Christy

The Gospel of Mark Explained with Illustrations by The Bible Project

Charts and images help us quickly comprehend concepts. That’s why before you read the Gospel of Mark, I recommend you watch this brief video produced by The Bible Project. As the narrator explains the Gospel of Mark chapter by chapter, the scenes are illustrated on a chart demonstrating the structure and flow of the text. It’s fascinating to watch the drawings in progress before your eyes. The video does an excellent job of showing how the individual events work together to form a larger narrative about Jesus. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Download a Free Digital Copy of the Poster from the Video

These illustrated charts are so helpful, I encourage you to download a copy for personal study. It’s free! Courtesy of The Bible Project.

[button link=”https://thebibleproject.com/product/mark-poster/” color=”purple” newwindow=”yes”] Mark Poster[/button]

 

Video Transcript

0:03
The gospel according to Mark:
0:05
it’s one of the first accounts of the life of Jesus
0:07
and our earliest historical traditions link this book to a Christian scribe
0:11
named Mark, or John Mark.
0:13
He was co-worker with Paul and close partner with Peter.
0:16
And in fact an ancient church historian named Papias he recalls
0:21
that Mark had collected all of the eyewitness accounts and memories of Peter
0:25
and then shape them in this account.
0:27
But Mark didn’t just randomly throw the pieces together
0:30
he’s carefully designed the story of Jesus.
0:33
In the first line of the book Mark makes this claim about Jesus:
0:36
“it’s the beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah the Son of God.”
0:42
And it’s interesting is that this is the only time
0:44
Mark is going to tell you what he thinks.
0:46
For the rest of the book is going to influence you
0:48
by simply putting Jesus’ actions and words in front of you
0:52
and showing you how other people react to Him.
0:55
Now Mark design the story of Jesus as a drama with three acts:
0:58
the first one set in Galilee, the third one is set in Jerusalem
1:02
and the second act shows Jesus on the way from one place to the other.
1:06
In each of the acts he focuses on repeated theme
1:09
so in act 1 everybody’s blown away by Jesus and they’re wondering who is this Jesus
1:14
In act 2 it’s the disciples who are struggling to understand
1:18
what it means for Jesus to be the Messiah.
1:20
And then in act 3 we watch the surprising paradox of how Jesus becomes the Messianic King.
1:26
Let’s just dive in and you’ll see how it unfolds.
1:28
After the opening line Mark begin with a quotation from the ancient prophets
1:32
Isaiah and Malachi who said that God would send messengers Israel
1:36
to prepare them for when God would show up himself to rescue His people
1:40
and become their King.
1:41
And Mark introduces John the Baptist as the messenger
1:45
and then right when you expect God to show it personally Mark introduces Jesus.
1:50
And as He comes onto the scene heavens open, God’s Spirit descends on Jesus
1:54
and God says: “You are my beloved Son.”
1:57
After this Mark places in front of us a summary of Jesus’ core message.
2:01
He went about Galilee announcing the good news that God’s kingdom has come near.
2:06
Jesus is carrying forward the story from the Old Testament scriptures
2:09
about God’s rescue operation for His world
2:12
Through Jesus God is restoring His reign over the world
2:16
by confronting and defeating evil and its hold on people’s lives.
2:20
And them by inviting them to live under His reign by following Jesus
2:25
From here Mark given us a big block of stories
2:27
showing us Jesus power as He brings God’s kingdom.
2:31
he goes about healing people whose bodies are sick
2:34
or broken or under the oppression of dark spiritual powers.
2:38
And Jesus even does something that for Jewish people only God has the right to do:
2:42
he forgives people sins.
2:44
And Jesus actions here produce lots of different responses:
2:47
so some people follow Him and become His disciples,
2:50
other people don’t know what to think and still others reject Him completely,
2:54
especially Israel’s leaders who accuse Him of blaspheming God
2:58
and being powered by evil.
3:00
But Jesus isn’t surprised by these responses, in fact He draws attention to it.
3:05
In chapter 4 Mark has collected many of Jesus parables
3:08
about the hidden mysterious nature of God’s kingdom.
3:12
Jesus says that His message is like seed falling on different types of soil:
3:16
some receptive some not; or it’s like a mustard seed that’s very tiny
3:21
it seems insignificant but then it grows huge and surprises everyone.
3:26
Jesus’ point is that He really is the Messiah bringing God’s kingdom,
3:31
but it doesn’t look like what anybody expected.
3:34
This growing confusion about Jesus among the crowds is connected to a key idea
3:39
Mark emphasizes at the end of Act 1
3:41
that even among Jesus disciples there’s confusion
3:44
even they’re struggling to grasp who Jesus really is
3:47
and that brings us to act 2.
3:49
It begins with a crucial conversation:
3:51
Jesus takes the disciples aside and He asks: “who do you all say that I Am?”
3:55
And Peter speaks up saying: “You are The Messiah,”
3:58
but it becomes clear that for Peter this means
4:01
that Jesus is a victorious military King from the line of David
4:05
will rescue Israel from the Romans,
4:07
but for Jesus to be the Messiah means that he is the suffering servant King
4:12
of Isaiah 53 who will bring God’s rule by giving up His life in Jerusalem.
4:18
An the disciples they don’t get it
4:20
they think following King Jesus is going to mean fame and status and importance.
4:24
And Jesus makes it clear that far following Him is actually like dying,
4:28
like carrying your own cross.
4:30
It means rejecting violence and pride and selfishness
4:34
and giving one’s life out for others and acts of service and love.
4:37
He has the same conversation with them two more times
4:41
and it all culminates in Jesus’ important statement
4:44
that the Son of man did not come to be served, but to become a servant
4:48
and give His life as a ransom for many.
4:50
The disciples still don’t get it they respond confusion and fear.
4:55
And so here in act 2 Mark has placed another key story that echoes the books introduction.
5:00
Jesus takes three of His disciples up to a mountain
5:03
and He suddenly transformed is radiating with light and glory
5:07
and a cloud envelops them.
5:08
Now this is just like the glory of the God of Israel
5:11
that showed up long ago on Mount Sinai.
5:14
And then the two prophets who stood in God’s presence on Mount Sinai,
5:18
Mosses and Elijah they appear next to Jesus as God announces again:
5:22
“This is my beloved Son.”
5:24
Now by placing this story in the middle of all these conversations in act 2
5:29
Mark is making an astounding claim
5:31
that Jesus God’s Son is the physical embodiment of God’s own glory.
5:37
And Jesus the glorious God of Israel is going to become King
5:41
by suffering and dying for the sins of His own people.
5:45
It’s a puzzling claim that confuses and scares the disciples
5:49
as they leave the mountain which brings us to act 3.
5:52
Jesus makes a very public royal entry into Jerusalem for Passover.
5:56
People are hailing Him as the Messiah
5:58
then He enters into the temple courtyard and He asserts His royal authority
6:02
by running out the thieves and crooks and stopping the sacrificial system.
6:07
Then this kicks off a whole week of Jesus debating
6:09
and confronting the leaders of Israel condemning their hypocrisy
6:13
and so they set in motion a plan to have him killed.
6:16
And Jesus warn His disciples predicting that Jerusalem
6:19
and it’s temple will be destroyed within a generation
6:22
and His disciples will be persecuted just like Him
6:26
until He return one day to bring God’s kingdom fully over the world
6:30
And it all leads up to the final night
6:32
Jesus has His last Passover meal with the disciples,
6:35
a symbolic meal, that told the story of Israel’s liberation from slavery
6:40
through the death of the Passover lamb.
6:42
And Jesus takes these symbols and gives the new meaning:
6:45
they point to the liberation from sin and death
6:48
that will happen through the death of the suffering servant Messiah
6:52
From here the story rushes forward to Jesus arrest
6:54
His trial before Israel’s priest in the Roman governor Pilate
6:58
all resulting in Jesus’ crucifixion.
7:01
And culminates in a key scene that matches the important scenes from acts 1 and 2.
7:06
Except this time it’s darkness that descends not a cloud
7:10
and instead of the divine voice from heaven it’s Jeusus’ crying out before He dies.
7:17
And then most surprising is that it’s a Roman soldier who sees Jesus died
7:21
who grasps and then announces who Jesus is:
7:25
“this man was the Son of God.”
7:27
He’s the first person in the story
7:29
to recognize the story shocking claim about Jesus’ identity
7:34
that it’s the crucified Son of God who is the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth,
7:38
who died for His friend and for His enemies.
7:42
After this Jesus’ body is placed in a tomb
7:45
and on the first day of the new week two women from His disciples come to the tomb
7:50
and they discover that the tomb is empty, the stone is rolled away
7:53
And then angelic man informs them that Jesus isn’t here
7:57
that he’s risen from the death.
7:59
And so he orders them to go and tell this good news to the others disciples
8:02
that Jesus is alive that he’ll meet them back up in Galilee.
8:06
And the women they’re freaked out;
8:08
Mark say that they fled from from the tomb in terror,
8:11
telling no one, for they were afraid.
8:13
And that’s how the book ends:
8:15
with Jesus disciples showing the same kind of fear and confusion
8:18
that concluded acts 2 and 1.
8:21
Now if you look at your Bible you’ll see
8:23
that the gospel of Mark has more to its ending
8:26
where Jesus appears, He speaks to His disciples
8:28
but there’s also a note here telling you that ending is not part of the original book
8:33
that it’s only found in later less reliable manuscripts.
8:36
Now it’s possible that the original ending got lost
8:39
or that Mark actually never finished his account,
8:41
but it’s more likely that this abrupt ending is intentional
8:45
to make a point the entire story has focused on the shocking claim
8:49
the puzzle Jesus disciples from beginning to end;
8:52
that is the suffering, crucified and risen Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God
8:58
that God’s love and upside-down kingdom were revealed
9:02
as Jesus died for the sins of the world.
9:05
And so the story ends without closure and it forces you, the reader,
9:09
to grapple with this very strange and scandalous claim about Jesus.
9:13
And are you gonna run away like the disciples,
9:15
or you going to recognize Jesus as your King and going tell the good news?
9:20
And only you can answer that question.
9:23
And that’s what the gospel of Mark is all about.

 

Christy

An Animated Explanation of the Gospel According to Mark by The Bible Project

Jesus wasn’t the kind of Messiah (Savior) the people were expecting. They anticipated a political king who would overthrow the Romans and restore Israel as an independent nation. That wasn’t the kind of king Jesus came to be. This raises some questions that needed to be answered so Mark (or John Mark) set out to write a biography of Jesus to explain these things.

The Gospel of Mark answers these questions about the identity and purpose of Jesus, the Messiah predicted by the Old Testament prophets. The video by The Bible Project explains this outline of Mark in more detail.

 

Mark’s Outline

Mark 1-8  Who is Jesus?

Mark 8:27 – 10  Who do you say I am?

Mark 11-16  How did Jesus become the Messianic King?

 

 

 

You might also be interested in a video by The Bible Project: Animated Explanation of the Messiah.

 

 

Video Transcript

0:00
The Gospel of Mark is a book in the Bible about the life of Jesus and the
0:04
earliest reliable tradition tells us was written by a guy named John Mark.
0:08
Now, Mark didn’t just grab a bunch of random stories about Jesus and throw them together.
0:12
He’s designed this book to address some really specific questions about whether or not Jesus was the Jewish Messiah.
0:18
So let’s stop right there, because that’s a term a lot of people like me are not familiar with.
0:24
The Messiah was a royal figure, sometimes called ‘the son of god’,
0:28
that Israel was expecting to come and set up a Kingdom here on earth.
0:33
Around the time of Jesus, Israel was occupied by Rome
0:36
and so many Jews were hoping that the Messiah would come and overthrow the Romans and rule as King.
0:42
But Jesus didn’t overthrow the Romans, in fact, he was killed by them.
0:46
And that brings us to the very issues Mark is trying to get at in his book.
0:51
So in the first half, he focuses on WHO Jesus is, ‘is he really the messiah?’
0:56
And then in the second half he’s addressing HOW Jesus became the Messianic king
1:01
and right here in the middle of the book is this pivotal story that brings the two halves together,
1:06
and Jesus answers both of these questions.
1:09
So lets talk about the first half of the book – Who Jesus is
1:13
So Mark, makes his beliefs about Jesus very clear from the first line of the book:
1:17
“the beginning of the good news about Jesus, the messiah, the son of God”.
1:21
One of the next stories is Jesus getting baptized,
1:24
and God’s voice announces from heaven: “This is my Son”.
1:28
So it couldn’t really be more clear, they’re presenting Jesus as the Messiah.
1:31
Yes, but, as you’re reading through the first half of Mark, you’ll notice something really interesting start to happen.
1:37
Jesus is healing all these different people, and constantly telling them to keep quiet about who he is.
1:44
This happens so many times in Mark’s account, it’s very strange.
1:48
Yeah, why keep it a secret?
1:50
Remember, lots of Jews had lots of different expectations about what the messiah would be and do,
1:56
so Jesus doesn’t want people to misunderstand what it means for him to be the Messiah.
2:02
So, with that in mind, we now get to the pivotal story at the center of the book
2:06
where Jesus takes his disciples away and asks, “Who do you all say that I am.”
2:10
And Peter says what everyone has been saying “your are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
2:15
But then something new happens, Jesus starts explaining to them How he’s going to become the messianic King,
2:21
and it’s not what they expected:
2:23
he says he’s going to ‘suffer and die’ and rule by being a servant, or in his words,
2:29
The Son of Man didn’t come to be served but to become a servant and give his life as a ransom for many.”
2:35
Peter’s so startled by this he rebukes Jesus because there is no way he is going to let Jesus die.
2:41
And Jesus responds, Get behind me Satan. Which is really intense.
2:47
It really is, but it highlights how important it for Jesus that his disciples come to understand who he really is;
2:54
so in this pivotal section, Jesus tries 3x to have this conversation with them, and each they respond in confusion, and even fear.
2:59
and each they respond in confusion, and even fear.
3:03
OK, so this launches us into the second half of the book where Mark addresses the question of how Jesus becomes the messianic king.
3:10
this is the last week of Jesus’ life, where Jesus goes to to Jerusalem,
3:14
gets into conflict with the religious leaders and gets arrested…
3:17
He’s put on trial as someone claiming to be king of the Jews.
3:21
He’s even given a crown and purple robe, like a king would get, but it’s all a cruel joke,
3:28
then he is mocked and beaten and hung on the cross where he dies.
3:32
And at this crucial scene there is a new character
3:36
A Roman Soldier
3:36
who suddenly gets everything that is going on…
3:39
he says “surely this is the Son of God”
3:41
which is crazy, it’s an enemy who’s first putting it all together, that Israel’s messianic king is the crucified Jesus.
3:50
That is the structure of the book of Mark, but the book doesn’t end with Jesus dead on the cross.
3:56
No, on the 3rd day some women go to visit Jesus’ tomb,
3:59
only to find that the it’s empty and there’s this angel standing there instructing them
4:04
“go and tell” this good news that Jesus is alive from the dead.
4:09
But instead they run away, and don’t tell anyone because they are afraid… And that is how the book ends.
4:15
Which is a really abrupt ending.
4:17
Yeah, so abrupt that later scribes did add an ending that brings more closure to the story,
4:23
you’ll find that story in your bible with a footnote that it was added much later.
4:28
But Mark’s a brilliant storyteller, and he intentionally ended the book abruptly,
4:32
All through the book the disciples have been confused about Jesus’ plan to give up his life,
4:37
the story in the middle and now here at the end.
4:40
it’s like Mark is acknowledging just how startling this claim really is.
4:44
and he wants you the reader to wrestle with it for yourself:
4:47
is the crucified Jesus really the Messiah they have been waiting for?

Christy

Destruction of the Temple Foretold by Jesus

Did Jesus predict the destruction of Jerusalem? Was the destruction of the Temple foretold by Jesus? Here is the scripture that many reference:

“Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” (Mark 13:1-2)

Then Jesus went on to deliver a cryptic account of the signs of things to come. He mentioned nation rising against nation, kingdom rising against kingdom, earthquakes and famines… Even the sun, moon and stars would somehow be dramatically affected.

Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. He also warned his followers to be on guard — for they would be arrested, tried, tortured, and killed on account of their association with him. He spoke of terrible times in the future, but also gave hope for his glorious return to set things right again.

Over the last 2,000 years, theologians have debated what Jesus really meant in his discussion of the “end times” and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. There are a wide variety of theories regarding these Gospel passages, especially the signs and timing of this “end of days” scenario. However, we do know that in 70 AD — some 37 years after Jesus made this prediction — Rome sacked Jerusalem and destroyed it. The destruction of the Temple foretold by Jesus was complete.

(See Mark 13:1-4 and Matthew 24:1-3)

 

 

 

Christy

Holy Week: The Final Days of Christ

The four Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John recount the biography of Jesus. Sometimes it’s not easy to put together the sequence of events when they are spread across four books so I’ve assembled a quick reference guide.

The final week of Christ’s life is known as Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday. For each day, I’ve listed the key events that occurred and some suggested readings that cover the events for that day. I hope this makes it easier to follow the progression of events leading up to the death and resurrection of Christ.

Be sure to download a free PDF chart of this information at the bottom of this post.

 


 

Palm Sunday

Events at a Glance

  • The Triumphant Entry

 

Suggested Readings

  • (   )  Matthew 21:1-9
  • (   )  Mark 11:1-10
  • (   )  Luke 19:29-44
  • (   )  John 12:12-19

 


 

Monday

Events at a Glance

  • Jesus Curses a Fig Tree
  • Jesus Cleanses the Temple
  • Jesus Foretells His Death

 

Suggested Readings

  • (   )  Matthew 21:10-19
  • (   )  Mark 11:12-18
  • (   )  Luke 19:45-48
  • (   )  John 12:20-50

 


 

Tuesday

Events at a Glance

  • The Withered Fig Tree
  • Religious Leaders Challenge Jesus
  • Jesus’ Last Sermon
  • Jesus Tells of the Future
  • Mary Anoints Jesus
  • Judas Sells Out Jesus

 

Suggested Readings

  • (   )  Matthew 21:20 – 26:16
  • (   )  Mark 11:19 – 14:11
  • (   )  Luke 20:1 – 22:6
  • (   )  John 12:2-8

 


 

Wednesday

Events at a Glance

  • No Known Events

 

Suggested Readings

  • (   )  Psalm 22
  • (   )  Isaiah 53

 


 

Thursday

Events at a Glance

  • Preparation for the Passover Meal
  • Jesus Washes Feet
  • Jesus Redefines the Meaning of Passover
  • Judas Defects
  • Prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane

 

Suggested Readings

  • (   )  Matthew 26:17-75
  • (   )  Mark 14:12-42
  • (   )  Luke 22:7-46
  • (   )  John 13:1 – 18:1

 


 

Friday

Events at a Glance

  • Betrayal, Arrest, Desertion
  • Trial by Ciaphas
  • Peter’s Denials
  • Suicide of Judas
  • Jesus Appears before Pilate, Taken to Herod, Returns to Pilate
  • Soldiers Beat Jesus
  • Jesus Carries the Cross
  • The Crucifixion of Jesus
  • The Death of Jesus
  • The Burial of Jesus

 

Suggested Readings

  • (   )  Matthew 26:47 – 27:66
  • (   )  Mark 14:43 – 15:47
  • (   )  Luke 22:47 – 23:56
  • (   )  John 18:2 – 19:37

 


 

Saturday

Events at a Glance

  • Soldiers Guard the Tomb on the Sabbath

 

Suggested Readings

  • (   )  Romans 5
  • (   )  1 Corinthians 15
  • (   )  Philippians 2:1-11

 


 

Easter Sunday

Events at a Glance

  • Women Visit the Tomb
  • Peter and John Verify the Empty Tomb
  • Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene and Other Women
  • Guards Make a Report
  • Jesus Appears to Two Men on the Road to Emmaus
  • Jesus Appears to Ten Disciples without Thomas

 

Suggested Readings

  • (   )  Matthew 28:1-15
  • (   )  Mark 16:1-14
  • (   )  Luke 24:1-43
  • (   )  John 20:1-25

 


 

Free Download

 

Holy Week Bible Reading Chart

 

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