STUDIES IN MARK'S GOSPELVerse-by-verse
By Ken Williams
Copyright (c) 2016
There are two Mark's mentioned in the New Testament: Mark, and John Mark. Both are actually the same person. John is the English for the Hebrew name Yochannon. Mark is the English for the Greek name Marcus. This is agreed to by virtually all of the early church fathers. John Mark is listed by Eusebius, one of the early church fathers, as having been among the 70 disciples of Luke chapter 10 which Jesus sent out to minister in pairs. However, when Jesus explained that His flesh was "real food" and His blood was "real drink" (John 6:44-66), we are told "many of His disciples left Him." Church history tells us that John Mark was one of the disciples who left Jesus. He was later restored to faith. Little else is known about John Mark prior to going with the Apostle Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, other than an interesting remark he includes in his Gospel of the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In chapter 14, verses 51 and 52 there is an interesting sidelight which no other Gospel writer mentions. He refers to a young follower of Jesus who in his hurried fright to escape, lost his garment and fled from the scene naked. Most commentators believe that Mark is referring to himself. In the early part of the Book of Acts (Acts 12:12), when Peter was led out of prison by an angel, Peter went to the house of Mary (John Mark's mother) where a prayer meeting for Peter was underway. To have had a home such as described and of the size necessary, John Mark's family must have been quite wealthy.
We run across John Mark again some three years after Paul's conversion. Barnabas, John Mark's cousin, introduced him to Paul, and the three left on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:5). About half way through the trip, John Mark for some unknown reason, left the missionary team and returned home (Acts 13:13). Whatever the reason, Paul refused to take John Mark on their second missionary journey (Acts 15:39) over which Paul and Barnabas split company, and Paul went on his second missionary journey with his companion Silas.
The Apostle Peter went to Antioch, then through Asia Minor, visiting churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, as mentioned in I Peter 1:1. Somewhere along the line, he picked up John Mark and took him along as his travel companion and interpreter. Paul spoke Greek - one of the four or possibly five languages he spoke. Peter apparently never spoke Greek well enough to preach in it. According to Irenaeus, one of the early church fathers, "Mark, the disciple of and interpreter for Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter." Several of the early chuch fathers refer to Mark's writings as first having been stated by Peter in Hebrew, translated into Greek for those listening to Peter, then written down by Mark.
Papias, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius and Jerome all wrote that Mark wrote from Rome immediately following Peter's death, probably near the end of 67 AD. He then is said to have moved to Alexandria, Egypt where he was reported to have established two churches, and was martyred for the cause of Christ prior to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Chapter 1 - Introduction to Mark's Gospel (Mark 1:1)Chapter 2 - Christ's Preparation for Ministry (Mark 1:2- 14)Chapter 3 - Jesus' Ministry in Galilee (Mark 1:15 - 7:23)Chapter 4 - Jesus' Ministry Beyond Galilee (Mark 7:24 - 9:50)Chapter 5 - Jesus Sets His Face Toward Jerusalem (Mark 10:1-52)Chapter 6 - Messiah Fulfills the Spring Feasts of the Lord (Mark 11:1 - 16:20)
STUDIES IN MARK'S GOSPEL
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