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MARK - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Mark


Christ guided some of his close companions to put on record his sayings, and his works; as well as the events of his life, his death, his resurrection, and his ascension. Some of those were Matthew, the eyewitness and linguist; John, the beloved disciple of priestly root; Luke, the Greek physician who accompanied Paul the apostle; and Mark, the young man who recorded the sermons of Peter, the foremost among the apostles.

Who is Mark?

We agree with the church’s unanimity in supposing that the writer of the second gospel was John Mark, who accompanied Barnabas his uncle, and Paul the apostle, on their first missionary journey (as stated in Acts 12:12-25; 13:5-13; 15:37-39). However, he could not endure the physical hardships and spiritual striving during that journey, because of his youth at that time, so he soon gave up the journey, left the two apostles, and returned to his homeland. This departure did not please Paul the apostle.

However, with his clear insight and prudence, Barnabas saw in Mark, his cousin, the man of the future. He tried to encourage Paul to take Mark with him again on his second journey, but Paul was not willing to take an evasive feeble young man with him. This led to the rupture between the two missionary leaders. But a few years later, we find Mark once again at Rome with Paul as his fellow-worker and great “comfort” to him during Paul’s imprisonment (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:11).

It is considered that Mark was the young man who had followed Jesus from afar, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body; and when the soldiers laid hold of Jesus, Mark fled naked, as the soldiers took off his linen cloth (Mark 14:51). Mark testified to this truth in his gospel that he became naked at Christ’s crucifixion and unworthy to write the gospel. Nevertheless, Christ had mercy on him and entrusted him with writing his divine biography.

How Was the Gospel According to Mark Composed?

Eusebius, the church historian says that Mark joined Peter the apostle after the death of Paul, and accompanied him as his faithful servant. Mark wrote down accurately the words and sermons of this old apostle about the life of Christ. He did not record them in historical order, but attached himself to Peter who used to frame his teaching to meet the needs of his hearers, not as composing an orderly account of the Lord’s discourses, but as portraying the life of Christ in such a way that he might be seen clearly as if he were before them. In fact, the source of the reports, as stated in this gospel, was not Mark, but Peter, the most prominent among the apostles.

The Gospel of Mark portrays the person of Jesus more by what he does than by what he says. Mark clearly records the deeds of Jesus rather than his words, which we may read in detail in the other gospels. However, the works of Christ appear to our minds as short and powerful. The account of Peter’s denial of Christ is full. Peter’s bitter failure is emphasized more in the Gospel of Mark than in the other gospels, to glorify the saving grace of Christ who had blessed him in spite of having denied Him three times.

For Whom Was This Gospel Written?

Mark learned from following Barnabas, Paul, and Peter that Jesus of Nazareth was the triumphant, powerful, and mighty Christ. He portrayed him to the Romans as the only Son of God, for the Romans and the Greeks did not find in their gods, set up in many temples, true hope of life and death. Therefore he made apparent to them the only Son of God, the hope of the world.

Accordingly, he explained to those Gentiles some Jewish customs that they might understand the background of Jesus. He was not concerned with describing the controversies between Jesus and the Pharisees, but translated Aramaic and Hebrew phrases, and also familiar Latin expressions into Greek. This shows that the Gospel of Mark was not written for Hebrews, but for Gentiles, and for Romans in particular, to draw them to living faith in Christ, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, and the divine founder of the spiritual kingdom in our corrupt world.

When Was the Gospel of Mark Written?

St. Irenaeus wrote that Peter read this gospel, and approved its contents before his death. This indicates that this gospel was written earlier than 64 AD since the great persecution of Nero had taken place during this year, which resulted in the death of Peter.

We learn from this shortest gospel that the power of God was at work in the Lord Jesus Christ. We recognize from reflecting on his life, that he, who was raised from the dead, is present with us even today, establishing the kingdom of his love among the nations. As such, the Son of God calls us with his commands to obey the faith, for in his kingdom there is neither disorder nor sin, but the power of the Holy Spirit at work, according to the arrangements of his mercy based on his everlasting triumph.

Please do not read the Gospel of Mark hastily or superficially, but study every word of it, and hold fast to it, that you may be strengthened in your spiritual life.

Analysis of the Gospel of Mark

  1. The preparations for Christ’s appearance, MARK 1:1-13
  2. The beginning of Christ’s ministry in Galilee, MARK 1:14-45
  3. The conflict between Jesus and the Jewish leaders, MARK 2:1-3:6
  4. The great signs and miracles of Christ in Galilee and its Surroundings, MARK 3:7-8:26
  5. Christ prepares his disciples for his sufferings and death, MARK 8:27-10:45
  6. Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and his last works, MARK 10:46-52
  7. Jesus’ passion and death, MARK 14 and 15
  8. Jesus’ resurrection, MARK 16


  1. Who is Mark, and who were his fellow-laborers?
  2. What is the main source of the Gospel of Mark?
  3. For whom did Mark write his gospel, and at what time?


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