Mark: Jesus as Amazing Servant of the Lord

Amazing Servant

Mk. 1:22, 27 People amazed at Jesus

Mk. 6:6 Jesus amazed at people’s lack of faith


What kind of person was Mark?

Since he is inspired does it make any difference who he was? 

What kind of personal trail does the writer leave in the text he/she writes?

                Name—John Mark (Acts 12:12)

Apostolic meeting place in his house—Acts 12:12

Pitcher bearer?-- 14:13—upper room, last supper

Personal touch—14:51f.

Peter’s secretary?—Papias, 1 Pet. 5:13

Barnabas’ younger cousin Col. 4:10

1 MJ Paul/Barnabas—Acts 12:25; 13:5

Quits at Perga – why? Acts 13:13;

Paul’s rejection of John Mark:  Acts 15:36ff.

Why suggestions: Homesick, Paul, Gentiles?Pauls-First-MissJourn copy

Can godly folks disagree so strongly they split? Paul/Barnabas

Peter’s affirmation 1 Pet 5:13

Do people change over time? Do young people make bad choices they regret later? 

Paul finally values him 2 Tim 4:11—

For Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.  Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.  Only Luke is with me.  Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.

Nature of reconciliation: the struggle

Authorship:  Internal evidence

Omits Peter as hero 3x (walks on water, keys of kingdom, temple tax)

Peter’s 3 bungles elaborates on (get behind me Satan, transfiguration, 3 denials of X)

Peter’s comment:  7:19 –(In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”) cf. Acts 10-11

Scriptural honesty:  apostles have problems, realism, not legend, flawed heroes

When was Mark written?

Early Church  - Peter connection – Papias, Peter dead by 65 AD so before that so Peter could ratify it

Synoptic ordering –first “gospel” 40-65 AD –Markan Priority

Date:  pre – 65 AD –Mk 13:2 temple destruction prediction (temple destroyed 70)

Liberal aversion to predictive prophecy and miracles: Vaticinium post eventu—13:2

To whom was Mark written? Audience?

Church History says:  Rome (Eusebius, Papias)

Presence in Rome (1 Pet. 5:13; Col. 4:10)

Non-Jewish audience examples

Translates Hebrew expressions:  talitha cum 5:41, Boanerges 3:17

Explains Jewish customs 14:12-Passover lamb, 7:2ff Unwashed hands explanation

No mention of the law (Cf. Mat 5:17f;);
No sending of 12 order not to go to Gentiles (Mt 10)

Explains geography (13:3) Mount Olives–temple)


Latin Audience

Rome:  puts Greek into Latin 
  au]lh?j aulesà palaceà praetorium (Mk 15:16)

Roman folks mentioned: Rufus, Alexander (Mk 15:21) cf. Romans 16:13. Simon Cyrene’s kids

Roman conceptual framework:
power 1:7,     demons 1:33,
crowds 1:45, banquets 6:21

Importance of understanding who the audience is and who the author is (today many drop the author in favor of the audience; both/and)

Portrayal of Christ

First “Gospel” –cf. Acts 10:34-43

Eu-aggelion (angelion):  eu=good, message

Mk 1:1f.—deity of Christ (OT quotes)

Mk 1:2: à messenger prepares way before you (=Jesus)

Mal. 3:1f  à messenger prepares way before me (=YHWH)…comes into his temple

Mk 1:3 “voice crying in the desert prepare the way of the YHWH (Is. 40:3)


Why is it called “good news”?

Life/death; sin/pardon, emptiness/love, breathiness/significance, God/human, kingdom near--hope

Christ as human: eats, drinks, hungry, touches, gets angry

Key Verse:  10:45: 

Christ as divine in Mark 1 (OT)

So John came baptizing preparing way before Jesus

Jesus Bapt. Mk. 1:11:  “You are my Son,” à Ps. 2:7 (son of God=Messiah). 

“Whom I am well pleased”=Is. 42:1 (of the suffering servant on whom God will put his Spirit and he will bring deliverance and justice to the earth.

Who is the Son of Man?

What does “son of ”____ mean? 3 options

Jesus Self-identification—what he calls himself (Mat 16:13; Mark 2:10)

5 Nuances of the Son of Man [AI SED]

Identification with humans Mt 8:20—foxes have holes

Authority Mk 2:10—SM ability to forgive sin/heal

Suffering:  Messiah ben David//Messiah ben Joseph
Mk 8:31 (suffering); 9:31 (kill); 10:33 (betrayal)

Eschatological coming judgment: Mk 14:61f
Christ as divine—”Son of Man” Dan. 7:13

Divine:  Mk. 14:61ff; cf. Mat 26:63f

Messianic secret

Question:  Why did Jesus tell people not to tell what he did?

Messianic secret—Why?

Healed ones —settings/reason: crowds/magician Mk. 1:44f, arrest, reverse psych.

Demons —settings/reason: bad PR; Mk. 1:33; 3:11

Disciples —settings/reason: understand; Mk 9:9f

Mark’s Characteristics

Brevity – actions not words—too busy to eat (3:20; 6:31)

Miracles:  faith à miracles

 Faith character contrasts [suppliants]
                 suppliants + faith 2:5; 5:34, 36

opponents 2:7               disciples-little faith 4:40

contra John:  faith comes after miracles--Jn 2:11

Vividness graphic details 1:13, 26, 27, 31

Euthus=immediately – 42x 1:12, 5:42...
  Present tense used

Realism – disciples not understanding

Only here the Jesus = “carpenter” 6:3

Suffering emphasized: 8:31; 9:31; 10:33ff

Minor characters//disciples

                3 boat scenes [boat [rebuke] + miracle]