Gospel of Mark Overview – Part 4


I have just a couple of concluding comments. Let me sum everything by mentioning a little bit about the author.

Remember, Mark was a relative of Barnabas, a companion of Paul, and originally in fellowship with brethren in Jerusalem. This afforded him direct contact with the Twelve Apostles. What better position could there have been to collate information then directly obtained from those who had firsthand accounts, eyewitnesses if you will.

Mark was a man who was young when called, failed when tried, restored when converted—very much like Peter. There is some thought that Mark eventually took the gospel message to Alexandria in North Africa and began churches there, before joining Peter. True or not, it is told that he gave is life as a martyr. He returns to Egypt in 64 AD, right after writing this gospel, he is preaching in a church and the people come in with ropes and hooks dragging him until he dies. This is how the one who once feared for his life with Paul and Barnabas ends his days.

Let me mention a few things in light of the authenticity of his writings. First, there is little doubt Mark with a relative so prominently held in honor by the apostles, was invited to listen in on story after story as Barnabas heard the twelve rehearse the signs, works and words of Christ to the many new followers in Jerusalem.

Second, as a companion in travel with the Apostle Paul, Mark was in a perfect place to glean from the accounts that he had heard and learned. Paul, who was the most prolific writer of the New Testament, had his own inquires from eyewitness of the life of Jesus. And, it would be wise to remember also that Paul enjoyed his own personal revelation, experience and knowledge of the presence of the Lord. No doubt Paul communicated many truths to Mark as they worked and travelled.

Third, having lived in Jerusalem, Mark was in close proximity to the many thousands still alive, those who had heard and experienced the miracles and instructions of the Lord firsthand. He was in a position to interview those who had heard Jesus teach in the temple. He could maybe even ask questions of the those who were there singing, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” as Christ entered Jerusalem.

Fourth and finally, as a direct associate with Peter in His ministry, Mark was in a perfect position to record and capture the thoughts and words of this great servant of God.

In case one has questions as to the validity and accuracy of such a work, we must remember Mark wrote them, as noted, while many eyewitnesses were still alive. Any of these easily could refute error immediately and take issue with misrepresentations. Of course, there were no challenges forthcoming, and Mark’s text held true. This just gives further irrefutable evidence as to the inspiration, power and enabling of the Holy Spirit in directing Mark in such a great undertaking.

And as the first historical record written, one can understand full well why so much is left out and deemed unnecessary as the other synoptic gospels add more information. Mark was presenting the first historical account. He was writing to Roman believers and demonstrating how the Son of God was the Servant of God. He was writing about the immediate life and times of Jesus. Details of Jesus’ birth and origins were to be assumed by others later. Mark’s presentation was to write of Jesus and His service to humanity. And so we find Jesus as the servant of God, stately written and examined throughout the gospel of Mark.

J. Robert Hanson


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