Posted by: richard | 13 January, 2009

Mark cover-to-cover

Reading the entire Gospel of Mark cover-to-cover last night was, for me, exciting and eye-opening.  What struck you last night about Mark, the Gospel’s structure or message, about Jesus and His message, or about anything else?  This should be an easy question to get a comment from everyone!



  1. I’ll start things off with my two big observations:

    1. The seaside feel of the first few chapters – very diferent indeed to the latter part of the book as Jesus looks towards the goal of his mission.

    2. The tension building up as Jesus hushes up his identity throughout the Gospel, stays silent during his trial, and then dramatically announces in Mark 14:62 that his IS the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One… “and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven”. Wow!

  2. Hearing the different translations and especially the tow chapters that Isaline read so beautifully in French made the story fresh and as if I was listening to it for the first time.

    I was struck by the contrast between the overall grand design of the Gospel and the little details : the cushion in the boat, making sure everyone had enough to eat, and the use of names, anchoring the events with real people who might have been known to the first hearers.

    The ‘little Apocalyse” (Chapter 13) was scary to read, but I suppose we should avoid overinterpreting it.

  3. Well despite not getting the whole gospel due to William being a bit of a tinker, the bits we individually got were great – such a great way to read the bible! I (James) found it easier to visualise certain parts, and was particularly struck by the image of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness, surrounded by angels ministering to him at the end. So ‘wilderness’ experiences dont have to be all bad! Several passages spoke to me in an individual way about issues I’m currently dealing with, as normally happens when reading the bible. But I certainly want to try again with this idea of reading out loud long passages, it brings the story alive!

  4. I was struck by Jesus’ sense of care for the well-being of the people in need around him. Plus he didn’t dismiss the annoying people who shouted at him “Oi, you, Son of God, come over here and help me!” but took the time to go and minister to them 🙂 A lesson in there for me I think! Pus the way he told them to tell no-one. I’ve heard it many times before, but when you hear it happening over and over again it’s really striking! I always want other people to know when I’ve done something for someone…!

  5. I was struck with how many times Jesus said “dont tell anyone”. if someone does something amazing for me i’m going to want to tell poeple. Reading the whole lot in one go was good just to listen to the way the story unfolds some parts made me think ch13: v7-11 all these terrible things that he described are happening now,but dont despaire the promised presence of the holy spirit is here to help us in difficult times. 🙂

  6. I felt that the whole book had much more flow than I had previously noticed. I’ve often felt that in the first part of Mark the evangelist was giving us a list of miracles with no attempt to tie them together. I was struck by the number of people that Jesus helped. Especially the demon possessed ones. The touch of divine love truly heals.
    I was breathless to get to the end and see what would happen. I also preferred the original ending. We are waiting for Jesus to come back. To leave us with an empty tomb and scared and scattered followers is so very powerful. I was struck by the connection between our waiting and Easter morning in an entirely new way.
    Last comment. Reading scripture out loud as a group felt very holy and gave the Word more immediacy (I hope that is a word…)

  7. I was very impressed by the speed and the rythm of the whole gospel where it never seems to stop : a flow of actions until the end …. like an action movie ! What a dense life Jesus had !

  8. What struck me at the time were two things:
    – the transition from lots of “doing” at the beginning to lots of “saying” towards the end. I’m still left with the impression that in a sense words are more important than actions.
    – I was quite surprised how early the Pharisees started plotting against Jesus – Mark 3!

    Do I get the prize for group laggard?

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