For many centuries Mark’s Gospel took a backseat to its cousin, the Gospel of Matthew. In recent decades Mark has found its way back onto centre stage in the study of the four Gospels. Scholars are discovering the rich theological heritage left us by the author of this superb account of the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Unlike readers of most “stories,” the original Christian readers and hearers of Mark knew the ending: Jesus had been crucified and had risen from the dead! The plot of Mark is shot through with hints that look toward the end of the story. The Gospel of Mark is unique among the gospels and unlike most other narratives in that the crises which emerge during its course are not resolved by the end of the story. Although much is resolved by the end, especially with Jesus’ Resurrection, much of Mark’s plot is only resolved in and through the lives of those reading or hearing the story. A good story teller gives enough to the reader to make him or her sufficiently curious to continue reading – the reader is never given all the answers! Great narratives always keep promising the great prize of understanding, a prize that will come later. And the ‘later’ of Mark’s Gospel is the ‘now’ of the Christian reader.
In this course you will journey with the disciples on the way to discovering who Jesus really is. The course is designed to highlight the rich tapestry of themes that run throughout Mark’s Gospel, the main theme of which focuses on the very identity of Jesus. Through all the twists and turns that Mark presents in the ministry of Jesus and the disciples’ path of faith, you will be surprised and even shocked to discover the ultimate twist to the ending of this Gospel.
So come and join us in discovering Jesus through the eyes of Mark, an amazing story teller.
- To discover how Mark beautifully draws you, the reader or hearer of this Gospel, into the drama set before you.
- To view the Gospel of Mark in terms of a play, in which the characters lead us to a greater appreciation and realisation of who Jesus really is.
- To see the difference between how the disciples (i.e., the ‘insiders’ of the Gospel) and those seemingly ‘outside’ of the Gospel view and react to Jesus’ call: where do you fit?
- To understand why Jesus charges many, who seemingly receive his attention and care, not to tell anyone what he has done for them – what scholars call, Jesus’ Messianic Secret.
Lecture 1: Methods of Biblical Interpretation, Introduction and Background to Mark’s Gospel.
Lecture 2: Mark’s Prologue: The Gospel Announced through Jesus’ Prophet (Chapter 1).
Lecture 3: Jesus’ Temptations and the Galilean Ministry (Chapter 1).
Lecture 4: First Signs of Opposition & the Renewed People of God (Chapters 2 & 3).
Lecture 5: Jesus Teaches in Parables & Demonstrates the Power of the Kingdom (Chapters 4 & 5).
Lecture 6: Jesus Shares His Ministry (Chapter 6).
Lecture 7: Unto the Gentiles Jesus Goes & the Messiah Who must Suffer and Die (Chapters 7 & 8).
Lecture 8: Disciples Instructed on the Way (Chapters 9 & 10).
Lecture 9: Jesus Enters Jerusalem (Chapter 11).
Lecture 10: The Showdown for Authority in Jerusalem & Jesus’ Eschatological Discourse (Chapters 12 & 13).
Lecture 11: Jesus Confronts Death (Chapter 14).
Lecture 12: Jesus’ Trial, Crucifixion, Death, Burial and Resurrection (Chapters 15 & 16).