What does God teach us in the Gospel of Mark?

Last updated on August 24, 2023


The best way to find out is, of course, to read the Gospel of Mark yourself! With only 16 chapters, it is easy to read and moves quickly from one episode in the life of Jesus to another. This article gives you a short introduction to this inspiring Bible book.

The aim of the gospel of Mark

Like all the other gospels, Mark’s aim was to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. When Mark wrote this gospel around AD 55 – 59, his readers were mostly Gentiles (not Jews). He shared with them the life of Jesus focusing on the fact that Jesus is the Servant of God and the Savior of the world. This is beautifully summarized in Mark 10:45, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark wrote his gospel to strengthen the faith of his readers and to teach them what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

Overview of the book

The gospel of Mark can be divided into two major sections:

  • Chapters 1-10 covers over three years of Jesus’ earthly life. These chapters describe Jesus’ teachings and miracles. A lot of Jesus’ teaching comes in the form of parables, e.g. the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20) and the parable of the growing seed (Mark 4:30-32). Mark describes eighteen miracles, ranging from Jesus calming a stormy sea (Mark 4:35-41) and feeding thousands of people (Mark 6:30-44; 8:1-13) to Him healing the sick and demon possessed (Mark 1:21-45; 2:1-12; 5:1-20) and raising a dead girl (Mark 5:21-43). These miracles show us who Jesus is and what His Kingdom is like.
    Mark also mentions how Jesus met increasing enmity and opposition. In Mark 8:31-32 we read: “He began to teach them [His followers] that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.” This prophecy is repeated in Mark 9:30-32 and 10:32-34, leading up to the second part of the book.
  • Chapters 11-16 (about 40% of the book) focus on the last eight days of Jesus’ earthly life, concluding with His resurrection from the dead. In much detail, Mark describes how Jesus went to Jerusalem, where the opposition of the religious leaders culminated in Jesus being arrested, taken to court and sentenced to death. His affirmation that He was “the Christ, the Son of the Blessed” was considered blasphemy deserving death (see Mark 14:61-64). Jesus was crucified and buried in a tomb. The last chapter of Mark’s gospel quotes the words of an angel telling Jesus’ followers: “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen” (Mark 16:6). This wonderful news should be spread all around the globe so that “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved”! (Mark 16:16).

We need to follow Jesus

The gospel of Mark is not just an historical account about Jesus Christ. It also is a call to action to all who believe in Him! Jesus leaves us an example as the ultimate Servant of God. We should be inspired to follow Him (Mark 8:34-35) and to love the Lord God above all (Mark 12:33). We are to minister as Jesus did, with humility and devotion to the service of others. To be great in God’s kingdom, we must be the servant of all (Mark 10:44). Recognition or reward should not be our goal. Rather we should look to Jesus who was willing to lay down His life for His people.

The gospel of Mark is God’s word for us

Please read the whole gospel of Mark for a better understanding of the good news about Jesus Christ. God inspired Mark to write it not only for his original readers, but it is also God’s word for us today. It is a living word that has the power to change, transform, bring freedom and healing to those who accept it as God’s word.

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