This is the shortest of the four New Testament books that tell about the life and teachings of Jesus, and it is also the most action-packed. From the very beginning of his ministry, Jesus worked mighty wonders.
After choosing four followers, he immediately performed many miracles of healing. Among those healed were a man with an evil spirit, the disciple Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, crowds of sick people and a man with leprosy. Over and over, Mark tells how Jesus healed people, always emphasising that he did it by the power of God.
The religious leaders refused to accept Jesus. This led to conflicts that finally made them start looking for a way to kill him. This book is full of miracles that amazed the crowds and Jesus’s followers. But, according to Mark, the most powerful miracle of Jesus is his suffering and death. The first person to understand this miracle was the Roman soldier who saw Jesus die on the cross and said:
Mark’s Gospel is widely thought to be the first one written. The many explanations of Aramaic words and Jewish customs in Mark suggest that Mark wrote to Gentile or non-Jewish Christians. He wanted to encourage his readers to believe that Jesus has the power to rescue them from sickness, demons, and death. He also wanted to show them that the life of following Jesus is not an easy life, and that they must be ready to suffer as he did.
Mark’s Gospel ends abruptly with the message of an angel outside the empty tomb of Jesus. He tells the women followers of Jesus who had discovered the tomb:
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The Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – are the first four books of the New Testament. All of them tell the story of Jesus’s life, and like four witnesses to an event, they each have a different angle on what happened, and what it all means.
You can read and print out complete copies of all of the four Gospels. The Bible version is the Contemporary English Version (CEV). Used with permission from Bible Society. Full copies of the CEV Bible can be ordered by clicking here.
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