A little background into Mark’s gospel in the Bible is today’s subject. I’m so glad you stopped by. I hope you will stick around.
Commentators have widely thought of the book of Mark as the first gospel written. For years it was thought Matthew came first, but a synoptic debate arose in the 19th century, and scholars now tend to favor Mark was written first.
Though Mark is a short gospel account with fewer chapters, those are sometimes pretty long chapters.
Mark was also known as John Mark. John Mark’s mother hosted meetings of early believers in her Jerusalem home during the days of Christianity (Acts 12:12). This put Mark within the sphere of apostles and eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life.
Mark is the same Mark of Acts 13, where he goes with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. He is the nephew of Barnabas. It is thought he was in his late teens.
The Apostle Paul, Barnabas, and Mark (John Mark) board a ship and sail to Perga. Mark then abruptly leaves the group and returns to Jerusalem (Acts 13:13). The issue of Mark suddenly abandoning the first missionary journey will be the catalyst for the separation of the evangelists before Paul’s next trip (Acts 15:36-41).
When it came to the next trip, Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them, but Paul disagreed. Barnabas did take Mark along, but he and Paul had already parted ways.
Traveling with Paul would have provided Mark with an excellent chance to learn the content of Paul’s preaching about Christ. Mark was later restored to Paul’s confidence, giving him additional opportunities to glean vital biographical data that Paul had gathered about Jesus. (2 Tim 4:11)
Mark also enjoyed learning under the tutelage of Simon Peter, the companion of Jesus. Peter gets to know Mark very well to the point of calling him a son in 1 Peter 5:13. Peter had a more significant influence on Mark than Paul did. Early tradition says Mark’s gospel was written as a reflection of Peter’s preaching and following his life as an eyewitness.
The gospel book of Mark appears to have been written while Mark was in Rome.
In his gospel, chapter 14, verses 51-52, we are told of a young man who runs away, leaving his loin cloth. Scholars and commentaries appear to agree that it was Mark. Although he doesn’t identify himself directly, perhaps out of embarrassment or humility, it is thought that Mark was there because there was an eyewitness to the exchange in the garden with Judas, Jesus, the guards, and Peter.
One thing you may notice in reading the book of Mark is the urgency of the gospel. Mark uses the word ‘immediately’ at least 36 times. Everything in his book moves at a quick pace.
The book of Mark is an urgent little gospel where we are encouraged to give our all to Jesus Christ who has given His all for humanity.
The gospel of Mark is a great book, easy to read, short, and well worth your time. Check it out!