quickly and without overlooking the “important stuff”. Mark writes to Gentiles who want to know about Jesus. Mark seems to be charged with telling the non-Jewish community that Jesus has POWER! So, major elements of his account reflect Jesus as king, but not in the same ways Matthew portrayed Him.

Mark makes sure to include little details that those who are unfamiliar with the law of Moses, can understand. In Mark 7.2 we read, “[the Pharisees] saw that some of [Jesus’] disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed.” Again, in 15.42 we see Mark write, “And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,”. Mark tells those who are not familiar with God’s law to the Israelites why this is important. Unwashed hands may be considered “gross”, but Mark makes sure the Gentile reader understands; it’s not just gross, it is unclean before the God of Creation.

Mark’s gospel seems to be easily divided into two sections. Chapters 1-8 tell us who Jesus is, while chapters 9-16 tell us why that is important (what Jesus was; the One with the power to save). Shortly after chapter 8 concludes we see a few teachings that occur late in Jesus’ Earthly ministry, and then in Chapter 11 Jesus is headed to Jerusalem to enter His final week before crucifixion. Since Mark is focused on telling the non-Jewish reader who and what Jesus was (the Savior of mankind), I find his gospel to be the easiest to work with for people today. Matthew focuses on fulfilling prophecy; Luke and John center their thoughts on humanity and divinity, respectively. But Mark tells the rest of mankind: ~’Hey, Jesus is the Savior of mankind from their sins’, and he does it with brevity and power.

Mark uses adjectives that shows Jesus had POWER! Mark tells us how people thought of Jesus. Often the word he uses is “amazed”. Why were they amazed? Because no one had the POWER that Jesus had. Power to save Himself yet yielding to His Father for ultimate power: power to save our souls.


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