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A Heart For God: Ministry Beginnings (Mark 1:1-28)

Monday, March 05, 2012

Ministry Beginnings (Mark 1:1-28)

(This is supplement 1 to the #mkbiblechat study taking place every Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern, 6:30 Pacific USA. Pastor Mike is teaching the Gospel of Mark on Twitter. Click here for class schedule and links to the notes. Click here to follow Pastor Mike on Twitter.)


The Gospel of Mark is action packed. It was written to Romans who loved action. It presents Jesus as a servant serving others and meeting their needs. It reads as a thriller. It's John Grisham, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, Frank Peretti and more. It never stops from beginning to end.


In Mark 1:1-28, we find two references to "Simon." (Mark 1:16) There are three more in the first chapter. (Mark 1:29, 30, 36) So 5x total in 1st chapter, then just two other references in Mark 3:16 (the Twelve) and Mark 14:37 (falling asleep in the Garden).

"Peter" references appear 22x: 3x in Peter's confession of Christ (Mark 8:29, 32, 33); 5x in betrayal sequence and 4x prior to it (Mark 14:29, 31, 33, 37, 54, 66, 67, 70, 72); Resurrection angel interestingly refers to "Peter" when talking to the women in c. 16:6-8: "But go, tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.'"

The point is this: "Mark" is really Peter's Gospel. Who could have known these things except an eyewitness? (2 Peter 1:16) Mark takes dictation from Peter and that's how his Gospel comes about.


Mark is the one who runs away naked among other things. (Mark 14:51-52) Who would have known about that except the one who did it?!

Ezekiel had a vision of four creatures. (Ezekiel 1:10-11a; Revelation 4:7-9) Each had the face of a lion, ox/calf (beast of burden), man and eagle. Some believe they correspond to the four Gospels and character of Christ revealed in each: Matthew~King (lion), Mark~Servant (ox), Luke~Man/humanity (man), John~God/divinity (John).

Whatever the case, Mark's Gospel is the servant story of our Lord: "'The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.'" (Mark 10:45; parallel is Matthew 20:28)

Prayer: Make me a servant, Jesus, just like You! \o/


1. Mark's Gospel has many unique characteristics including it's believed that the Apostle Peter dictated to Mark and that's how he got Christ's story. (Mark 1:16, 29, 30, 36) Name one characteristic about yourself/your story that others might be interested to know.

2. Describe the term "servant" in your own words. Is there anyone in your life that lives up to the description?

3. In your mind what does it mean to be "amazed" with Jesus? (Mark 1:22, 27)

4. We can't help but come to the Gospel of Mark with the knowledge of how the story turns out, but those involved had no such knowledge. Do you think it would make a difference if you knew your life's end from the beginning? Why or why not? (Read the following verses to help frame your answer: Philippians 1:6; Jeremiah 29:11; Luke 12:32)

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