For a visual summation (map) of the ministry and travels of Jesus see:
The author of this Gospel is John Mark. His mother was a woman of wealth and position in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). His cousin was Barnabas (Col. 4:10). He was a close friend of Peter (1 Pet. 5:13). He accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary trip…but did not complete the trip. Because of this, Paul refused to take him on the second missionary trip. So instead, he went with Barnabas to Cyprus (Acts 15:38-40). About 12 years later he is again with Paul (Col. 4:10; Philemon 24). Just before Paul was executed he sent for Mark (2 Tim. 4:11).
Mark’s Gospel is directed towards Gentile readers…Romans in particular. Because of this he didn’t include matters that would have been of interest and significance to the Jews. For instance: the genealogy of Christ, the Sermon on the Mount, and the condemnation of the Jewish sects (Pharisees, Sadducees, etc.). Since his readers were not Jews he felt it necessary to interpret Aramaic words (see 5:41; 7:34; 15:22) and he used Latin words not found in the other Gospels. There are only about 63 Old Testament quotations or allusions in Mark…as compared with 128 in Matthew, and between 90 and 100 in Luke. Mark’s Gospel is a book of action…emphasizing what Jesus did, rather than what He said.
It is generally agreed that Mark received much of what he wrote from Peter. Mark probably wrote this Gospel in the 50’s. It has been suggested that the theme of the book is Christ the Servant and that the key verse is 10:45, which divides the book into two parts…part 1-the Service of the Servant (1:1-10:52), part 2-the Sacrifice of the Servant (11:1-16:20) (Ryrie).
Mark seems to be the Gospel writer that wrote at a fast pace, he was in a hurry. His is the shortest of the four Gospels…only 16 chapters. And one of his favorite words is “immediately”…which he uses 55 times.
Mk. 1:1-18-Mark begins by telling about the ministry of John the Baptist. His message was one of repentance for sin…that was visually portrayed by the act of baptism. This repentance was based on belief in the coming of the One who would baptize with the Holy Spirit. They were being “baptized”. The Greek word means:
“to immerse, to submerge, to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, bathe”
Mk. 1:9-11-When Jesus was baptized by John it was not as an act of repentance, but of righteousness (3:15). After Jesus was baptized a dove descended upon Him and God the Father spoke from Heaven. This is the first recorded expression in the New Testament of the concept of the Trinity…that the Son, the Spirit, and the Father are one God…who exist in three distinct personalities.
Mk. 1:12-13-The temptation of Jesus (cf. Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).
Mk. 1:14-Between the temptation of Jesus (:12-13) and the imprisonment of John the Baptist (:14)…the events of John 1:19-4:54 took place. Mark explains why John was imprisoned in 6:17-20.
Mk. 1:14-15-Jesus now goes to Galilee and begins to preach. The content of His message was: 1.-The time is fulfilled (the time that the prophets had predicted for the coming of the Messiah); 2.-the kingdom of God is at hand (He was in their midst); 3.-repent (of sin); 4.-believe in the gospel (“gospel” literally means “the good news, the glad tidings of salvation through Christ”).
Mark 1:16-20-As Jesus was walking along the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee He saw Simon and his brother, Andrew…they were fisherman. Jesus told them to, “Follow Me, and I will make you into fishers of men.” They immediately did so. Further along, they came upon James and his brother John (sons of Zebedee)…they too were fisherman. They left their father and followed Jesus.
Mk. 1:21-22-Jesus and His four disciples now go to Capernaum…situated on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was an important town because: it was on the caravan road to Damascus, it had a customs station (2:14), it had a Roman garrison, and it was the home of Peter, Andrew, James and John. On the Sabbath Jesus went to the synagogue and taught. The people were amazed at His teaching because, “He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”. The authority of His teaching was from Himself…whereas the scribes appealed to other scribes and sources for their authority.
Prayer: Lord, I don't ever want to live without Your power...whether it be seen through miracles of healing, or whether it be the power of Your Holy Spirit working in the hearts of people. But please, Lord...anoint me with Your power, for Your glory!