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Mark Explained Part 1 | Who Jesus IsSample

Mark Explained Part 1 | Who Jesus Is

DAY 1 OF 6

Introduction to the Gospel of Mark

Hello my Through the Word friends! Welcome to the book of Mark. The gospel of Mark is about Jesus. And if you haven’t noticed it yet, Jesus is pretty much my favorite subject. I love coming back to the gospels. I never stop being amazed by my Savior.

Now if Jesus is not your favorite subject, that’s okay. You are welcome here, whether you are Christian or curious or just not sure. The Bible is fascinating for anyone, and this is a great place to start. Check out Jesus for yourself. Read the Bible, ask your questions, find some answers, and decide what you believe on one of the most important questions the world has ever been asked. Right here in Mark 8:29, Jesus asks us,

“Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29).

So what do you say? Who is Jesus? That one name changed the course of history. Changed my life too. There are lots of opinions out there, but what’s yours?

We’re here in Mark - to find out what the Bible says about it. You know - there’s no way for me to cover the whole chapter and do it justice in eight or nine minutes. But it is a good start - and if you read it and a friend reads it, and you get to talking about it, now you’ve really got something.

There’s a proverb that says, “Wisdom is found in a multitude of counselors.” That doesn’t mean that all the counselors are right. It means you grow when you listen -listen to several teachers, then form your own opinions. As always, I strongly encourage you to read the Bible for yourself after each Audio Guide. Or you can read it first, then listen to our thoughts on it. But the main point here is that we want you to read it, or even listen to the audio. Go to the source. The Bible is the source - I’m just here to explain some things and share the journey with you.

Now speaking of learning from several teachers, it turns out that’s a big part of Mark’s story too. Mark is the guy who wrote this book.

Remember there are four gospels, and each one is a little different. Not disagreeing, just different points of view, different focus. When you want to know the whole truth about someone, you don’t just ask one person. You ask several. With several testimonies, you can verify claims, and get different perspectives and insights.

So what’s Mark’s perspective? How did Mark see Jesus? And who is Mark anyway?

Well, he was just a kid when the events recorded in the gospel took place. And he was there - he was part of the group, at least towards the end. We see Mark the night before the crucifixion, there with the group of apostles in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was arrested.

We don’t know how much of this Mark saw first-hand, but we do find him again in the book of Acts and in several of the Epistles. There he’s called John-Mark.

Now Mark was not one of the 12 apostles, but he grew up serving alongside several of the key leaders in the early church. Barnabas was Mark’s uncle, and Mark tagged along on early missionary journeys with Barnabas and Paul. Mark struggled on his first trip - even quit - but he came back again.

Later on he joined Peter. Peter calls Mark his “true son in the faith.” That’s important, because Peter was an eyewitness to Jesus’ ministry. In fact, the general consensus is that Mark’s gospel is really a recording of Peter’s testimony about Jesus. Mark got the story from Peter - and also from the other apostles as he spent time with several of them. And wrote down the stories that we are about to read. Some scholars like to call this Peter’s gospel - and it really matches Peter’s personality. Later on, Mark became a true pillar of the early church.

Now most importantly, what we’re going to read in Mark comes from the Holy Spirit. Peter explains how this works in his second letter,

"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2nd Peter 1:20-21).

In other words, it’s God’s Word. Humans wrote it down, and humans translated it, but it came from God. Now you don’t have to believe that in order to read the Bible, but you should know that the Bible claims to be from God.

So what is the Holy Spirit going to tell us here in Mark?

Well Mark presents Jesus. But there’s a lot to this Jesus. Mark opens in the very first verse,

"The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God" (Mark 1:1).

Mark gets right to the point. This is about Jesus. He is the Messiah. He is the Son of God. And I like how Mark uses the word beginning. I think that means more than just “this is the first verse.” I think he means that this whole book is only the beginning of the good news about Jesus. After all, there are three other gospels - and at the end of all four, John says that all the books in the world couldn’t contain all the good news about Jesus.

Now it’s interesting - the good news starts with the story of John the Baptist. Why’s that? Because verse 3 tells us that God gave John a job. He was…

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him’” (Mark 1:3).

John’s job was preparation. That’s a good idea for us too. We are starting a journey after all. We ought to prepare. And how did John prepare the people for Jesus? How did he make a straight path in their hearts? He preached repentance. Repent means change your mind - about the wrong way you’re living your life. “Sorry God. I was wrong.” That simple sorry, that little piece of humility - opens a door, and makes a straight path for Jesus in your heart.

Well I’m about out of time for the intro. Tomorrow we start in on chapter 1. For now you can read ahead and prepare your heart today. And invite some more friends to join us on the journey.

Thanks for joining us for today's audio guide. You can find audio guides for this chapter and hundreds more on the Through the Word app and website. And remember, faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the Word.

You can find audio guides for this chapter and hundreds more on the Through the Word app and at throughtheword.org.

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Mark Explained Part 1 | Who Jesus Is

Who is Jesus? Philosophy, literature, art, politics - all of them have been profoundly impacted by the life and teaching of this one man. And Christians call him the Son of God. So who is He? Take a journey through Mark'...

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