About this book
This is the shortest of the four New Testament books that tell about the life and teachings of Jesus, but it is also the most action-packed. From the very beginning of his ministry, Jesus worked mighty wonders. After choosing four followers (1.16–20), he immediately performed many miracles of healing. Among those healed were a man with an evil spirit in him (1.21–28), Simon's mother-in-law (1.30,31), crowds of sick people (1.32–34), and a man with leprosy (1.40–45). Over and over Mark tells how Jesus healed people, but always in such a way as to show that he did these miracles by the power of God.
The religious leaders refused to accept Jesus. This led to conflicts (2.2—3.6) that finally made them start looking for a way to kill him (11.18). But the demons saw the power of Jesus, and they knew that he was the Son of God, although Jesus would not let them tell anyone.
This book is full of miracles that amazed the crowds and Jesus' followers. But, according to Mark, the most powerful miracle of Jesus is his suffering and death. The first person to understand this miracle was the Roman soldier who saw Jesus die on the cross and said, “This man really was the Son of God!” (15.39).
This Gospel is widely thought to be the first one written. The many explanations of Aramaic words and Jewish customs in Mark suggest that Mark wrote to Gentile or non-Jewish Christians. He wants to tell about Jesus and to encourage readers to believe in the power of Jesus to rescue them from sickness, demons, and death. He also wants to remind them that the new life of faith is not an easy life, and that they must follow Jesus by serving others and being ready to suffer as he did.
The first followers of Jesus to discover the empty tomb were three women, and the angel told them:
Don't be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus from Nazareth, who was nailed to a cross. God has raised him to life, and he isn't here.
A quick look at this book
1. The message of John the Baptist (1.1–8)
2. The baptism and temptation of Jesus (1.9–13)
3. Jesus in Galilee (1.14—9.50)
4. Jesus goes from Galilee to Jerusalem (10.1–52)
5. Jesus' last week: his trial and death (11.1—15.47)
6. Jesus is alive (16.1–8)
7. Jesus appears to his followers (16.9–20)