BibleProject New Testament Series - Lesson 4

Mark - BibleProject

In this lesson, you will explore the book of Mark and its literary design, as well as its flow of thought. You will come to understand how Mark portrays Jesus as Israel's Messiah, who ushers in God's kingdom through his suffering, death, and resurrection. This lesson will provide you with insights into the themes and messages that are presented in the book of Mark, enriching your understanding of this important part of the Bible.

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject New Testament Series
Lesson 4
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Mark - BibleProject

BP150-04: The Book of Mark - BibleProject

I. Introduction to the Book of Mark

A. Literary Design

B. Flow of Thought

II. Jesus as Israel's Messiah

A. Inauguration of God's Kingdom

B. Jesus' Suffering, Death, and Resurrection

  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the literary design, purpose, themes, and messages of each book in the New Testament, including the four Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, epistles of Paul, general epistles, and the book of Revelation.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Matthew 1-13 through this lesson, including the literary design of the book, the flow of thought in each chapter, and the key themes and events. The lesson highlights the importance of Jesus' role in bringing God's kingdom to earth and inviting his disciples into a new way of life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the Gospel book of Matthew through an overview of the first 13 chapters. You will learn how Matthew presents Jesus as the king who brings God's kingdom to earth, and how his disciples are invited to participate in this new way of life through his death and resurrection. You will also discover the central theme of the kingdom of God in Matthew, its relationship with the Church, and the call to discipleship and obedience.
  • Gain insight into the book of Mark's literary design and flow of thought, as well as Jesus' role as Israel's Messiah, inaugurating God's kingdom through his suffering, death, and resurrection.
  • By studying the Gospel of Luke, you will gain knowledge of the authorship, purpose, themes, and literary features of the Gospel, as well as a deep understanding of Luke 1-2, which narrates the miraculous births of John the Baptist and Jesus and provides models of faith and obedience. You will discover how Luke emphasizes the universality of God's love and the role of the Holy Spirit in empowering Jesus and his followers.
  • Luke's Gospel portrays Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promises told in the Old Testament, bringing the good news of God's kingdom to the poor, teaching his disciples about prayer, trust, and generosity, continuing his mission to the poor and social outsiders, celebrating God's mercy for the lost and the tragic resistance of Israel's leaders, and ultimately dying on the cross as an embodiment of God's love and mercy.
  • In the Gospel of John, the first half of the book tells stories of Jesus performing miraculous signs that lead to controversy, culminating in the raising of Lazarus and his rejection by Israel's leaders, all of which prepare us to understand Jesus as the Messiah, teacher of Israel, and Son of God who offers a new quality of life through belief in Him.
  • You will gain insights into Jesus' ministry and teachings, including the seven signs of Jesus' public ministry and his private ministry, which include the washing of the disciples' feet, farewell discourse, and high priestly prayer.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insight into the introduction and context of the book of Acts, the early church in Jerusalem, and the gospel going to the Gentiles.
  • You will learn about the book of Acts, covering chapters 13-28, which includes Paul's missionary journeys, the Jerusalem Council, and his journey to Rome, and learn about the debates and decisions made by the apostles and elders, as well as gain insights into Paul's ministry and travels.
  • In Paul's Letter to the Romans, he explains how the gospel reveals God's righteousness, creates a new humanity fulfilling God's promise to Israel, and unifies the church, with chapters one through four laying the foundation for understanding the rest of the letter, which emphasizes that all humanity is hopelessly trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through faith in Jesus.
  • In Paul's letter to the Romans, he explores the idea that all humanity is trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through Jesus' death and resurrection, and that being in the family of Abraham means being a part of a new humanity that God is creating through Jesus and the Spirit, with the purpose of rescuing and renewing all of creation.
  • Explore 1 Corinthians to gain insights into complex problems faced by the church and how Paul responds through the gospel. Learn about unity, sexual integrity, love, worship order, and the resurrection as the foundation of hope in the future. Understand the gospel's application to all aspects of life.
  • In 2 Corinthians, you will learn about Paul's efforts to reconcile with the Corinthians, address their forgotten generosity, and confront the "super apostles" who undermine his authority, revealing the paradox of the cross and its implications for a transformed life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, context, and content of Galatians, including the false teaching that prompted Paul's letter, his defense of his gospel and authority, the role of the law in God's promise to Abraham, and the importance of living by the Spirit and bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Gain insights into the book of Ephesians, which emphasizes the creation of unified, ethnically diverse communities through devotion to Jesus and each other.
  • This lesson on Philippians will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, themes, literary features, detailed analysis of each chapter, and significance in Christian theology and impact on the church.
  • By studying Colossians, you will gain understanding of the book's authorship, background, and theological themes such as Christology, spiritual maturity, and the new humanity in Christ and how to practically apply the teachings of Colossians to the church and daily life.
  • By studying this lesson on the book of 1 Thessalonians, you will gain understanding of its background, themes, purpose, literary features, and application. You will learn about the historical and cultural relevance of the book and its personal and spiritual significance for us today.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, purpose, and themes of 2 Thessalonians, as well as an in-depth exegesis of the text. The application of the book to historical and cultural contexts, as well as its relevance for today, is also explored.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insights into the book of 1 Timothy, including its background, themes, and significance in the New Testament, such as its contribution to understanding church leadership and worship, the historical context of the early church, and its application for modern church life.
  • In 2 Timothy, Paul writes to Timothy from prison, urging him to stay strong in the face of persecution and to confront corrupt teachers who are causing problems in the church in Ephesus.
  • This lesson on the book of Titus provides a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, purpose, structure, themes, and significance, enabling you to appreciate its contributions to the New Testament, its impact on the original audience, and its relevance to the Church today.
  • Gain insights into Paul's letter to Philemon about forgiveness and reconciliation with his runaway slave, challenging assumptions about social justice and inequality, and highlighting Paul's commitment to pastoral care and reconciliation.
  • This lesson on Hebrews covers the authorship, purpose, literary genre, Christology, eschatology, and theology of the book, providing insights into Jesus as the Son of God, High Priest, and Perfect Sacrifice, the concept of Rest, Warning Passages, and the Superiority of Christ and the New Covenant, the Importance of Faith and Obedience, and the Perseverance of the Saints.
  • In the Book of James, you will explore the wisdom of Jesus' teachings and the Book of Proverbs, examining themes such as faith and works, the power of words, wealth, poverty, and wisdom, ultimately learning to live according to the "Perfect Torah of Freedom."
  • Through participating in this lesson, you will learn about 1 Peter, including information on its authorship and date, recipients and purpose, theological themes, literary features, and application. The lesson covers the book's historical and cultural context, as well as its contemporary relevance, and provides insights into how it speaks to topics such as suffering and glory, holiness and ethics, and Christology and salvation.
  • You will gain understanding of the book of 2 Peter, including its authorship, date, and literary context, as well as its theological themes, interpretation, and application. By studying 2 Peter, you will learn about false teachers and their destruction, the day of the Lord, the second coming of Christ, the certainty of God's promises, and the importance of godly living in contemporary Christian life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the letters of John, including their historical and cultural context, authorship, purpose, literary features, themes, and messages, as well as their significance in the New Testament.
  • The book of Jude emphasizes the importance of contending for the Christian faith and exposes corrupt teachers, using both biblical and non-biblical Jewish texts as examples, ultimately highlighting that obedience to Jesus is the true indicator of genuine belief.
  • You will gain a deeper understanding of the book of Revelation, including its historical and literary context, authorship, purpose, and genre, as well as its structure, themes, and images. Additionally, you will be introduced to different interpretive approaches and learn how to apply the book to your personal life, the church, and culture.
  • This lesson provides an understanding of the book of Revelation, including its structure, content, symbolism, interpretive approaches, message, and relevance, helping you to gain insight into the nature of God, the victory of Christ, the role of the church, and the end of history.

BP150-04 - Mark

Jon : The Gospel of Mark is a book in the Bible about the life of Jesus, and the earliest reliable tradition tells us that it was written by a guy named Jon Mark. 

Tim : Now, Mark didn't just grab a bunch of random stories about Jesus and throw them together. He's designed this book to address some really specific questions about whether or not Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. 

Jon : So let's stop right there, because that's a term a lot of people like me aren't very familiar with. 

Tim : Yeah. So the Messiah was a royal figure, sometimes called the Son of God that Israel was expecting to come and set up a kingdom here on Earth. And around the time of Jesus, Israel was occupied by Rome, and so many Jews were hoping that the Messiah would come and overthrow the Romans and rule as king. 

Jon : But Jesus didn't overthrow the Romans. In fact, he was killed by them. 

Tim : And that brings us to the very issues Mark is trying to get at in this book. So in the first half, he focuses on who Jesus is. Is he really the Messiah? And then in the second half, he's addressing how Jesus became the messianic king. And then right here in the middle of the book is this pivotal story that brings the two halves together. And Jesus answers both of these questions. 

Jon : Okay. So let's talk about the first half of the book, who Jesus is. 

Tim : So Mark makes his beliefs about Jesus very clear from the first line of the book, the beginning of the good news about Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God. 

Jon : One of the next stories is Jesus getting baptized, and God's voice announces from heaven, “This is my son.” So it couldn't be more clear. It's presenting Jesus as the Messiah. 

Tim : Yes, but as you're reading through this first half of Mark, you'll notice something really interesting start to happen. Jesus is going about healing all these different people, and he's constantly telling them to keep quiet about who he is. This happens so many times in Mark's account. It's very strange. 

Jon : Yeah. Why keep it a secret? 

Tim : So remember, lots of Jews had lots of different expectations about what the Messiah would be and do. And so Jesus doesn't want people to misunderstand what it means for Him to be Israel's Messiah. And so with all that in mind, we come now to the pivotal story at the center of the book, where Jesus takes his disciples away and he asks them, Who do you all say that I am? 

Jon : And Peter says, What everyone's been saying You're the Messiah, the Son of God. 

Tim : But then something new happens because Jesus starts explaining to them how He's going to become the messianic king. And it is not what they expected. He says he's going to suffer and die in rule by becoming a servant, or, in his words, the son of man did not come to be served, but to become a servant and to give his life as a ransom for money. 

Jon : Peter is startled by this and then rebukes Jesus because there's no way he's going to let Jesus die. And Jesus responds, Get behind me, Satan, which is really intense. 

Tim : It really is. But it highlights how important it is for Jesus that his disciples come to understand who he really is. And so here now, in this pivotal section, Jesus tries three different times to have this conversation with them. And every time they respond and confusion and even fear. 

Jon : Okay, so this launches us into the second half of the book where Mark addresses the question of how Jesus becomes the messianic king. It's the last week of Jesus's life. He goes to Jerusalem, gets in conflict with the religious leaders and gets arrested. 

Tim : And he's put on trial as someone who's claiming to be the king of the Jews. He's even given a crown and a purple robe like a king would get. But it is all a cruel joke. 

Jon : Then he's mocked and beaten and hung up on a cross where he dies. 

Tim : And it's here in this crucial scene that we meet a new character. 

Jon : A Roman soldier. 

Tim : Who suddenly gets everything that's going on. 

Jon : He says, “Surely this is the son of God”, which is crazy. 

Tim : It's an enemy who's first putting it all together that Israel's messianic king is the crucified Jesus. 

Jon : That's the structure of the Book of Mark. But the book doesn't end with Jesus dead on the cross. 

Tim : No. So on the third day, some women go to visit Jesus's tomb only to find that it's empty. And then there's this angel standing there instructing them to go and tell this good news that Jesus is alive from the dead. But instead, they run away and they don't tell anyone because they're afraid. And that's how the book ends, which. 

Jon : Is a really abrupt ending. 

Tim : Yeah. It's so abrupt that later scribes did add an ending that brings more closure to the story. And you'll find that story in your Bible with a little footnote that says it was added much later. But Mark's a brilliant storyteller, and he's intentionally ended this book abruptly. So all through the book, the disciples have been confused about Jesus plan to give up his life, the story in the middle. And now, right here at the end, it's like Mark is acknowledging just how startling this claim really is, and he wants you, the reader, to wrestle with it for yourself. Is this crucified Jesus really the Messiah that they've been waiting for?