The second Gospel does not indicate who its human author is, but the ancient Christian writers are unanimous in ascribing it to Mark, who was associated with both the apostles Peter and Paul in the early Christian Church. Mark’s home was Jerusalem, for that is where his mother Mary lived. The missionary Barnabas was Mark’s close relative.
Internal evidence suggests that Mark intended his Gospel for Gentile readers rather than Jewish readers. The emphasis throughout is on the works and deeds of Jesus rather than on His words. Most of the accounts contained in Mark’s Gospel are found also in Matthew’s Gospel or in Luke’s Gospel. But Mark’s Gospel provides additional details that were most likely relayed to
Mark by Peter, who was, of course, an eyewitness of almost all the events
in Jesus’ ministry.
Not many years ago a British actor went from place to place reciting on stage nothing more nor less than the plain text of Mark’s Gospel in its entirety according to the King James Version. Reports indicate that this presentation
was popular and effective.
But for us Christians the Gospel of Mark is more than a literary masterpiece. It is an authentic record of Jesus’ mighty deeds as our Savior and Lord, inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself. As we begin this new year of our Lord 2014, let us read and meditate on what Mark calls “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1).