The Year of Mark
John Mark Follows Paul into Mission and Tells Peter's Story
The lectionary is taught in a three-year cycle. This second year is the Year of Mark.
John Mark probably knew Jesus when Mark was a child or youth, even though Mark was not a disciple. The Upper Room where the disciples often met in Jerusalem may have been a room in the house of Mark's family.
Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey. Later he was Peter's assistant. We believe that the account he wrote of Jesus' life and teachings after the deaths of Peter and Paul was based mostly on Peter's teaching, rather than on Mark's own personal experience.
Though Mark's family was clearly Jewish, his entire missionary life seems to have been spent among the non-Jews of the neighboring countries.
Mark's gospel was the first to be written and circulated. The gospels of Matthew and Luke seem to expand on Mark's story.
Mark's gospel explodes with the sudden appearance of John the Baptist, the voice crying in the wilderness. He has no need to place Jesus in the context of family and culture. From the very beginning, Jesus is the son of the living God, and his life needs no other explanation.
An older class might enjoy reading Marked by Steve Ross in a concurrent study of the Book of Mark.
Mark's symbol is the lion, because his Gospel presents Jesus as the king of kings.
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