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The Gospel of Mark

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John Mark

This devotional series, He is Out of His Mind is a study through the gospel of Mark. The series will consist of sixteen books, one for each chapter of the gospel.

The gospel of Mark was written around 60-70 AD penned by Mark under the tutelage of Peter the apostle to the Church of Rome (1 Peter 5:13). It was a difficult time for the church in Rome as both Peter and Paul awaited martyrdom at the hands of the Roman Emperor Nero.

Mark writes good news—the gospel. The long-awaited offspring God promised has come. Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, God’s only Son is here. The gospel records Jesus’s life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and the promise of his return. Mark lays out the evidence of the uniqueness of this Jesus who taught with all authority. It is an action-packed book, moving quickly from scene to scene. The writing style indicates the urgency of the situation: when Jesus reveals himself you must act immediately; the time is now.

The author of the gospel, Mark, had a shaky start in ministry. He abandoned Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. Mark’s cousin Barnabas was very upset with Paul who refused to take another chance on Mark. The disagreement ended in an intense argument with Paul and Barnabas going their separate ways (Colossians 4:10; Acts 15:36-41). Barnabas took Mark and Paul finished his missionary journeys with Silas. Though details are absent, Paul and Mark later reconcile (Philemon 24; Col 4:10). Mark has blossomed into Christian adulthood some fifteen years after that fateful missionary journey with Paul. Mark has proven himself. Paul views him as a fellow servant and personal source of comfort. Near the end of life his life Paul, instructed Timothy to bring Mark to Rome (II Timothy 4:11).

Mark relates how Jesus healed the sick, stilled the wind and waves, and silenced demons. He gives us insight into the great cosmic battle Satan attempted to carry out against the King of the Kingdom. Who is this Jesus that commands men and woman to abandon everything to follow Him? What sort of man is he that others are willing to follow in his footsteps of suffering?

Jesus is a name that divides and heals at the same time. He is misunderstood and misused. He is either who he claims to be, “the Son of the Blessed One,” or as others suggested “out of his mind” (Mark 3:21; 14:61, 62).

Jesus commands a response. He does not plead or say please, but he comes as one with authority. “Who do you say I am?” (Mark 8:29). The response has eternal significance. Jesus is coming again to wrap up history and judge the world. A day is coming when grace opportunities end and human destinies are sealed forever. Your response to “Who do you say Jesus is?” determines your eternal destiny (Mark 8:38).