Sunday, April 22, 2012


Well, I just finished a New Testament class that I had to write summaries for. So I thought that I would post them one-by-one. Enjoy them and critique them if necessary;)

            Though Mark is anonymous, in AD 125 an important segment of the early church thought that a man of that name was the one who wrote it. This man would be the John Mark mentioned in Acts and other books in the New Testament.
            I think a main theme in Mark is Jesus’ works. Mark doesn’t spend as much time telling of His teachings, but more of the things He did.         
I. (1:1-13)
            A. Mark begins His Gospel by telling us of John and his baptism ministry. As he is telling the people to repent and baptizing them, the One he is preparing the people to believe in, comes to be baptized. As He comes up out of the water, the Holy Spirit comes upon Him like a dove and He is immediately led into the desert.
            B. One thing we can learn from this is that if Jesus, a perfect being, had to be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, how much more do we, being wicked? Also, since Jesus was tempted, we can go to Him knowing that He knows how it is and also how to overcome it, and therefore will help us like no one else.
II. (1:14-3:6)
            A. As Jesus starts His ministry, He preaches like John had, telling the people to repent and believe the gospel.  He starts to call certain men to Himself to be His disciples, heals many sick and demon possessed people, and also preaches to them. Already the Pharisees are questioning Jesus, and He explains to them His reasons for doing or not doing certain things. The first time the Pharisees plot to kill Jesus is when He heals a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath.
            B. We can learn from this section that Jesus really cared about and loved the people, showing this by healing them and longing for them to believe the gospel. He also tells us that He can forgive us our sins, which the scribes obviously did not agree with and thought it was blasphemous of Him to say that. 
III. (3:7-5:43)
            A. This section starts off saying that great multitudes followed Jesus, showing us that He is getting more popular. Because there where so many people He was healing, He had to have His disciples get a boat ready for Him so He wouldn’t get crushed. Jesus then chooses 12 men to be His disciples. He also teaches the people, mostly in parables, and does many miracles including calming the storm, cleansing a man of demons, and restoring a girl to life.
            B. An important thing we can learn from this section is that our God is a mighty God. We see this in all of His miracles: He just speaks the word and things happen. We need to have such faith as that.
IV. (6:1-8:26)
            A. After Jesus is rejected in His home town of Nazareth, He sends His Disciples out to preach and heal the sick, but to take nothing with them. Mark goes into a detailed account of the beheading of John, and then tells of Jesus feeding the 5,000, walking on the sea, healing many people in many cities, teaching, again feeding a large multitude, and warning against the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod.  
            B. From the account of Nazareth we can learn that Jesus could not do mighty works there because of their unbelief. If we believe and trust in Jesus, He will do a great work in us. Furthermore, we can learn that the world will try to kill all those who believe in Jesus and who preach His Name, just like Herod did to John by putting him in prison and then beheading Him     
V. (8:27-10:52)
            A. After Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ, Jesus tells His disciples that He must die. Jesus urges the people to take up their cross and follow Him, even to the point of losing their life. Then He goes with His disciples up to a mountaintop and is transfigured before some of them, standing with Moses and Elijah. God speaks to them from a cloud and says, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” After He comes down, He heals a boy that His disciples could not because of lack of faith, predicts His death a second and third time, and teaches on things such as who is the greatest, and marriage and divorce.
            B. We can learn from this section that to be great, we actually need to be a servant to all. This is true greatness. We can learn to be kind to the little children, and really to all, just as Jesus was. Moreover we can see that Jesus is greatest of all the Old Testament figures and He is worth giving everything up for.
VI. (11:1-13:37)
A. Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem and then goes to the temple and drives out all those who bought and sold in the temple. Most of the Pharisees and other leaders did not like Jesus, even hated Him, and tried to catch Him in His words, but He would not be caught. Then Jesus teaches His disciples all about the end times, and how no one knows when the end will come.   
B. An important theme in the later part of this section is the end times. Jesus tells us that no one knows the time in which He will return and that we need to be ready and watch. Also, before that time, there will be many great tribulations that we will have to go through and endure. We need to learn from this and do as He says: watch!
VII. (14:1-16:8)
            A. Mark starts chapter 14 off by saying that the chief priests and scribes sought how they might put Him to death by trickery. Jesus is anointed with oil at Bethany which Jesus says is in preparation for burial, after which Judas goes to the priests and tells them he will betray Jesus, and they give him money to do it. Then Jesus celebrates the Passover with His disciples, institutes the Lord’s Supper, predicts Peter’s denial of Him, and goes into a garden to pray. As He was praying, a great multitude came with weapons and arrested Jesus. All His disciples fled. After He had been brought before many rulers, He is condemned to the cross, and there He dies. That evening, a man named Joseph buried Jesus in his tomb, but three days later the tomb was empty: Jesus was risen from the dead. The women who first saw this where amazed and frightened and did not tell the others.
            B. What can we learn from this? Too much to fit in this little summery! We can learn to quietly stand before our accusers just as Jesus did. We can choose not to follow the disciples’ example, but to follow Jesus even in the hard times of life when we think everything is going wrong. And we can also remember that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and then defeated death and rose again so that we could have eternal life with Him. We should always be thanking Him for that.
            I would say that Mark 1:15 is a good summery verse of the whole book. Jesus says: “…The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Jesus and what He did is the Gospel. By His works throughout His life He demonstrates the Kingdom of God and ushers it in. We need to repent of our sins and believe in Him so that God will save us from His wrath and welcome us into His family. 

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