Introduction to Book of Mark

glenn2012's picture

Christ was the pivotal point of human history. When he came to earth, earth saw the Son of God Himself (1Jn 1:1-3). His impact upon the world can never be overstated. He changed the world so much that men measure their years by Him. Some may dispute His significance, but they are wrong. And their misjudgment will be confronted some day in the future. When? When Christ returns. Scripture declares that He is going to return to earth. He is going to return as a Judge, not as a Savior – the Judge who will prove that He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, the God of very God, the Messiah. He is going to prove that He is the Salvation of God Almighty.

A Person of such magnitude, the Person who coming was to be the pivotal point of history, needed a forerunner. He needed someone who could run ahead of Him and arouse the people to prepare for His coming. That forerunner was John the Baptist.
John, whose surname was Mark, is the writer of the Gospel of Mark (Acts 12:12-25). He was the Son of Mary, and Cousin of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10), and a native of Jerusalem.

He accompanied Paul and Barnabas to Antioch, and was the cause of a serious disagreement between them (Acts 12:25; 13:5). Then he left them, probably on account of hardships (Acts 13:13). Finally he became a great help to Paul (Colossians 4:10-11; 2Timothy 4:11). Mark wrote this gospel in Rome and designed it for Roman believers. They were busy people and believed in the power and action. This Gospel was brief enough for a busy man to read and would appeal to the Roman mind. His only object in writing was to tell clearly certain facts about Jesus. His deeds more especially than his words. That Jesus is the son of God he proves, not by declaring how He came to earth, but showing what he accomplished during his brief ministry on this earth, how His coming changed the world.

Before moving to Mark Chapter 1, let’s define the word “Miracle”.

Miracle (Basic English Dictionary)
A Miracle is the performance of something which is against the laws of nature, it is a supernatural power to intervene and counteract earthly and evil forces. The word miracles comes from the Greek word dunamis which means “power and might that multiplies itself.” The gift of miracles operates closely with the power gifts of Faith and Healing to bring authority over Satan, sickness, sin, and the binding forces of this age. Miracles are the product of the spoken Word of God, because the Word of God and God are one (Psalm 33:6) by the word of the Lord the Lord the heavens were made and the host of them by the breath of His mouth. Jesus miracles shows the world His dominion over every aspect of human experience that has been touched by the effect of sin including sickness and infirmity, and spiritual, darkness, dead religion and threats from nature even death itself.

Miracle (Bible Dictionary)
A word used to identify events and achievements that occur outside the laws and limitations of the natural world. Based on 1Corinthians 12:28-29, miracles are integral to the New Testament Church. The bible records that God’s first deliberate miracles began with Moses dispatch to Egypt to deliver his people. He even elevated Moses to the status of godhood on earth to discharge his prophetic of office. (Hosea 12:13) God’s Old and New Testament saints were birthed by and made accustomed to miracles. That prophets are predisposed to miracles is seen in the mantles of Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and other power prophets of the Lord. As act of divine intervention, Miracles are God’s public displays of affection for his people. They demonstrate his sovereignty and intend to manifest His power.

When he appeared to the eleven apostles having dinner and wallowing in unbelief, Jesus told them that signs and wonders and exploits of power follow those that believe in His name. 1Corinthians 12:28-29 also tells us that miracles are main stay institution of the New Testament Church and beyond that there is such an office as the Miracle Worker.

READ Mark 1:1-8

Ground rules

I was reticent about making any comments as yet, because I am a new kid on the block. My first reaction was not altogether positive, but I decided to wait and see. I now see that one participant has already had his knuckles rapped for being off subject.

Verhulst writes :

"This is a study of the Book of Mark. I envisioned that we would discuss what is written in Mark, and not focus on argumentative, counter-productive side issues and individual beliefs that are not germane to the study of the book of Mark. It's important that all members of this group can voice their beliefs and opinions ON THE TOPIC OF MARK

I could not agree more! So why, in the introduction, do we have a rather tendentious excursus on the meaning of "miracle", before we have even reached a miracle in the Gospel? I actually have two problems with this.

The first is that there are two apparent citations, one from a "Basic English Dictionary", which gives a Bible orientated definition, with two glaring errors. Not the sort of thing you would get from Noah Webster! What sort of "dictionary" is that? The second quotation is from a "Bible Dictionary". Would it have been too much trouble to say which one? It doesn't sound like Hastings, NIBE or the IVP New Bible Dictionary. OK, we are not presenting papers at Fuller, but it would be nice if quotes were sourced.

Secondly, if we are to concentrate on Mark, why are we starting off with a charismatic/pentecostal interpretation of I Corinthians? To my mind, it seems rather strange to reprimand one participant for being off-subject when he admits struggling with his faith, when the group leader has started off with a proposition that she must know is not the unanimous position of all Christians.

I don't want to be too long, but I must say again that I have no wish whatsoever to be polemical. I've had my say, and will not labour the point. But I really, really hope that we can just read and discuss what is actually in Mark's Gospel, with NO presuppositions. And if I have hurt anyone's feelings, I apologise.