David Pawson - Unlocking the Bible - Mark 

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Thoughtful Thoughts 23.9.22 by John Dunning. Introduction to Mark’s gospel.


There are major differences between the gospels. The gospels are not a daily diary of events, but inspired insights each looking at Jesus from a different angle.

A). Matthew & Luke focus on what Jesus SAID to make their point.

B). Mark focused on what Jesus actually DID to make his point.

C). John focuses on WHO Jesus was to make his point.

1). Matthew focused on Jesus as the divine King of all kings.

By way of example, a book about Queen Elizabeth 2nd was published by the Bible Society called “The Servant Queen and the King she serves, (being Jesus Christ). That title was approved by the Queen as the Patron of the Bible Society. Jesus was her King.

2). Mark focused on the servant nature of King Jesus.

Jesus set the example for disciples to follow… 

Mark reveals to us the sacrificial nature of Jesus. That example was set by Jesus for His disciples to follow. (In the Bible Society book on Elizabeth the Second just mentioned, we see that the Queen sought to follow the example of service, set by King Jesus.)

In the Old Testament, the colour scarlet was used in the Tabernacle, and scarlet represents sacrifice, (which is a main feature that Mark’s gospel focuses on.)

3). Luke’s gospel focused on the full humanity of Jesus. We will be coming to that gospel next time…

4). John’s gospel focused on the full Divinity of Jesus. We will be coming to that later…

i). Of these, there are two gospels written for believers (John & Matthew). The difference is that Matthew was written for new disciples, whereas John was written for mature believers.

ii). Then there are two gospels written for unbelievers (Mark & Luke).

This is why Mark’s gospel is the best one to give to non-Christians… and not John’s gospel. (Notice that Jesus did not start off by talking to His disciples about who He was, but took them to that place when they were ready and able to hear after it dawned on them. We have the job of getting others to listen by noticing what we actually DO and then by what we SAY - in that order. 

Our picture this time shows an artist's impression of the young man, Mark, who ran away when Jesus was arrested by temple guards with swords and clubs; (Mark 14:51-52).

In the Book of Acts, we learn more about Mark. In Acts 13:13 we learn he ran away from Paul and Barnabas during a missions trip. The events of that trip meant that he thought his life was in danger - which tells us something about the dangers of the work Paul was doing. As a young man, he had the shock of his life when he saw the dangers. Paul refused to use him then on another one of his mission trips. Because of that Barnabas took Mark under his wing and took him on separate missions trips of his own - and mentored him.

Later on, however, Paul must have noticed the writings of Mark because when Paul was in prison in Rome, he asked Timothy to bring Mark to him. 

Why was Mark suddenly available now, after serving Peter and writing his gospel? Well, because after Peter was crucified upside down, Timothy brought Mark back from Ephesus to serve Paul who was in prison in Rome, so Mark ended up serving Paul in Rome after serving Peter in Ephasus. That was how Mark later became Paul’s aide. Because of that, Luke then met Mark in Rome. (So the Pope was wrong about Peter being in Rome - being merely a story that was created to be able to say that he was the first Pope - but there is no evidence in Scripture for that doctrine;- only the misuse of the label Peter was given about being a rock - but that is another story.) 

Anyway, so Mark wrote his gospel on behalf of Peter which was the first gospel to be written. In it, Peter only allows his own weaknesses to be revealed through Mark’s gospel and never says anything positive about himself, which was a reversal of his former life.

Here is audio of the KJV of Mark’s gospel if listening helps you to go through it.


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This is John Dunning signing off from “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.

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