Mark Introduction

The Author

The Gospel of Mark was written by John Mark as told him by Peter. John Mark sought to write down accurately, as much as he could remember, the words of Peter, not being an eyewitness to the events himself. It was believed that Mark was urged to write down Peter's teaching when Peter was in Italy so they could remember what Peter had to say concerning the Lord. Mark did, and the work was approved and affirmed by Peter. This account of the origins of Mark are pieced together by Eusebius, a historian and bishop who lived a couple centuries after the Gospel was written.

The Purpose of Mark

The purpose of the book of Mark is stated in the opening verse: "to show the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." The Gospel clearly began with Jesus Who was confirmed the Son of God by His deeds and especially His miracles. Mark gives particular attention to the deeds of Jesus while recording His teaching in brief form compared to the other Gospels. Mark is the action Gospel, using his favorite word to describe the deeds of Christ, "immediately."    

The Target of Mark

Mark wrote this Gospel from Rome and was no doubt seeking to help Gentile Christians understand Jewish customs so they could better comprehend the words and deeds of Jesus. The textual details found within the Gospel such as translated Aramaic quotations, Latin expressions, and explanations of Jewish customs offer evidence that Mark wanted to familiarize the Gentile church with the world of Jesus' ministry. No doubt, Mark wanted the Gentile converts to better understand what Jesus was seeking to say and to vividly see the real Person of Jesus .

The Overall Message of Mark

Mark also presents Jesus' universal call to discipleship. Mark seeks to present the Gospel in its essence. Jesus did not come to give people a new or higher code of conduct to live by—He came with the Gospel and He came to call people to discipleship. Mark presents Jesus as calling people not to follow rules but to follow Jesus personally. Mark sees fellowship with Jesus as the highest mark of discipleship and that fellowship with Jesus included taking up one's cross, trusting in Christ from the heart, expressing a confession of belief in His words against the voice of the world, and having a life shaped by walking with Jesus continually.