The Purpose of the Gospel of Mark

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What is the purpose of the gospel of Mark?

Mark was not one of the original disciples. It is not, and was never intended to be a biography of the life of Jesus, so we frequently find this gospel does not flow in an exact chronological order. This is a concise account of the words and works of Jesus as they were recounted by the apostles, particularly Peter.

Mark wrote his gospel a few years after the death of Jesus, in about A.D. 70 with the intention of broadcasting Jesus' good works. A close reading will reveal that the writings are mainly focused on the last three weeks of the life of Jesus. In it, Mark declares Jesus is the Son of God, and a messenger of God.

Mark 1:1-2 says, "The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way'"

The gospel was written for the Galilean Christians who were living under threat of persecution by the Jews. In Mark's depiction of Jesus' ministry and death he focuses on eliminating, or debunking any political connotations connected with the title "Christ" and the crucifixion. Mark stresses that Jesus was not an anti-Roman rebel who intended to assume political power over an earthly Israel.

The purpose of the gospel of Mark is purely and simply an announcement of the words and works of Jesus. It is the shortest of all the gospels which would have suited the simple, straightforward approach the Romans favored. In his work, Mark gives reference to the Old Testament only once, again this would have suited his readership knowing that they had little or no knowledge of the Old Testament.

Mark is the only one of the four evangelists who spoke of the future Kingdom of God as coming with power. Mark 9:1 says, "And he said to them, 'I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.'"



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