Reading: no scheduled reading
Thoughts and Reflections: With no scheduled reading for today, this is a good time to catch up if you have fallen behind. Otherwise, here are some thoughts drawn from this past week’s readings.
- Mark leaves no question about where he is headed with this Gospel. Though the climax is reached at Peter’s identification of Jesus as the Christ in 8:29, he begins by stating that He is the Christ, the Son of God (1:1). With that fact boldly stated, he sets out to establish that truth through the presentation of teaching, miracles, and other events of Jesus’ ministry. Compare this approach to John’s who at the end of his Gospel says, “these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31)
- Mark gives great emphasis to the last week of Jesus’ life as evidenced by the fact that six of the sixteen chapters of this book are devoted to this one week of Jesus’ three-year ministry.
- There appears to be a special bond between Mark, the author, and Peter. Peter refers to Mark as “my son” (1 Pet. 5:13). Many believe that Mark relied heavily on Peter as a source while writing his Gospel. One early church writer even referred to the Gospel of Mark as the “memoirs of Peter.”
What A Foolish Young Man
Evidence points convincingly to John Mark as the author of the Gospel of Mark. If so, this man is the cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10), and a companion of Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey who then also deserted them at Perga (Acts 13:13). This act left a sour taste in Paul’s mouth as he refused him as a companion on the second journey, leading to Paul and Barnabas parting ways (Acts 15:36-39). Later, though, Paul’s opinion changed and he desired Mark’s companionship and service (2 Tim. 4:11).
Many believe John Mark to be the young man, wrapped only in a linen sheet, in the garden at Jesus’ arrest who escapes apprehension only by leaving the sheet behind and fleeing naked (Mark 14:51-52). Further speculation has Jesus and the apostles having met in an upper room of Mark’s parent’s home and when Judas led the mob to where he last left Jesus—the house of the upper room—curious Mark followed them to the place Jesus was found.
Yes, that’s quite a bit of speculation.
What is not speculation is that this young man grew to make a lasting contribution to the kingdom in service with Paul and as author of this Gospel. It was not a smooth path from the sometimes foolish and rash acts of a young man to that of mature and useful ministry.
This should remind the older to be patient with the younger, for the younger to be patient with themselves, and for all of us to know that our past does not have to define our future. We’re forever indebted to the work of a formally immature and impetuous young disciple.