This is the shortest of the four New Testament books that tell about the life and teachings of Jesus, and it is also the most action-packed. From the very beginning of his ministry, Jesus worked mighty wonders.
After choosing four followers, he immediately performed many miracles of healing. Among those healed were a man with an evil spirit, the disciple Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, crowds of sick people and a man with leprosy. Over and over, Mark tells how Jesus healed people, always emphasising that he did it by the power of God.
The religious leaders refused to accept Jesus. This led to conflicts that finally made them start looking for a way to kill him. This book is full of miracles that amazed the crowds and Jesus’s followers. But, according to Mark, the most powerful miracle of Jesus is his suffering and death. The first person to understand this miracle was the Roman soldier who saw Jesus die on the cross and said:
This man really was the Son of God!
Mark’s Gospel is widely thought to be the first one written. The many explanations of
Aramaic words and Jewish customs in Mark suggest that Mark wrote to Gentile or non-Jewish Christians. He wanted to encourage his readers to believe that Jesus has the power to rescue them from sickness, demons, and death. He also wanted to show them that the life of following Jesus is not an easy life, and that they must be ready to suffer as he did.
Mark’s Gospel ends abruptly with the message of an angel outside the empty tomb of
Jesus. He tells the women followers of Jesus who had discovered the tomb:
Don’t be alarmed! You are looking for Jesus from Nazareth, who was nailed to a cross.
God has raised him to life, and he isn’t here.