If you think about great books you have read or indeed films you have watched, the initial stages of either medium is crucial. You can be hooked or lost depending on how the opening goes.When we compare the gospel or Mark to the two it is sandwiched between, Matthew and Luke, we find a very different opening statement.I Matthew and Luke we have the genealogies, which while essential in relation the theme and target audience of those particular Gospels. Matthew writing to a Jewish audience presents Jesus as King, and therefore begins detail Christ’s line back to King David. Luke’s Gospel presents Christ as a Man, therefore the lineage detailed take us back to Adam the first man.Mark presents to us Christ the servant, and his target audience was gentile believers at Rome, so we don’t have the genealogies as they are not relevant, the message of this Gospel is Christ as the suffering servant.The keyword in this Gospel is , ------------------ and thats the way the book flows, its fast paced and punchy all the way through.So this fast paced book begins with and announcement, that captures the attention
KJV 19001 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
Mark IntroductionThe Gospel.—In the foregoing notice of St. Mark’s life a great deal more has necessarily been said of the Evangelist’s association with St. Paul than of his relation to St. Peter. But when we proceed to speak of his Gospel, it is St. Peter who comes into prominence. The early Christian Fathers are unanimous in testifying that Mark wrote under Peter’s superintendence and by his authority. Justin Martyr goes so far, indeed, as to call the Second Gospel “Peter’s memoirs.” Tertullian says that it “may be affirmed to be Peter’s, whose interpreter Mark was”; Origen, that Mark “composed it as Peter guided him”; and Eusebius, “that all the contents of Mark’s Gospel are regarded as memoirs of Peter’s discourses.” Perhaps the most important patristic statement is the following, which Papias makes on the authority of John, a contemporary of the apostles, if not the Fourth Evangelist himself: “And this the Presbyter said: Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote accurately whatever he recorded. He did not present, however, in regular order the things that were either spoken or done by Christ, for he had not been a personal auditor or follower of the Lord. But afterwards, as I said, he attached himself to Peter, who gave instructions according to the necessities of his hearers, but not in the way of making an orderly arrangement of the Lord’s words. So that Mark committed no error in writing such details of things as he recorded; for he made conscience of one thing, not to omit on the one hand, and not to misrepresent on the other, any of the details which he heard.” This testimony of the ancients is distinctly confirmed by the contents of the Gospel itself. The whole tone and character of the book is in complete accordance with what we know of St. Peter and his manner of preaching. See , . The latter of these passages has been called “the Gospel of Mark in a nutshell.” Short as it is, this Gospel supplies several details connected with St. Peter recorded by no other Evangelist (1:36, 11:21, 13:3, 16:7), and lays special stress on things fitted to humble him (8:33, 14:30, 68–72); while, on the other hand, it omits various circumstances tending to his honour (comp. 7:17 with ; 6:50, 51, with ; with ; , , with ; with ). Bishop Chris. Wordsworth sees in the fact that this Gospel bears the name of Mark, and not of Peter, another “silent token of the humility of the apostle, not ambitious for the exhibition of his own name in the eye of the world.” The human teacher is content to sink his personality and veil his identity, while he sets forth with graphic pen the words and deeds of the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mark Main Homiletics of the Paragraph.—Verses 1–8The preparation for the gospel.—With trumpet-blast—short, sharp, triumphant—St. Mark introduces his Divine Hero, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah.” Wasting no time on preliminaries, he at once strikes the keynote of his theme—“the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Well is he called “Marcus,” a hammer, who begins by aiming such a powerful blow at the inherent scepticism of the human heart, and then follows it up with the workmanlike skill observable throughout this book! Determined to leave no room for mistake concerning the person of his Master, he at once accords to Him His full title, “Jesus Christ, Son of God.” Jesus—the Saviour; Christ—the Divinely appointed Prophet, Priest, and King of men; Son of God, Revealer of the Father, Incarnate Deity. Peter’s great confession was in almost the same words ().
Exploring the Gospel of Mark: An Expository Commentary 1. The Mystery (1:1–2)Mark tells us how it all began. Indeed, his gospel is frequently concerned with the beginnings of things. Each of the four evangelists begins at a different point in the gospel story. Matthew begins with the ancestry and birth of the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. Luke begins with the birth of John the Baptist. John goes back before the beginning of time to the Lord’s preincarnate existence as the Word. Mark’s beginning is at a point later than all of the other gospels—with the actual ministry of John the Baptist. The word that Mark uses for “gospel” is euangelion. It was used in the Roman world (which so attracted Mark) to announce that a new emperor had ascended the throne. That was supposed to be “good news.” The Holy Spirit appropriates the word. A long-announced Savior had come, and that indeed was good news because this Savior would be both a Sovereign and a Servant. Mark gives this long-awaited Messiah His proper title—“Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” The Jews needed some good news badly because God had not spoken to them for four hundred years, and terrible years they had been. It had all come down to the fact that, in Jerusalem, an Edomite monster of a man named Herod the Great sat on the throne of Israel. The Promised Land itself had dwindled in size and importance to a small and despised province in a vast and alien empire. Moreover, the land was ruled from Caesarea on the coast, a wholly Roman city. A pagan Roman governor (Pontius Pilate) presided over the local interests of a Gentile emperor (Augustus) in far-off Rome, and the emperor was demanding that divine honors be bestowed on him. It was all bad news for the Jewish people. Moreover, it was a mystery to them. Were they not the chosen people? Was not Palestine the Promised Land? Why had God been so silent for so long? Was there to be no end to their sufferings and humiliation? But good news came at last! John the Baptist was its herald. John himself had been the subject of an ancient prophecy (; ), and his coming marked a new beginning. The Messenger had come! The Messiah was on His way! God had invaded the planet, and things could never be the same again. The Messenger’s task was to prepare the way for the coming King.
Our Greatest Need If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If your greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior