The Gospel of Mark in Review
Knowing the Scriptures
STUDIES IN MARK’S GOSPEL
As we have discovered over this season, Mark isn’t the comic book/Reader’s Digest Gospel it appeared on the surface. Certainly, his Greek language wasn’t as skilled as some other writers, but we saw that it was carefully crafted to minister to the needs of his Roman readers. The historical background of the time into which Jesus came served Him to reach Jew and Gentile alike. As we saw, Israel’s commission from the beginning was to be a light to the Gentiles. After the Babylonian captivity, they had become withdrawn from the world and had begun replacing the Word of God with man’s opinions and interpretations, actually corrupting its meaning. But the world was also at the perfect place for the easy spread of Christianity due to common language and familiar culture (Greek), well constructed roads, easy travel, and so on. It was the right time for God to make available a new relationship with Him:
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:4–7, nkjv).
THE LESSONS OF THE GOSPEL OF MARK
Think back through the many lessons we have learned through this Gospel. Like the disciples, we learned the importance of becoming fishers of men. We saw in John the Baptist a life of commitment and dedication, of standing up for the truth and putting Jesus first no matter the cost. We saw the dangers of legalism and substituting our opinions for the revealed Word of God. We read of the importance of facing the peaks and valleys of the Christian life, and making the choice of preparing the soil of our hearts to be receptive of the work He is doing in and through us. We saw that Jesus is there even for the hopeless and utterly destitute, and works beyond our human limitations. We’ve learned in such times that it is all right to admit our weaknesses, and like the father of the demon-possessed boy cry out to Him, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24, nkjv). We went through the time of transition with the Lord and His men, trusting that He knows what He is doing even when we can’t believe it. We saw that Jesus’ two most important questions for us are: “Who do you say that I am?” and “What are you going to do in view of it?” We read of Jesus’ important teachings on the family, on salvation, and of His power to transform even the most unlikely life.
Over the last six chapters of Mark we walked through the Passion Week with Him. We saw Jesus clean out the temple as He alone had the right to do. We watched Him teach on faith, prayer, and giving. We stood in awe as He faced the tests and questioning of the religious leaders, who if anyone should have recognized who He really was. Thankfully we know that later a number of the priests came to faith in Jesus (Acts 6:7), but most rejected Him. We saw Jesus describe not only the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the things that the Jews had trusted in, but also the ultimate end times in which God will work to bring the Jews to a true knowledge of Christ. We grieved when we saw our Lord illegally tried, condemned, mistreated by Jew and Gentile alike, cruelly scourged, and dying upon the cross. We saw that our sin was borne by Him during that time to bring us atonement with God. He was raised from the dead in power, and we found out along with His men that a great power is available for us to live for and serve Him because He rose again and ascended to the Father. He truly brought us into the New Covenant which God made on His terms, and we are the blessed beneficiaries of it.
THE HEART OF MARK’S GOSPEL
The theme of Mark’s Gospel can be seen in Mark10:44–45: “And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (nkjv). He lived that out to the death, and we too need to die to ourselves and serve one another. Warren Wiersbe closed his commentary on Mark in the following way, and with that we close our brief tour back through this wonderful Gospel:
The apostles and prophets laid the foundation for the church (Ephesians 2:20), so their work is finished and the apostolic signs have ceased. But the Lord’s working has not ceased, and He is still working in and through His people to save a lost world. His Servant-Son Jesus returned to heaven, but He still has His people on earth who can be His servants, if they will.
What a privilege to have the Lord working with us!
What an opportunity and obligation we have to carry the Gospel to the whole world!
“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
Are you serving—or are you expecting others to serve you?
Part One: Jesus’ Galilean Ministry (Mark 1:1–8:26)
Lesson One: Beginnings (Mark 1:1–20)
The Beginning of the Good News, vv. 1–4
The Servant’s Servant, vv. 5–8
Jesus Confirmed as Son of Man, Son of God, vv. 9–13
The Galilean Ministry Begins, vv. 14, 15
Becoming a Fisher of Men, vv. 16–20
Lesson Two: The Kingdom is Dawning (Mark 1:21–45)
An Astonishing Authority, vv. 21–26
Amazing Reactions, vv. 27–31
Multitudes Ministered To, vv. 32–34
The Messiah’s Inspiration, vv. 35–39
Compassion, Cleanliness, and the Crowds, vv. 40–45
Lesson Three: Love, Legalism, and Lordship (Mark 2:1–28)
The Heart of our Need, vv. 1–5
Forgiveness and Healing, vv. 6–12
Jesus Embraces the Outcasts, vv. 13–17
The Heart of our Actions, vv. 18–22
The Lord of the Sabbath, vv. 23–28
Lesson Four: Conflicts, Mountaintops, Redefinition (Mark 3:1–35)
Compassion and Conflict, vv. 1–6
Multitudes and Mountaintops, vv. 7–15
Disciples are Designated, vv. 16–20
Family becomes Foe, vv. 21–30
Redefining our Relationships, vv. 31–35
Lesson Five: Preparing Our Hearts’ Soil (Mark 4:1–25)
Parables and Mysteries, vv. 1, 2
Parable of the Soils, vv. 3–9
Perceiving Hearts, vv. 10–13
Parable of the Soils Explained, vv. 14–20
Prepared Hearts, vv. 21–25
Lesson Six: Growth and the Kingdom (Mark 4:26–41)
Patience and Spiritual Growth, vv. 26–29
Instructions in Spiritual Growth, vv. 30–34
Faith Tested and Confronted, vv. 35–41
Sidelight: Growing Up in Christ
Sidelight: Growing through Difficulty
Lesson Seven: Beyond All Hope Part I (Mark 5:1–20)
A Hopeless Wildman, vv. 1–5
A Worshipping Demon?, vv. 6–9
A Begging Demon, vv. 10–13
A Foolish People, vv. 14–17
A Begging Man, vv. 18–20
Lesson Eight: Beyond All Hope Part II (Mark 5:21–43)
A Begging, Anguished Father, vv. 21–24
A Begging, Suffering Woman, vv. 25–29
A Healing, Loving Savior, vv. 30–34
A Disastrous, Discouraging Situation, vv. 35–38
A Dead Daughter Resurrected, vv. 39–43
Lesson Nine: Rejection, Training, and Murder (Mark 6:1–29)
An Unbelievable Rejection, vv. 1–6
Mission Training, vv. 7–13
Paranoia over Prophets, vv. 14–17
A Conscience-torn King, vv. 18–21
An Evil Plot Fulfilled, vv. 22–29
Lesson Ten: Compassion and Faith (Mark 6:30–56)
Return and Rest, vv. 30–32
A Heart of Compassion, vv. 33–37
A Lesson in Faith—for More than 5,000, vv. 38–44
Jesus Comes Walking, vv. 45–52
Multitudes Ministered To, vv. 53–56
Lesson Eleven: Hypocrisy or Religiosity? (Mark 7:1–37)
Religious Fault Finders, vv. 1–7
Religion Undermining the Heart of Scripture, vv. 8-16
Religion Produces Fleshly “Fruit;” Relation Godly Fruit, vv. 17–23
Faith Won’t Give Up, vv. 24–30
All Things Done Well, vv. 31–37
Lesson Twelve: Questions Demanding an Answer (Mark 8:1–38)
Fed to the Full, vv. 1–9
Faithless and Forgetful, vv. 10–21
Fully Fit, vv. 22–26
Who Do You Say That I Am? vv. 27–33
Who Will You Live For? vv. 34–38
Part Two: From Galilee to Jerusalem (Mark 8:27–10:52)
Lesson Thirteen: Transformation and Exhortation (Mark 9:1–50)
Transformation and Illumination, vv. 1–13
Opposition and Compassion, vv. 14–24
Restoration and Redirection, vv. 25–32
Pride and Unity, vv. 33–41
Extreme Exhortations, vv. 42–50
Lesson Fourteen: Jesus Teaches About... (Mark 10:1–31)
Marriage, vv. 1–12
Children, vv. 13–16
Religion, vv. 17–22
Salvation, vv. 23–27
Commitment, vv. 28–31
Lesson Fifteen: Transition and Servant Hood (Mark 10:32–52)
Jesus Predicts His Sufferings, vv. 32–34
An Amazing Request, vv. 35–40
The True Servant, vv. 41–45
He is Calling for You, vv. 46–52
Other Events of the Time
Part Three: The Passion of the Son of Man (Mark 11–16)
Lesson 16: The Son of Man Presented (Mark 11:1–33)
The Son of Man Enters Jerusalem, vv. 1–11
The Son of Man Purifies the Temple, vv. 12–18
The Son of Man Teaches on Faith, vv. 19–23
The Son of Man Teaches on Prayer, vv. 24–26
The Son of Man’s Authority is Questioned, vv. 27–33
Lesson 17: The Son of Man Tested (Mark 12:1–44)
Parable of the Vineyard, vv. 1–12
Questioned by the Herodians, vv. 13–17
Questioned by the Sadducees, vv. 18–27
Questioned by the Pharisees, vv. 28–34
Jesus Questions and Observes, vv. 35–44
Lesson 18: The Son of Man Returning (Mark 13:1–37)
Two-fold Prophecies, vv. 1–8
Coming Persecution and Abomination, vv. 9–18
The Son of Man Returns, vv. 19–27
Sure Word of Prophecy, vv. 28–31
Wake from Slumber, vv. 32–37
Lesson 19: The Son of Man Arrested Part I (Mark 14:1–42)
Preparation for Suffering, vv. 1–9
The Passover Plot, vv. 10–20
The New Covenant, vv. 21–31
Jesus’ Gethsemane, vv. 32–36
The Betrayer is at Hand, vv. 37–42
Lesson 20: The Son of Man Arrested Part II (Mark 14:43–72)
Judas’ Kiss, vv. 43–46
Blunders of Disciples, vv. 47–52
Jesus’ Mockery of a Trial, vv. 53–59
Condemned for the Truth, vv. 60–65
The Rock Crumbles, vv. 66–72
Lesson 21: The Son of Man Crucified (Mark 15:1–17)
The Roman Trial, vv. 1–10
Mocked by the People and Soldiers, vv. 11–19
The Skull, vv. 20–28
The Son of Man Dies, vv. 29–39
The Son of Man Buried, vv. 40–47
Lesson 22: The Son of Man Resurrected (Mark 16:1–20)
A Problem Solved, vv. 1–4
He is Risen! vv. 5–8
Doubting Disciples, vv. 9–13
Commissioned Disciples, vv. 14–16
Serving the Risen Lord, vv. 17–20
LESSON ONE: Mark 1:17–18: Then Jesus said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’” nkjv
LESSON TWO: Mark 1:41: Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." nkjv
LESSON THREE: Mark 2:17: When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” nkjv
LESSON FOUR: Mark 3:34–35: And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” nkjv
LESSON FIVE: Mark 4:24–25: Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” nkjv
LESSON SIX: Mark 4:40: But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” nkjv
LESSON SEVEN: Mark 5:19b: “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” nkjv
LESSON EIGHT: Mark 5:36c: “Don't be afraid. Just trust me.” nlt
LESSON NINE: Mark 6:26: And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. nkjv
LESSON TEN: Mark 6:34: And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things. nkjv
LESSON ELEVEN: Mark 7:21a, 23: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts... All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” nkjv
LESSON TWELVE: Mark 8:34b–35: He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.” nkjv
LESSON THIRTEEN: Mark 9:50: Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another. nkjv
LESSON FOURTEEN: Mark 10:27: But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible." nkjv
LESSON FIFTEEN: Mark 10:45: For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. nkjv
LESSON SIXTEEN: Mark 11:24: Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. nkjv
LESSON SEVENTEEN: Mark 12:29–31a: Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' nkjv
LESSON EIGHTEEN: Mark 13:33–35a: “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming” (nkjv)
LESSON NINETEEN: Mark 14:38: “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (nkjv)
LESSON TWENTY: Mark 14:62: Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (nkjv)
LESSON TWENTY ONE: Colossian 2:14: He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross. (nlt)
LESSON TWENTY TWO: Mark 16:6: But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.” (nkjv)
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© 2006 by Harvest Christian Fellowship. All rights reserved. Written by Thomas Klock for Men’s Bible Fellowship, 2005-2006.
 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary Vol. 1 (Wheaton: Victor Books/SP Publications Inc., 1989), p. 169