The Message of John Mark

As we turn the calendar to the new year of 2019, my one-year bible has me once again beginning at Genesis 1, at Psalm 1, Matthew 1, and Proverbs 1. It is so good to begin the new year with the gospel. Last January, we began our year with “Building a Prayer Life” and followed into Lent with the series on the “Seven Last Words of Christ.” The “Bells Series” was our focus in the spring. During the summer weeks we continued to walk through Paul’s missionary journeys in the book of Acts. In September we began exploring our Vision Statement, “A community of believers being transformed by the love of Jesus, bringing healing, hope and good news in a broken world”. The months of October and November had us delve into “The Seven Deadly Sins”. Throughout December, we had a Narnia theme for Advent and Christmas. Now, during these first new weeks of January and February 2019, I thought we’d once again focus our hearts on the gospels. If you asked what my favourite gospel was, I’d probably say the book of John. If you would ask me which gospel I preached from most often, I’d say the book of Matthew and Luke. The shortest gospel is the book of Mark. There are 16 chapters in Mark, compared to 28 in Matthew, 24 in Luke, and 21 in John. Of all the gospels, I have preached the least amount of sermons from the book of Mark. According to biblical studies, Mark was a close associate to the Apostle Peter. He is first mentioned in Acts 12:12, around the house of his mother; “When this had dawned on him (Peter), he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying.” Mark joined Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey but he deserted them in Perga, which deeply disappointed Paul, not wanting him to join them on their second or third missionary journey. But we read in the last verses of 2 Timothy that John Mark regained the fullest confidence of Paul at the end of his life. His gospel writings seem to have come from the preaching and teaching gained from the Apostle Peter. The gospel of Mark is believed to have been the first gospel written, in the early 50’s or 60’s, and more than likely in the area of Rome. Mark’s gospel may well have been occasioned by the persecutions of Rome, between the period of 64 through 67 A.D. The famous “Fire of Rome,” was set in 64 A.D. and Nero blamed Christians for setting the blaze. The gospel of John Mark tends to emphasize discipleship, the cross of Jesus that includes suffering, his teachings and Messianic secret. In January and February, welcome to a series of sermons called “Messages from John Mark.”   

                                                                                                  Pastor Sid

Karin Terpstra