Below is a summary of what we’ve covered so far in the Gospel of Mark. We have seen the focus move from the establishment of Christ’s Authority to his appointing Disciples, who go out in that authority. Mark is the Gospel attributed to Peter, the spokesman of the Apostles. Is it any wonder that Peter’s Gospel focuses first on the Authority of Jesus as the Son of the Living God, the Messiah? Moreover, should we be surprised to find that Peter–the lead Disciple–focuses on the training of the 12? These elements of Peter’s Gospel are no wonder or surprise at all.
SECTION A [1:1 — 3:12] = Establishing the Authority of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Messiah (including Baptism by John,* by teaching, by miracles and by casting out demons)
SECTION B [3:13 — 6:13] = Jesus appoints the 12 Disciples, trains them in ministry by 6 example lessons.
- First Lesson: Jesus calls even the one who would betray him. [*hint: they all did] (3:13-19)
- Second Lesson: Jesus is both sought for and belittled by people at home (1:35-45; 3:20-21; 6:1-6)
- Third Lesson: Jesus is defamed and denounced, because the Holy Spirit is Blasphemed. (3:22-30)
- Fourth Lesson: The true family of Jesus are those who do God’s will, no matter what is said of Jesus. (3:31-35; 6:1-6)
- Fifth Lesson: What the Kingdom (and ministering the Word of the Kingdom) is like: [He taught them by Parables (4:9-12, 33-34)]
- Sixth Lesson: Trust in Jesus’ Care and Authority when afraid (4:35-41, Calming the Sea)
Then, He gives them authority and sends them out…
PARENTHESIS [6:14 – 6:29] = [Flashback]: Increasing Fame of Jesus leads to Flashback of John the Baptizer,* before continuing on with Jesus’ training of the 12
- Hearing of Jesus’ miracles and teachings causes Herod to fear his sins (killing John the Baptizer)
- Mark includes this story here to serve as a 7th Lesson: “Those who proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom may be killed, due to the fears and sins of the ungodly.” (see also: Matthew 11:2-14; Luke 7:18-28)
SECTION B (Continued) [6:30 – 6:56] = The Disciples report back to Jesus, and Jesus plans a rest time for them. But, needs of ministry press.
- Jesus teaches the Disciples proper response of compassion to pressing, seemingly impossible needs (i.e. Don’t look at what you can provide by human means; look at the Miracles God wants to work)
- Jesus teaches the Disciples deeper trust (faith) in His authority over physical elements / meeting needs (feeds the 5000 men+)
- Jesus re-teaches them his authority over the Sea (Ch. 4:35-41), because their hearts had grown ironically hardened instead of trusting
- Jesus continues to heal, showing examples of his authority to the Disciples
- So that many may believe
- So that the Disciples may learn by incontrovertible evidence who He is
- But, … ever in the back of the mind is that Jesus wishes to teach more than heal. He is using his healing as proof of who He is and authority of his teaching (Ch. 1:35-45)