Category: Chapter and Verse

The Testing of Jesus (Expository Commentary Notes

The Testing of Jesus (Expository Commentary Notes

Mark 1:12-13 GOD’S WORD Translation

12 At once the Spirit brought him into the desert, 13 where he was tempted by Satan for 40 days. He was there with the wild animals, and the angels took care of him.

I confess that I have rather a problem with the way most Bible translations render the Greek, here. While tempt is a legitimate translation,  a more accurate would be testing.

How do I arrive at testing being the more appropriate translation? First, you cannot be tempted by something that you do not already want.  (James 1:15)  Since Jesus was both Lord and Creator of all things there was nothing illicit for Him to desire. Secondly, in what is called the Kenosis, Jesus sets aside His Divine Prerogatives and desires so that He may doo the will of the Father. {Philippian 2:7)

Let us remember that the Chalcedonian Definition is teaching us that Jesus is simultaneously veri dei et veri homo (truly God and truly man.)The two natures work in perfect union, despite our feeble mind’s inability to understand this. Therefore, the Divine Nature within Jesus worked in perfect harmony with His human nature whereby He was able to resist the lure of the devil.

A Note About the 40 Days

The 40 days is reminiscent of the 40 years the Children of Israel Spent wandering in the desert. In his Enduring Word Commentary, Dr. David Guzik notes,

Forty – as in the forty days of Jesus in the wilderness – is a number that often shows a time of testing or judgment. In Noah’s flood, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. Israel was in the wilderness 40 years. Moses kept sheep in the wilderness for 40 years. This is Jesus’ time of testing.

The Wild Beasts

Neither Matthew nor Luke mention the wild beasts, only Mark offers this note. What I find most interesting is that Mark gives the impression that Jesus was at peace with the wild beasts and did not need to fear any harm. We can extrapolate two ideas from this:

  1. Jesus, in His unfallen state and position as the Second Adam, communed with the animals in much the same way as the First Adam did.

  2. By logical inference, we conclude that the animals were, in some way, conscious of the presence of the Creator walking amongst them

The angels came and ministered to Him.

Following the successful completion of His testing, the angels came and ministered to Jesus. For a brief instant, Heaven and Earth were as one when members of the Host of Heaven came to attend to the Divine Son.

  1. Campbell Morgan writes, “Morally victorious, He was Master of the creation beneath Him, and the angels ran upon His errands, for such is the real suggestiveness of the word. Thus He is seen as God’s Man, perfect in spite of the temptation!”


Hope for us

1 Corinthians 3:16 points out that the Spirit of Christ dwells within us. The same Spirit who dwelt within Christ dwells with the believer. Therefore we have hope that, like our Master, we will be able to resist the temptation.

The Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11)

The Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11)

Mark 1:9-11 (GWT)

John Baptizes Jesus

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came out of the water, he saw heaven split open and the Spirit coming down to him as a dove. 11 A voice from heaven said, “You are my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with you.”

Mark 1:9-11 (NKJV)

John Baptizes Jesus

It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up [a]from the water, He saw the heavens [b]parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.


  1. Mark 1:10NU out of
  2. Mark 1:10torn open


Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan: Jesus was not baptized because He needed cleansing from sin; He was sinless, as John himself understood (Matthew 3:14). Instead, Jesus was baptized in keeping with His entire mission on earth: to do the will of the Father and to identify with sinful man.

It is important for us to remember that Jesus was NOT required to do either of these things. He did not need to be baptized (but was as a model of obedience for us), neither did he have to die on the cross. HE CHOSE THE CROSS because it was the good pleasure of the entire Godhead to redeem a people unto themselves and the cross was the price of that redemption. Only God Himself could satisfiy the blood price of redemption because it had to be sinless and so the Divine Son was incarnated to live a sinless lite and overcome the curse so that He could presnt a redeemed people to God the Father.

This next section poses no small problem for the modalist/oneness believer. The entire Trinity is simultaneously present at the baptism of Jesus


You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased:

When this voice of God the Father spoke from heaven, everyone knew that Jesus was not just another man being baptized. They knew Jesus was the perfect (in whom I am well pleased) Son of God, identifying with sinful man.

Many claim that Jesus never claimed to be God. Aside from the fact that this is patently untrue, even if He had not declared His deity, God the Father declared the deity of the Son. In calling Him “my son” God the Father identified the Son as also being God.

In Psalm 2 (An incredibly Messianic Psalm) YHWH speaks to the Lord and says, “Thou art my Son. Today I have begotten thee.” Furthermore the Father, speaking to the Son, says “Thy Throne, O God, is forever. (Psalm 45:6, Hebrews 1:8)

This strange scene displayed a humble beginning:

  • Jesus: A common, unremarkable name.
  • From Nazareth: An unremarkable, despised village.
  • Of Galilee: The unspiritual region, not the “Bible belt” of the area at that time.
  • Was baptized: Identified with sinful man.
  • In the Jordan: An unremarkable – often even unpleasant – river. “Early rabbinic tradition explicitly disqualifies the River Jordan for purification, [according to] The Mishnah, ParahVIII. 10.” (Lane)


The scene also puts the glory of Heaven on display.

The heavens parting: Heaven opened wide for this. The ancient Greek for this phrase is strong. It has the idea that sky was torn in two, “being rent asunder, a sudden event.” (Bruce) Think about this for a minute…God Himself parts the Heavens  to view the baptism of the Son. No doubt the entire Host was watching as well.

The Spirit descending: The Spirit of God was present, and in some way His presence was discernable. Like a doveLuke 3:22 puts it like this: And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him. In some way the Spirit was present and “flew down” on Jesus like a dove. Think back to Genesis 1: The Spriti of God was moving over the surface of the deep; the Hebrew actually says was brooding, like a mother bird gathering chicks under her wings.

We gloss over this frequently, but think about if for a second…God Himself manifests His presence at the baptism of the Son. The entire Godhead is present at the Baptism. Talk about a showstopper!

A voice came from heaven: It’s rare in the Bible when we read that God speaks audibly from heaven, but this is one of those glorious occasions. At the Transfiguration, God’s voice from heaven sounds like thunder but we have no such indication in this passage. It is possible that only Jesus knew what was being said but I rather doubt that. We can, logically, deduce that all present heard the voice and knew what was being said.

You are My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased:

I want you to think about a passage that we don’t usually associate with the baptism of Jesus but that is apropos nonetheless. Consider John 1:1-3. The connotation here is one of intimate fellowship. Consider also, John 1:18 where the Son was in the bosom of the Father. Intimate fellowship, face to face communication.

An error to correct:

Many use this passage to suggest that baptism is the symbol of the New Covenant. They are incorrect. The sign of the New Covenant is in John 14:17, the Indwelling Holy Spirit. See also 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


I will share a separate lesson on the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit at a later time.

John the Baptizer

John the Baptizer

John (Jonah in Hebrew, Jonas in Aramaic) is the last in the vein of the Old Testament Prophets, even though his story is found in the Gospels. Unline the other OT Prophets, John did no predict Messiah; he announced him and introduced him to the world.

The content below is adapted from the Life Application Bible. Tyndale House Publishers owns the copyright to the Life Application Study Bible and retains all rights and privileges associated with the text.

THERE’S NO GETTING AROUND IT—John the Baptist was unique. He wore odd clothes and ate strange food and preached an unusual message to the Judeans who went out to the wastelands to see him.

But John did not aim at uniqueness for its own sake. Instead, he aimed at obedience. He knew he had a specific role to play in the world—announcing the coming of the Savior—and he put all his energies into this task. Luke tells us that John was in the wilderness when God’s word of direction came to him. John was ready and waiting. The angel who had announced John’s birth to Zechariah had made it clear that this child was to be a Nazirite—someone set apart for God’s service. John remained faithful to that calling.

This wild-looking man had no power or position in the Jewish political system, but he spoke with almost irresistible authority. People were moved by his words because he spoke the truth, challenging them to turn from their sins and baptizing them as a symbol of their repentance. They responded by the hundreds. But even as people crowded to him, he pointed beyond himself, never forgetting that his main role was to announce the coming of the Savior.

The words of truth that moved many to repentance goaded others to ridicule and resentment. John challenged even Herod to admit his sin. Consequently, Herodias, the woman Herod had married illegally, was bent on getting rid of this wilderness preacher. But though she was finally able to have John killed, she was not able to stop his message. John had accomplished his mission; the Messiah he had announced was already on the move.

God has given each of us a purpose for living, and we can trust him to guide us. John did not have the complete Bible as we know it today, but he focused his life on the truth he knew from the available Old Testament Scriptures. Likewise, we can discover in God’s Word the truths God wants us to know. And as these truths work in us, others will be drawn to him. God wants to use you in ways he will use no one else. Let him know your willingness to follow him today.

Strengths and accomplishments:

  • The messenger God appointed to announce the arrival of Jesus
  • A preacher whose theme was repentance
  • A fearless confronter
  • Known for his remarkable lifestyle
  • Uncompromising

Lessons from his life:

  • God does not guarantee an easy or safe life to those who serve him.
  • Doing what God desires is the greatest possible life investment.
  • Standing for the truth is more important than life itself.
  • Vital statistics:

Where: Judea

Occupation: Prophet

Relatives: Father: Zechariah. Mother: Elizabeth. Distant relative: Jesus.

Contemporaries: Herod Antipas, Herodias

Key verse:

“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!” (Matthew 11:11)

John’s story is told in all four Gospels. His coming was predicted in Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 4:5. He is also mentioned in Acts 1:5, 22; 10:37; 11:16; 13:24-25; 18:25; 19:3-4.

Simon (Simeon) Peter Character Sketch

Simon (Simeon) Peter Character Sketch

Before we begin, I want to point out that Simon’s proper first name is Simeon (Simon being the Greek form of Simeon). Also, Pter was not Simon’s last name but, instead, it was a new name given to him by Jesus following the confession of Matthew 16:16)

In Aramaic, Peter is rendered as Kefa which the KJV displays as Cephas.  Were he to be addressed in the common language, Aramaic, he would be Shimon Kefa. 

The content below is adapted from the Life Revocery Bible and is used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. Tyndale retains all rights and privilegs related to the Life Recovery Bible

Simon the fisherman was reckless, vacillating, and often thoughtless. We would never nickname such a person Peter, which means “rock.” Jesus did. What greater evidence could there be that Jesus not only accepted Simon as he was but also envisioned what he would become? By the end of his life Simon’s nickname, Peter, appropriately described his steadfast maturity. What an amazing transformation took place in that burly fisherman!

Most of us readily identify with Simon Peter. His intentions were usually good, but he was impetuous in speech and impulsive in action. Instead of standing in awe at the Transfiguration, he blurted out the first idea that came into his head. When Jesus revealed that his divine mission would involve a painful death, Peter rashly told Jesus to stop talking that way. At the Last Supper he brazenly objected to Jesus washing his feet. When Jesus was arrested, Peter bravely but brashly cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Finally, at a critical point in his life, Peter denied Jesus three times. Even as Jesus was restoring Peter from this failure, Peter’s attention was on John rather than on what God was doing for him.

Later in Simon’s life we see what Jesus saw when he called him “Rock.” Peter presided over the meeting to select a successor to Judas. At Pentecost he preached publicly about Jesus despite the opposition he knew he would face. Peter performed several miracles and was himself miraculously rescued from prison. Peter was the apostle who had the spiritual insight to proclaim the great confession at Caesarea Philippi, stating clearly that Jesus Christ is the only means to salvation.

In Simon Peter’s life we see hope for our transformation and recovery. He was amazingly transformed by God, but we should remember that he was never made perfect. The apostle Paul described in Galatians 2:11-14 how Peter acted hypocritically. Despite his imperfections, however, his transformation had a profound effect on the world around him; his words, actions, and letters became a significant part of the early church’s spiritual foundation.


  • Simon’s natural boldness was used to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

  • He was the recognized leader and spokesman for the twelve disciples.

  • He was inspired to write letters to encourage believers (1 and 2 Peter).

  • His natural enthusiasm was later channeled into disciplined courage.


  • Simon often spoke and acted before he thought about the consequences.

  • His temperament was mercurial; he quickly moved from professed loyalty to betrayal.

  • Even after his transformation, he allowed a situation to govern his actions at least once (Galatians 2:11-14).


  • Jesus Christ has enough power to transform even the most unlikely people.

  • God can transform our faults into powerful tools for use in his Kingdom.

  • When people make themselves available, they can always be used by God.


“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’) and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (Matthew 16:18).

There is extensive biblical material on Simon Peter in the Gospels and Acts 1–15. In Paul’s letters, Peter is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5; and Galatians 1:18; 2:7-14. Some material about him may also be gleaned from his two letters, 1 and 2 Peter.

Mark 1:1-8

Mark 1:1-8

Mark 1:1-8 (God’s Word Translation)

John Prepares the Way

This is the beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The prophet Isaiah wrote,“I am sending my messenger ahead of you to prepare the way for you.” “A voice cries out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord!
Make his paths straight!’ ” John the Baptizer was in the desert telling people about a baptism of repentance[a] for the forgiveness of sins. All Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went to him. As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. John was dressed in clothes made from camel’s hair. He wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. He announced, “The one who comes after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to bend down and untie his sandal straps. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”


  1. 1:4 “Repentance   ” is turning to God with a complete change in the way a person thinks and acts.

Verse 1

 Good News…derived from the Old English godspell, our word gospel can be better rendered good news or more properly, good story. How true that is, the story of a Redeemer coming to bring us back to God is the best story we can ever be told.

Word Nugget:
1:1 gospel, euaggelion; Strong’s #2098: Compare “evangel,” “evangelize,” “evangelistic.” In ancient Greece euaggelion designated the reward given for bringing good news. Later it came to mean the Good News itself. In the NT the word includes both the promise of salvation and its fulfillment by the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Euaggelion also designates the written narratives of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Mark 1:1


Son of God In the human, Jesus, we find the incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son. The most amazing part of the story of Jesus is that the 2nd person of the Trinity was given to the world by God the Father so that all the believing would have everlasting life. (Note: everlasting is the more proper rendering as opposed to eternal. Eternal is simply a statement of time while everlasting is a statement of both time and quality.) This 2nd Person in the Godhead is given as a Redeemer offered to the world to pay the blood price to cover over sin

ESV Study Bible Note: 1:1 Rather than emphasizing the events leading up to Jesus’ public ministry in terms of his genealogy and family roots (as do Matthew and Luke) or in terms of its theological foundation (as does John), Mark focuses on its actual beginning. The gospel is the good news of the fulfillment of God’s promises. In the OT (Isa. 40:9; 52:7; Nah. 1:15) “good news” is connected with the saving intervention of God to help his people. of Jesus Christ. The gospel is proclaimed by Jesus, the Messiah, but in a secondary sense the good news is the report about Jesus. Mark communicates both at the beginning and end of his Gospel (Mark 1:1; 15:39) that Jesus is the Son of God. Mark 1:1

TWO TITLES (Dr. Mark Strauss)
“Before Mark introduces John the Baptist as the forerunner to Jesus, he provides two significant titles for Jesus that succinctly describe who He is and what He came to do. The first, Christ, represents what Jesus came to do. Rather than a name, the word Christ is a title (the Greek translation of the Hebrew for Messiah) that means “Anointed One.” Jesus was anointed to perform the redemptive work of being prophet, priest, and king of His people. He is the divinely appointed, commissioned, and accredited Savior of humankind. (See Hebrews 5:1–4; Isaiah 11:2–4; 49:6; John 5:37; and Acts 2:22).
The second term, Son of God, refers to Jesus’ nature rather than His office. He isn’t the Son of God because of anything He has done (miraculous birth, incarnation, resurrection, etc.), but rather because of who He is. Mark uses Son of God in its messianic sense and links it closely to “Messiah.”
In the ancient way of thinking, a man’s life was continued in his son. A son would inherit the property of his father—and the firstborn received a double portion. A son was perceived as the extension of the father’s rule and position in the house. So Jesus’ title “Son of God” shows that even when He was separate from the Father, He lived to do the will of God and shared His very nature. Mark 1:1”


Verse 2

Just as the Apostle Matthew did, Mark takes us back to the Old Testament in laying the groundwork to understand Messiah. (Incidentally, Mark portrays Jesus as Messiah the Servant wile Matthew presents Him as Messiah the King, Luke portrays Him as Messiah the Kinsman-Redeemer, and John portrays Him as the Divine Son.)

ESV Study Bible Note: 1:2–3 Mark identifies John the Baptist as the predicted one who prepares the way of the Lord (cf. Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1). Isaiah the prophet is named because he was more prominent and more of the quoted material comes from him. When the text is expounded in the following verses, Mark refers only to the Isaiah citation. John will be identified by Jesus as the one who comes in the spirit of Elijah (Mal. 4:5; Matt. 11:13–14; Mark 9:11–13; cf. also note on Luke 3:2). The path or “way” is to be readied for “the Lord,” and surprisingly the one who comes after John is both the Lord and the Messiah (Mark 8:29). The following Gospel account demonstrates that Jesus, the Messiah, is also a member of the Godhead. Mark 1:2



1:4 John prepares the way by calling people to repentance- turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness of sins. Repentance had to precede baptism, and thus baptism was not the means by which sins were forgiven but rather was a sign indicating that one had truly repented. John labors in the wilderness as a place of purification and fulfillment of prophecy (Isa. 40:3).

John is the last in the vein of the Old Terstament Prophets; zealous for God’s Name and concerned with the holiness of God’s people. In fact, if one were to do a careful study of the Old Testament Prophets, they would easily find that, from the beginning, the message of all of the prophets has been the same, “Turn back to God; He is the only savior”

1:5 all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem. John’s ministry represents a fulfillment of the promise of a new exodus (cf. Isa. 11:11–15; 40:3–11; 42:16; 43:2, 5-7, 16-19; 48:20-49:11; 51:10) in which Israel is delivered from the wilderness, and, so to speak, enters into the river Jordan again (as in Josh. 3:1–4:24) to receive God’s promises of end-time salvation. confessing their sins. God was working in people’s hearts, calling them to turn back to himself, in preparation for the coming Messiah.

1:6 John’s clothing and food correspond to that of other preachers in the desert (cf. 1 Kings 17:4, 9; Mal. 3:1; 4:5–6). Dr. Strauss-Mark’s physical description of John the Baptist (1:6)—his unique diet and style of dress—creates an additional connection between the new prophet and the Old Testament Elijah(2 Kings 1:8). Even though John must have been a powerful presence, his message of repentance is based on the anticipation of “one more powerful than I” (1:7 NIV). John’s comment about his own unworthiness to untie Jesus’ sandals—the work of a slave—is a vivid image of the homage he pays to Jesus and the work He will do (1:7). And although John is baptizing people with water, Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit (1:8).
1:7–8 John’s expectation of the mightier one is connected with Isa. 40:3. The coming one (Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1) is both human (sandals) and divine (“the LORD,” Isa. 40:3) and will baptize . . . with the Holy Spirit (see note on Matt. 3:11). Untying the straps of sandals can be the responsibility of a low servant, but it was something that a Jewish person was not supposed to do. The baptism with the Spirit represents the fulfillment of God’s promises in the OT (see Isa. 32:15; 44:3; Ezek. 11:18–19; Joel 2:28). Mark 1:4-7


Of special note is that John’s Baptism echos the Mikvah, the ceremonial washing before worship in the the Tabernacle and later the Temple. Even to this very day. Baptism symbolizes a spiritual washing, cleansing the stains of sin once for all to make us fit for the presence of God.  Note: it is not the immersion, itself, that cleanses and saves from sin. Rather it is the outward expression of the inward washing.


Introducing Mark’s Gospel Account

Introducing Mark’s Gospel Account

Key Concepts

  • Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God, who exercised extraordinary authority to overcome the forces of Satan, sin and disease.
  • The Messiah came not to conquer the Roman legions, but to suffer and die and to pay the ransom for sins.”


Verses You Should Know

Mark 1:7: After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

Mark 3:35: Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.

Mark 6:56: Wherever he went . . . they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

Mark 9:7: A voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!

Mark 10:14–15: Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.

Mark 14:7–9: The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.

Key Teachings

  • Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
  • Jesus is the suffering servant described in Isaiah 53.
  • True disciples of Jesus are to take up their cross and follow Christ through sacrifice and suffering.”

Key Terms

Disciple—One of the twelve in Jesus’ inner circle who followed Christ during his ministry on earth and worked to spread his message.

Gospel—The good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Kingdom of God—While God is and has always been king of the universe, Jesus announced that God’s end-time salvation—his sovereign kingdom—had arrived through Jesus’ words and deeds.”


(1) The cross. Both the human cause (12:12; 14:1–2; 15:10) and the divine necessity (8:31; 9:31; 10:33–34) of the cross are emphasized by Mark.

(2) Discipleship. Special attention should be paid to the passages on discipleship that arise from Jesus’ predictions of his passion (8:34–9:1; 9:35–10:31; 10:42–45).

(3) The teachings of Jesus. Although Mark records far fewer actual teachings of Jesus than the other Gospel writers, there is a remarkable emphasis on Jesus as teacher. The words “teacher,” “teach” or “teaching” and “Rabbi” are applied to Jesus in Mark 39 times.

(4) The Messianic secret. On several occasions Jesus warns his disciples or others to keep silent about who he is or what he has done (see 1:34, 44 and notes; 3:12; 5:43; 7:36; 8:30; 9:9; see also note on Mt 8:4).

(5) Son of God. Although Mark emphasizes the humanity of Jesus (see 3:5; 6:6, 31, 34; 7:34; 8:12; 10:14; 11:12), he does not neglect his deity

(see 1:1, 11; 3:11; 5:7; 9:7; 12:1–11; 13:32; 15:39).

Key Doctrines in Mark

The humanity of Christ —Jesus humbled Himself and became a man in order to reconcile humanity to God (1:41; 3:5; 4:38; 6:34; 8:12; 9:36; 11:12; 13:32; Isaiah 50:6; 53:7; Micah 5:2; Luke 2:4–7; John 1:14; Romans 1:3–4; 8:3; Philippians 2:6–11; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 4:15; 5:7)

Servanthood —Jesus was the perfect example of true servanthood, even unto death (8:34–37; 9:35; 10:43–45; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 20:28; 21:5; Luke 22:27; John 13:5; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:7)

God’s Character in Mark

God is accessible —15:38

God is unified —2:7; 12:29


In his Gospel, Mark paints a vivid picture of Jesus as a Messiah (Savior) whom we dare not ignore. He has largely organized his material chronologically, with much emphasis on Jesus’ work in Galilee and on the final week of his life. He was writing for those who were not of Jewish background, as he often explains Jewish history and traditions. In fact, his may well have been a Roman readership.

Mark is the only Gospel to contain the actual word Gospel, which means “good news”, and he clearly sees Christ as good news for all: good news prophesied by Isaiah (1:2-3) and prepared for by John the Baptist (1:2-8). After his baptism and overcoming Satan’s temptations (1:9-13), Jesus started to announce this good news: God’s kingdom had arrived; and that demanded a response (1:14-20). This kingdom would affect the whole of life, as Mark immediately demonstrates through a string of stories showing Jesus’ authority over everything: demons (1:21-28), sickness (1:29-34), uncleanness (1:40-45), sin (2:1-12), exclusion (2:13-18), religious traditions (2:18-22), even the Sabbath (2:23-3:6). All this drew huge crowds (3:7-12), and Jesus now called 12 apostles to work alongside him (3:13-19). Continuing his ministry, first in Galilee and around the lake (3:20-7:23) and then in Gentile territory (7:24-9:32), he reached pagan Caesarea Philippi where he asked his disciples who they thought he was. Peter acknowledged him as the Christ, or Messiah (8:27-30). From this point, Jesus began explaining what sort of Messiah he would be, establishing God’s kingdom not through force, but through suffering and death (8:31-38).

After his transfiguration (9:2-13), Jesus moved south (10:1), teaching about discipleship and predicting his death with increasing clarity (10:32-34). The final third of Mark’s Gospel is devoted to the last week of Jesus’ life: his triumphant entry into Jerusalem and cleansing the temple (11:1-19), his teaching and opposition to him (11:20-13:37), his anointing (14:1-11), the Last Supper (14:12-26), his arrest in Gethsemane (14:32-52) and his trials, crucifixion and burial (14:53-15:47). The Gospel ends on a note of hope, however, as the women find the tomb empty and angels proclaiming Jesus has risen (16:1-8).

The final section (16:9-20) was probably not written by Mark (the Greek is different) but added by an early church leader.

Source Material for Chapter & Verse through Mark

Source Material for Chapter & Verse through Mark

The Following are the source materials that I will be using to build our lessons. This is not a full bibliography but stimply a list of materitals should you want to acquire any for yourself. (These are not in any particular order)


  • God’s Word Translation Bible

  • New King James Bible

  • IVP Bible Background COmmentary

  • Halley’s Bible Handbook

  • Living Insights Bible Commentary

  • MacArthru NT Commentary

  • Cornerston Bible Commentary

  • The KJV Bible Commentary

  • Life Essentials Study Bible

  • Life Principle Study Bible

  • THe Bible Reader’s Companion

  • The Teachers Bible Commentary

  • New Testament Life & Times

  • The Devotional Bible Commentary

  • Sunday School Teacher’s Bible Comentary

  • World Biblical Commentry

  • CLC Bible Companion

  • Word Biblical Comentary

  • What the Bible is all about

  • Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible

  • Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible

  • Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines

  • Tony Evans Bible Commentary

  • Lindsell Study Bible
  • Living Bible Paraphrase
  • Vines Expository Study Bible
  • ESV Literary Study Bible
  • Life Application Bible
  • Discover God Study Bible
  • NIV Study Bible
  • NKJV Study Bible
  • Standard Lesson Teachers Study Bible
  • ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible
  • ESV Story of Redemtion Study Bible
  • ESV Gospel Transformation Bible
  • CEB Study Bible
  • Oxford Bible Commentary
  • Oxford Annotated Bible
  • Harper Collins Study Bible
  • Thompson Chain Study Bible
  • Lif Application NT Commentary
  • Tyndale Concise Commentary
  • Eerdmans Bible Commentary
  • Wycliffe Bible Commentary
  • CSB Study Bible
  • New Interpreter’s Study Bible
  • Wilmington’s Bible Handbook
  • The Outline Bible
  • The Pilgrim Study Bible/Rock of Ages Study Bible
  • Scofield Reference Bible
  • Lutheran Study Bible
  • Catholic Study Bible
  • Dugan’s Topical Reference Bible
  • Dickson’s Analytical Reference Bible
  • Hebrew-Greek Keyword Study Bible
  • Keyword Bible Commentary
  • Jewish NT Commentary
  • Layman’s NT Commentary
  • The Open Your Bible Commentary
  • Hayford’s Bible Handbook
  • TTB Notes and Outlines
  • TTB Commentary
  • NKJV Word Study Bible
  • KJV Life in the Spirit Study Bible
  • NLt Study Bible
  • ESV Study Bible
  • KJV Archaeology Bible
  • ESV Archaeology Study Bible
  • Enduring Word Bible Commentary
  • Courson’s Application Commentary
  • The Word for Today Bible
  • Word for Today Commentary Notes (Chuck Smith)
  • NIV Storyline Bible
  • Baylor Annotated Study Bible
  • Understanding God’s Word Study Bible
  • Oxford Study Bible
  • Africa Study Bible
  • The Complete Guide to the Bible
  • The NIV Spiritual Renewal Bible
  • CSB Restoration Bible
  • Life Recovery Bible
  • Celebrate Recovery Study Bible
  • NIV Essentials Study Bible
  • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
  • CLC Bible Companion
  • NLT Christian Basics Bible
  • Life Application Bible