Book of the Week 41: Mark

Greek Name: KATA MARKON

Human Author: Mark                                                         

OT or NT: New Testament

Number of Chapters: 16

Basic Facts

  1. Mark is the forty-first book of the Bible.
  2. In terms of literary genre, Mark is classified as a gospel.
  3. The Greek name for the book of Mark is KATA MARKON, which means “according to Mark.”
  4. Mark was likely the first of the four canonical gospel accounts to be written.
  5. Along with Matthew and Luke, Mark is considered one of the synoptic gospels.

Story of the Book

The story of Mark is a detailed account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Mark’s Gospel opens with the ministry of John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus. Next, Mark gives an account of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan river. The rest of the book gives a detailed account of Jesus’ life including His ministry, the calling of His disciples, miracles, teachings, parables, His entry into Jerusalem, prophecies concerning the end of days, the plot to kill Jesus, the Lord’s Supper, Peter’s denial of Jesus, Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection. The book of Mark ends on a low note as Mary and Martha flee from Jesus’ empty tomb after an angel tells them that Jesus has been resurrected. The women flee initially tell no one about what they had seen because they were afraid. **

 ** (The ending of the book in Mark 16:9-20 is likely a later addition to the text that tells of how Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, and she in turn went and told Jesus’ disciples of His resurrection. This later addition to the text tells of signs and wonders which will accompany those who believe in Jesus and are baptized. The very end of the text briefly tells of Jesus’ ascension into heaven at the right hand of God and how the disciples went and proclaimed the Gospel accompanied by signs.)

Fulfillments by Jesus in Mark:

The fulfillments given by Jesus in the book of Mark demonstrate His identity as the Messiah, as the Son of God, and as a prophet like Moses. The ways in which Jesus fulfills prophecy in the book of Mark are too numerous to mention all of them here. Nevertheless, here are a few examples of prophecies about the Messiah which were fulfilled by Jesus in order to demonstrate His identity:

  • God the Father proclaims Jesus to be His son (Psalm 2:7-12; Mark 1:16). 
  • God proclaims Jesus to be His son and commands the disciples to listen to Him (which also gives parallels concerning the identity of Jesus as a prophet like Moses) (Exodus 24:15; Exodus 34:29; Deuteronomy 18:18-19; Mark 9:2-8). 
  • Jesus frequently speaks in Parables in Mark (Psalm 78:2-4; Mark 4:1-12 [and many other examples]). 
  • Jesus proclaims himself to be both the Lord (with authority over king David) and the Son of God (Psalm 110:1; Mark 12:35-36). 

Mark also gives an account of many miracles and signs which Jesus performed which demonstrate Jesus’ divine power. Many of the events recorded in the Gospel of Mark point to the reality of who Jesus is either through a demonstration of His miraculous power or through God the Father proclaiming Jesus to be His son.