Jesus Through the Eyes of Mark
We are about to embark on a journey that will take us to the Holy Land, to
Galilee in particular. With John Mark as our guide, we will retrace the steps
of the greatest Man who ever lived, Jesus Christ.
So marvelous was this life that no one account can do justice to it. In the
Bible we find four Gospels, but even they, combined, cannot encompass everything
about Jesus. Thus, John the beloved closes his record with the observation:
"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down,
I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that
would be written"
21:25, NIV). That's an incredible amount of books, but Jesus did
an incredible amount of deeds.
Each of the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John-was written at
different times and, at first, circulated separately. Many scholars think
that Mark's was written first, and while that's possible, it cannot be
established with certainty.
What matters is that each of the Gospels was inspired by the Holy Spirit,
and each bears a united witness to Jesus Christ and what He did for the world.
Because each Gospel writer retained his individuality as he wrote, we see
differences of perspective and emphasis. This is as the Lord wanted it; and,
indeed, this is how the Holy Spirit works. Far from calling into question
the divine inspiration of the Gospels, this variety of perspective helps
to affirm it. It's God's way of seeking to touch lives. He wants to reach
us all, who are so different, and He uses different voices to do it.
"There is variety in a tree," wrote Ellen White, "there are scarcely two
leaves just alike. Yet this variety adds to the perfection of the tree as
our Bible, we might ask, Why need Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Gospels,
why need the Acts of the Apostles, and the variety of writers in the Epistles,
go over the same thing?
"The Lord gave His word in just the way He wanted it to come. He gave it
through different writers, each having his own individuality, though going
over the same history."—Selected Messages, book 1, p. 21.
John Mark's Gospel is the shortest of the four accounts. Whereas Matthew
portrays Jesus as a great teacher, Luke highlights His concerns for those
on the fringes of society, and John focuses on His conversations one-on-one
with a variety of people, Mark shows Him as a Man of action. Through Mark's
eyes, we see Jesus as a Man with a mission, one that He will accomplish.
Mark's Gospel has a simple organization:
B. Ministry in Galilee
C. The Passion Looms
D. Final Ministry in Jerusalem
E. The Passion and Resurrection
And yet, we shouldn't be fooled by the simplicity, for just as Jesus, told
"simple" stories with profound implications, Mark does the same. His account
is filled with powerful insights that give birth to life-changing revelations
about God. So join Mark as he takes us where Jesus walked. We will follow
his account in order, and like the disciples of old, may we walk with Jesus
throughout this quarter.
And though the Gospel itself was written by John Mark, our lessons come from
another disciple of Jesus, a modern-day disciple, one whose words have, over
the years, brought encouragement, hope, and promise to the church: Dr. William
Johnsson, editor of the Adventist Review. A prolific writer and a
well-known New Testament scholar, Dr. Johnsson takes us through the book
of Mark, giving us his own spirit-inspired insights, as well. Thus, we see
Jesus through the eyes of Mark, who comes to us this quarter through the
eyes of Bill.
Trustworthy views, to be sure.
(all lessons may
School Study Helps
Jerry Giardina of Pecos, Texas, assisted by his wife, Cheryl,
prepares a series of helps to accompany the Sabbath School lesson. He includes
all related scripture and most EGW quotations. Jerry has chosen the "New
King James Version" of the scriptures this quarter. It is used with permission.
The study helps are provided in three wordprocessing versions
Word; RTF for our MAC friends (this
is now a zip file); and HTML (Web Pages).
Last updated on March 6, 2005
Editorial Office: 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904.
Principal Contributors: William Johnsson
Editor: Clifford R. Goldstein
Associate Editor: Lyndelle Brower Chiomenti
Publication Manager: Soraya Homayouni Parish
Editorial Assistant: Larie S. Gray
Pacific Press Coordinator: Paul A. Hey
Art and Design: Lars Justinen
Concept Design: Dever Design
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General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. All Rights Reserved.
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