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Discover the Book - Oct. 8, 2007

  • 2007 Oct 08

An Introduction to the Gospel of Mark through Peter


I invite you to open your Bible to the second book of the New Testament, that second Gospel called Mark. "Mark” is what this book has been called through the centuries. The Gospel by Mark records of the impact of Christ's Gospel of the New Beginning. 

Last time we saw the impact of the Gospel of the new beginning in Mark's life. Today we will see that impact in Peter's life; and in the days ahead we will see that power transforming person after person in these 16 chapters. 

The Gospel by Mark is the premier book in God's Word about hope—hope for a new start, hope for complete forgiveness, hope in the God of the second chance.  

On the pages of the Gospel by Mark, we hear the voice of Peter. Church History is almost unanimous in the affirmation that Mark sat next to the aged Peter and captured his words as the Holy Spirit breathed out through him this flawless portrait of Jesus Christ. 

The Book of Mark[1], hold the words of Mark capturing the experiences of Peter.  

We saw last time with Mark how God gave Mark a second chance. Peter is an even greater witness to the new beginnings that Christ offers. Fewer people ever knew the reality of hope that Christ brings—than Peter.  There was a man called Peter, who knew Jesus better than any other human on earth ever did.  


Next to Christ no one in the New Testament is mentioned by name[2] more than Peter! And among the Twelve, those chosen earthly representatives of Christ—none spoke more often and none have as many words recorded in God's Word as Peter! Starting in the first Gospel, the Gospel by Matthew, watch what God's Word records about Peter. 

  • No one ever was honored like Peter. “Thou art Peter - and upon this rock…” (Matthew 16.18) 
  • No one was ever rebuked as sharply as when Jesus called Peter a tool of Satan. “Get thee behind me Satan…” (Matthew 16.23) 
  • No one ever denied Jesus like Peter. Not once, not twice – but three times. “I know not the man” (Matthew 26.74) 
  • No one ever claimed greater loyalty to Christ as did Peter “though all others may – I NEVER will!” (Mark 14.31) 
  • No one ever was more totally smitten by his or her sin in the sight of Jesus like Peter. “Then Jesus looked at him” (Luke 22.61) 
  • No one ever grieved more completely than Peter – for no one ever knew Jesus better, or loved Him more, or for that matter, wanted His approval MORE than Peter. “He wept bitterly” (Luke 22.62) 
  • Finally – no one was ever restored more tenderly and completely than Peter. “Feed my lambs” (John 21.15-17) 

And what was the result of such close and careful nurture by Christ?  Peter’s life became perhaps the greatest life ever lived for the Glory of God. Peter stands tall among all that ever walked this planet.  

Since Peter is the most mentioned man aside from Jesus in the New Testament[3] there is so much we could say about him; but a brief summary would be: 

Peter was:

  • The man Jesus chose,
  • The man Jesus trained,
  • The man Jesus plucked out of the raging waters of the Sea of Galilee and saved from death --

Peter then became:

  • The man Jesus warned,
  • The man Jesus watched deny Him, and
  • The man Jesus protected from the Devil --

Peter ultimately becomes:

  • The man Jesus restored,
  • The man Jesus used, and
  • The martyr who hung humbly upside down on a cross because he was unworthy to die as Jesus died. 

To understand Mark, look with me at the Peter who spoke these words captured by Mark. The real Peter, the Gospel witness Peter also wrote another letter that shows us who he really was. 


Remember what Peter wrote at the end of his life? It is one of the most moving and powerful tributes to a man who was dominated by a passion to serve. Peter declares that he is a fellow servant, a fellow elder—no better, no greater, and no more powerful than anyone else. He was just a servant. 

Let’s turn there this morning. 1st Peter 5.1-14. Stand with me as we read and then pray. 

1 Peter 5:1-14 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. 

5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 

12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen. 

This sermon will continue tomorrow October 9th as we look at “A Man Named Peter”.

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