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Those whom Mark wrote this gospel to had a Roman background. In this gospel Mark shows that Jesus is the Son of God and suffering Servant.
Mark’s account of Jesus’ life and ministry focuses more on what Jesus did than on what he taught (“immediately” is used 42 times). Mark particularly emphasizes Jesus’ suffering. His gospel gives a summary of the basic points of who Jesus is and what he did, providing a thorough grasp of Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection.
Mark’s gospel helps Christians grow in their faith, follow Christ faithfully, and equip them to effectively point sinners to Jesus, the Son of God, who came to seek and save the lost (10:45).
From 1:14 to 8:26 Mark focuses on Jesus’ miracles, leading up to Peter’s confession of who Jesus is in 8:27-30. At that point, Mark’s Gospel turns abruptly, focusing on Jesus’ suffering and death (8:31-16:20). Jesus is thus shown as the all-powerful Son of God (1:14-8:26) and the suffering Son of Man who died for sinners (8:31-16:20).
Here’s a basic outline of the Gospel according to Mark—
- Jesus’ miracles, 1:1-8:26
- Jesus’ suffering and death, 8:27-16:20
Truths to Nail Down and Apply
- The English word Gospel comes from the Anglo-Saxon word godspell which is composed of god (God) and spell (a story). This may then mean either God-story or good story.
- “Gospel” always refers to the message, the good news of what God has accomplished through Jesus Christ. Only here in Mark 1:1 is it used in connection with the record of that message (a book).
- When used with a book—“the gospel of Mark”—it refers to “the good news about Jesus Christ.”
- God gives the meaning and content of the gospel message in the Bible. All that God says about it must be taught and believed for one to be saved from his sins. God curses anyone who changes this message (Gal 1:8-9; Rev 22:18-19). Remember this when reading the Gospels!