Things to know
Where does the book begin?
The book of Mark begins when Jesus met John the Baptist.
Where does the book end?
The book ends after God raised Jesus from death.
People to know
Places to go
Jesus told stories.
Jesus calmed a storm.
Jesus raised a girl from death.
Jesus walked on water.
Jesus was arrested.
The Story of Mark
The book of Mark is the shortest of the four gospels*. Each of the gospels* tells the same story. They tell about the things Jesus said and did. But each tells it in a different way. Mark told many stories from the other gospels*. But he left out many of the things that the other gospels* say. He did not say much about Jesus’ birth. He did not talk about his family or his early life. He began with the story of John the Baptist, who told people that the Messiah* was coming. He told many of the things that Jesus said about ‘the last days’. He included many things that Jesus said about the hope* of Israel*.
Mark talked about Jesus in many different ways in his book. He spoke of Jesus as God’s most loved son. He saw him as the Son of Man. He saw him as David’s promised son – the Messiah. And he saw him as the suffering servant, just as Isaiah described him.
Mark tells many of the same stories that the other gospels tell. There are stories that are found in both Luke and Matthew. But there is one story that Jesus told that is only found in Mark. Jesus said,
‘Here is what God’s kingdom* is like. A farmer scatters seed on the ground. Night and day the seed comes up and grows. It happens whether the farmer sleeps or gets up. He does not know how it happens. All by itself the soil produces grain. First the stem comes up. Then the head appears. Then, the full grain appears in the head. Before long the grain becomes fully grown. So the farmer cuts it down, because the harvest is ready.’ 
Mark talked most about the last week in the life of Jesus. He told the stories of how Jesus died and rose from the dead. Those days began with some words that Peter said. ‘You are the Christ.’ 
After that, Jesus told his friends what was going to happen to him. He would be killed. But he would not stay in the grave. He would become alive again.
‘He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be refused. And he must be killed and after three days rise again.’ 
Mark wrote his book to tell people who Jesus was. Jesus was the son that God promised to Abraham. Jesus was the king that God promised to David. Jesus was the Messiah* that the prophets* said would come.
Matthew wrote his book to help the Jews* know about Jesus. Mark wrote his book for everyone. He wanted all people from all parts of the world to believe in Jesus.
Mark told the story in a way that reminded people of the promises of the prophets. Jesus was the one who came to deliver his people. But these people did not want him. Mark wanted to help people remember what Isaiah said.
‘Men looked down on him. They did not accept him. He knew all about suffering. He was like someone people turn their faces away from. We looked down on him. We did not have any respect for him.’ 
In the last part of his book, Mark showed how the priests wanted Jesus to be killed. So the soldiers put Jesus on a cross*. They put nails in his hands and feet. His death was an awful death. When Jesus was dying, his friends were very afraid. Even Peter, a close disciple* of Jesus, said that he did not know him.
But, a few days later, an angel* told Jesus’ friends that he was alive again. Later that day, Jesus himself came to see his friends. They saw that he was alive. And he told them to take God’s message to all people. The book of Acts tells the story of how they did.
-  Mark 1:2-8
-  Mark 1:1; 9:7
-  Mark 2:10,28; 14:62
-  Mark 1:1; 10:47
-  Mark 8:31; 10:45
-  Mark 4:26-29
-  Mark 8:29
-  Mark 8:31
-  Isaiah 53:3
The New Testament | The Gospels