The shortest of the gospels, it opens with the preaching of John the Baptist and closes abruptly with the women fleeing in terror from the empty tomb.

On The Cross

"My  God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 
(Mark 15:33-34)

Mark 1:1--8:26 recounts the beginning of Jesus' ministry.  Mark is the shortest gospel.  It begins with John the Baptist's preaching and Jesus' baptism.  Jesus performs miracles of healing. When a paralytic is lowered through the
roof, Jesus forgives his sins and heals him. When asked why he ate with sinners he replied that is those who are sick who need a physician. Jesus casts out demons, and when some declare that he does so by the power of Satan, Jesus warns that those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit do not have forgiveness. Jesus tells a parable about a sower scattering seed on different types of soil to show how different types of people respond to God's word. At Jesus' command, demons leave a possessed man and enter a herd of pigs, who plunge into the sea. Pharisees complain that Jesus' disciples do not follow traditional rites for purification, and Jesus responds that people are not defiled what comes from outside, but by the sins that come from within a person.

Mark 8:27-16:8 completes Jesus' ministry and passion.  Jesus asks who people say that he is, and Peter confesses that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus begins teaching them that he must suffer many things. Jesus appears in glory, along with Moses and Elijah, at his "Transfiguration," but he continues speaking of his death. A rich young ruler asks about the way to eternal life, and Jesus tells him to give away his possessions and follow. The crowds praise him when he rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. He teaches in the Temple and eats the Passover with his disciples. He prays in the garden of Gethsemane and is arrested. His trial and crucifixion culminate with the words, " My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" and in the centurion's confession that Jesus is the Son of God. On the third day several women find that Jesus' tomb is empty. An angelic messenger declares that Jesus is risen and will meet the disciples in Galilee. The women flee the tomb in terror.

Mark 1:1-10 - Jesus' baptism
Mark 2:1-12 - Forgiveness and healing
Mark 15:21-41 - Jesus' death


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Photo by Craig Koester.

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