WE’RE number one! . . . The greatest, strongest, prettiest . . . champions! Daily such proclamations boldly assert claims of supremacy. Everyone wants to be associated with a winner. Losers are those who finish less than first. In direct contrast are the words of Jesus: “And whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many” (10:44-45).
Jesus is the greatest; he is God incarnate, our Messiah, but he entered history as a servant. This is the message of Mark. Written to encourage Roman Christians and to prove beyond a doubt that Jesus is the Messiah, Mark presents a rapid succession of vivid pictures of Jesus in action. Mark reveals Jesus' true identity as revealed by what he does, not necessarily by what he says. It is Jesus on the move. Omitting the birth of Jesus, Mark begins with John the Baptist’s preaching. Then, moving quickly past Jesus’ baptism, temptation in the wilderness, and call of the disciples, Mark takes us directly into Jesus’ public ministry. We see Jesus confronting a demon, healing a man with leprosy, and forgiving and healing the paralyzed man lowered into Jesus’ presence by friends. Next, Jesus calls Matthew (Levi) and has dinner with him and his questionable associates. This initiates the conflict with the Pharisees and other religious leaders, who condemn Jesus for eating with sinners and breaking the Sabbath. In chapter 4, Mark pauses to give a sample of Jesus’ teaching (the parable of the farmer and the illustration of the mustard seed) and then plunges back into the action. Jesus calms the waves, drives out demons, and heals Jairus’s daughter. After returning to Nazareth for a few days and experiencing rejection in his hometown, Jesus commissions the disciples to spread the Good News everywhere.
Opposition from Herod and the Pharisees increases, and John the Baptist is beheaded. But Jesus continues to move, feeding 5,000, reaching out to the woman from Syrian Phoenicia, healing the deaf man, and feeding 4,000. Finally, it is time to reveal his true identity to the disciples. Do they really know who Jesus is? Peter proclaims him Messiah but then promptly shows that he does not understand Jesus’ mission. After the Transfiguration, Jesus continues to teach and heal, confronting the Pharisees about divorce and the rich young man about eternal life. Blind Bartimaeus is healed. Events move rapidly toward a climax. The Last Supper, the betrayal, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection are dramatically portrayed, along with more examples of Jesus’ teachings. Mark shows us Jesus moving, serving, sacrificing, and saving! As you read Mark, be ready for action, be open for God’s move in your life, and be challenged to move into

  John Mark, he was not one of the 12 disciples, but he accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey

Purpose: To present the person work and teaching of Jesus

Date Written
: Between A.D.55-65

Key Verse:
Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”—Mark 10:43–45

Mark Bible Study Download