Study through the Gospel of Mark
Widespread evidence from the early church fathers affirms that Peter passed on reports of the words and deeds of Jesus to his attendant and writer, John Mark. Of particular significance in this regard are the brief statements by Papias (Bishop of Hierapolis; c. A.D. 120), preserved by Eusebius of Caesarea (260–340). Papias states that he received oral tradition from John the elder and apostle, and he passes on the following regarding Mark: (1) he was the writer for Peter; (2) he wrote down accurately as much as he could remember of Peter’s words, which the latter had adapted to the needs of the moment; (3) he was not an eyewitness of Jesus, nor a disciple (but see note on Mark 14:52); and (4) it was his desire not to omit or misrepresent anything. Papias concluded that the Gospel of Mark gains its apostolic and reliable character from its Petrine origin (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 2.15.1–2; 3.39.14–16).
Internal evidence also supports the Patristic testimony that Peter stands behind Mark’s Gospel. Mark’s account is especially vivid when recounting incidents involving Peter. It presents the weaknesses of Peter, as well as the disciples as a whole, and omits praiseworthy or noticeable references to Peter reported in Matthew and Luke. It has also been observed that there exists a certain structural proximity between Peter’s Caesarea speech (Acts 10:34–43) and the Gospel of Mark.
Although Mark is the earliest of the four Gospels, because it is shorter and has much less teaching than the others, it has often tended to suffer neglect. At one level his story is straightforward. After a prologue, which introduces us to the good news about Jesus Christ (1:1-15), the story unfolds in four parts. In part 1 (1:16-3:6), Jesus goes public with the announcement of the kingdom.
With rapid-fire action he calls disciples, drives out demons, heals the sick, and announces that all of this has to do with coming of God’s rule’ in the process he draws amazement from the crowds and opposition from the religious and political establishment, who early on plot his death.
Part 2 (3:7-8:21) develops the role of the three significant groups. Jesus’ miracles and teaching are sources of constant amazement to the crowds; the disciples receive private instruction (4:13, 34) and join in the proclamation (6:7-13), but are slow to understand (8:14-21; cf. 6:52); the opposition continues to mount (7:1-23; 8:11-13).
In part 3 (8:22-10:45), Jesus directs his attention primarily to the disciples. Three times he explains the nature of his kingship–and hence of discipleship (8:34-38)–as going the way of the cross (as Isaiah’s suffering servant; Mark 10:45), and three times the disciples completely miss it.
Part 4 (10:46-15:47) brings the story to its climax. The king enters Jerusalem and the crowds go wild with excitement, but in the end the opposition has its day. Jesus is put on trial, found guilty, and turned over to the Romans for execution on the cross–as “the king of the Jews” (15:2).
A brief epilogue (16:1-8) reminds Mark’s readers that “[Jesus] has risen!” 
 ESV: Study Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles, 2008. 1889.
 Fee, Gordon D, and Douglas K. Stuart. How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 2002. 277-278.
READ • REMEMBER • REFLECT
- Read the passages slowly. Write out the verses you want to remember. Write how God spoke to you through the passages.
- Write a prayer of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication using specific phrases from today’s passages.