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New Testament Survey
Lesson Three


The Gospel of Mark was directed mainly at the Romans.  It shows Christ as the Servant of Jehovah. The language of the Book is the coarse Greek of the slave market. Mark takes time to explain Jewish customs which would not have been understood by the Roman readers.  He emphasizes the doings of Christ, because he wanted to impress the business-like Romans that Jesus was a man of action.  It is a down-to-earth gospel.

1. There are 16 chapters in the book of Mark.

2. The book does not name it's author, but there is little or no dispute among New Testament scholars that it was written by John Mark.

3. The book was written probably around A.D. 50 or possible A.D. 54 - 58.  Some have the date range from A.D.44 to A.D.75, but it was undoubtedly written before A.D. 70. The date A.D. 64-68 is another possibility, but the A.D. 50 dated is probably the closer date.

4. It is generally believed that Mark wrote his Gospel from Rome and primarily for the Gentile leaders at Rome and in the Empire.

5. It has been suggested that it is really the Gospel of Peter written by Mark.  Those who feel this way often suggest that the book is an expansion of Peter's sermon in Acts 10:34-43.  Peter is believed to have supplied the basic facts that form the basis of this writing.


The theme of the Gospel is the evangelistic portrayal of Christ giving His life as a ransom.


Christ is seen as the suffering servant of Yahweh.  He is seen as the mighty King.  He is also seen as a person of action.

Key Words

The key word is straightway [42] which is also translated as immediately, forthwith and annon. The words kingdom and kingdom of God are important in Mark.        

Key Verse

Mk.10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.


1. It was written to present Christ as the Servant of Yahweh.
2. The Gospel is primarily  evangelistic.

3. It was written to show the work of Christ to the public as a new message.  The Gospel could be presented to those who did not have a background knowledge of theology or the Old Testament.

Events and Characters

1. The book begins with the ministry of John the Baptist, ignoring the first 33 years of the life of Jesus. Jesus is baptized and then goes into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil forty days.  John is cast into prison and Jesus comes preaching repentance for the kingdom of God is at hand.  
2. The disciples are called to follow Him.  He performs many miracles.  He even eats with publicans and sinners and releases His disciples from keeping the traditions of the religious leaders.  He teaches by many parables.

3. He sends out His disciples to minister and they have power over even unclean spirits.  He continues to perform miracles including the feeding of the five thousand.  He also continues His healing ministry including the Syro-Phencian woman's daughter.

4. Jesus is transfigured before His disciples.  He teaches them about humility and warns them not to give offense.  He blesses the children, shows the danger of riches and reproves James and John for their carnality.

5. He rides triumphantly into Jerusalem, the next day He curses the fig tree and cleanses the temple, which irritates the pharisees and other religious leaders.  The attempts of the religious leaders to trap Him in His words are thwarted and He silences them.

6. Jesus foretells the destruction  of the temple and persecutions for the sake of the Gospel.  There is a conspiracy against Him and Judas makes a contract to betray Him.   A woman pours precious ointment on His head.  He has the passover with His disciples and institutes the Lord's supper.  He is arrested and abused.  Peter denies Him.

7. Pilate, because of pressure from the people, delivers Jesus to be crucified.  He is crucified between two thieves.  Joseph of Arimathea buries Him.  On the third day the angel declares to the women the resurrection of Jesus.  He appears to the disciples.  Before His ascension He commands them to preach the gospel to every creature.

Lessons to Remember

1. God can bring a man back from failure and use him to present the gospel. [John Mark deserted Paul on a missionary journey, before he wrote this gospel.]

2. There are times that action is what is needed to present the message.

3. We are to present the gospel on the level of the hearers rather than the level we prefer.

4. There are many ways to present the Gospel, and service is one of them.


I.  Preparation of the Servant      1:1  -  13

    A. Forerunner      1:1  -  8
    B. Baptism      1:9  -  11
    C. Temptation      1:12  -  13

II.  The Work of the Servant      1:14  -  8:26

    A. Calling the Disciples      1:14  -  20
    B. Miracles      1:21  -  3:12
    C. Apostles Ordained - Scribes warned        3:13 -  35
    D. Four Parables      4:1  -  34
    E. Miracles      4:35  -  6:6
    F. Apostles Sent Out      6:7  -  31
    G. Miracles      6:32  -  8:26
III.  The Suffering of the Servant      8:27  -  15:47

    A. Predicted      8:27  -  10:52
    B. Causes Of    11:1  -  13:37
    C. Death    14:1  -  15:47

IV.  The Victory of the Servant   16  -  20

    A. Resurrection    16:1  -  18
    B. Ascension    16:19  -  20

Outline (Alternative)

I.  The Preparation      1:1  -  13

    A. Son of God      1:1
    B. Forerunner Nazareth      1:2  -  8
    C. Baptism to       1:9  -  11
    D. Temptation  Wilderness      1:12  -  13

II.  The Opening Ministry      1:14  -  5:43

    A. Introduction Works  Galilee        1:14  -  2:12
    B. Continuation and Teaching        2:13  -  4:34
    C. Further Ministry Authority:  Decapolis          4:34  -  5:43

III.  The Full Ministry:  Conflict      6:1  -  8:26

    A. Unbelief Nazareth        6:1  -  6
    B. Political Danger      6:7  -  29
    C. Popular Acclaim:  Desert         6:30  -  56
    D. Traditionalism      7:1  -  23
    E. Sensationalism:    Tyre, Sidon  Decapolis      7:24  -  8:26

IV.  The Closing Ministry      8:27  -  10:31

    A. Revelation to the Disciples:  Caesarea Philippi      8:27  -  9:50
    B. Challenge to the Public:  Judea and Perea    10:1  -  31

V.  The Last Journey    10:32 -  13:37

    A. Teaching the Disciples  En route to Jerusalem    10:32  -  45
    B. Healing the sick:   Jericho     10:46  -  52
    C. Triumphal Entry:  Jerusalem    11:12  -  12:44
    D. Apocalyptic Prediction    13:1  -  37

VI.  The Passion    14:1  -  15:47

    A. The Plot    14:1 - 2,10,11
    B. The Interlude Bethany    14:3  -  9
    C. The Last Supper:  Jerusalem     14:12  -  26
    D. Gethesemane    14:27  -  52
    E. Trial Before Caiaphas    14:53  -  65
    F. Peter's Denial    14:66  -  72
    G. Hearing Before Pilate    15:1  -  20
    H. Crucifixion    15:21  -  41
    I.  Burial    15:42  -  47

VII.  The Resurrection    16:1  -  8
VIII.  Postscript    16:9  -  20

Feed Yourself Students:

Before the next lesson do the following:

1.  Read through the Book Of Luke two or three times.

2.  Record all the historical/social context that you see.  Who were the rulers?  What were the customs/culture like?  What was it like to live during that time?


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