DISCOVER THE MIRACLES OF JESUS IN THE GOSPEL OF MARK
This eBook discusses several miracles that took place throughout the Gospel of Mark, including the healing of the blind man, Jesus calming the seas, and Jesus walking on water.
It is our prayer that this resource will bring you closer to the Lord.
St. Mark is known by three names in Scripture, the best known being a Greek name Mark, used among the Gentiles (Acts 15:39). He is also called by his Jewish birth name John (Acts 13:5-13), and by both, John Mark (Acts 12:12 , 15:37).
As with saints generally, St. Mark’s feast day is the day of his death. On April 25th, 68 A.D., he was dragged through the streets of Alexandria for his faith in Christ, leaving both blood and flesh on the pavement stones. During the entire time he never ceased praising God and thanking Him for his sufferings.
The proclamation of the Gospel (or apostolic kerygma) is classically presented in the Pentecost address of St. Peter (esp. Acts 2: 36-38). It is not surprising, therefore, that his secretary Mark should begin his own account with the ministry of repentance of John the Baptist (Mk. 1:4) and this succinct proclamation, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:4, 14-15).
This would be, of course, the heart of the Lord’s own message and what the apostles were to do when they were sent out (Mk. 6:12). Fidelity to God was not to be characterized simply by an external fidelity to law, even though justice requires it, but by an interior changing of the heart and mind to the ways of God. This Way was a Person, whose example and teaching express a divine love that perfectly fulfills justice (cf. Mk. 7:18-23; Mk. 12:28-34).
“Go out to the whole world, and preach the Gospel to all creation, alleluia.” - Entrance Antiphon, cf. Mark 16:15
In a general way, the Gospel of Mark can be seen as a detailed development of St. Peter’s discourses in the Acts of the Apostles (cf. Acts 2:22-26; 3:12-26; 10:36-43), and so it is a like a living mirror of St. Peter’s preaching and his ministry.
Although the term “evangelist” can apply generically to anyone who preaches the Gospel, it is generally only formally used for the four Gospel writers, whose writings were accepted by the Church as inspired by God, and therefore, part of Divine Revelation. In addition to St. Mark, they are St. Matthew, St. Luke, and St. John.
While Mark’s Gospel is the shortest, it remains a lasting treasure for all those who seek Christ. He wrote his Gospel to proclaim that Jesus was the Son of God who suffered and died to save us from sin and death. When we read Mark’s Gospel, we learn that to be a follower of Jesus, we, too, must be willing to make sacrifices, to “let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34).
“And Jesus said to them: ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’” - Mark 1:17
In addition to be being the founder and patron of the Coptic Church, and Egypt itself, St. Mark is the patron saint of the city of Venice, Italy, many other cities, some professions, such as lawyers, and against some diseases (such as scrofula).
The parable of the growing seed (Mk. 4:26-29) explains the supernatural growth of the Kingdom until its fulfillment at the end of history with the natural growth of a seed into the fully flowered plant. The seed grows into the plant under God’s care according to the nature God has given it, and similarly the Kingdom of Christ, present in seed in the Church He founded, grows in accordance with its supernatural nature by virtue of the divine will and not the will of man. Christians must spread the “seed”, but exercising patience and trust regarding the growth of the Kingdom.
Mark follows this with the parable of the mustard seed (Mk. 4:30-32), which teaches a similar but different lesson about the Kingdom, that it will grow until it fills the whole world.
Mark was not an apostle in the specific sense of “one of the Twelve,” chosen by Christ as a principle witness of His death and resurrection, and thereby the foundation of the Church (Eph. 2:20). However, he was a disciple who followed Jesus during His life, and who, during the age of the apostles, sought to spread knowledge and belief in Christ.
“And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.’” - Mark 16:15-16
While Mark wrote his Gospel in Rome, it has always been the common opinion that he did so in Greek, not in Latin. Greek was understood everywhere. It was the language of the Septuagint, the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures used by Greek-speaking Jews. It would be the language of the apostolic writings which would form the New Testament ––with the exception of Matthew’s Gospel, likely written in Hebrew or Aramaic for the Jewish people, and only later translated into Greek.
According to St. Jerome “Mark the disciple and interpreter of Peter wrote a short gospel at the request of the brethren at Rome embodying what he had heard Peter tell. When Peter had heard this, he approved it and published it to the churches to be read by his authority as Clemens in the sixth book of his Hypotyposes and Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, record. Peter also mentions this Mark in his first epistle, figuratively indicating Rome under the name of Babylon “She who is in Babylon elect together with you salute you and so does Mark my son.” [Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men, Ch. 5]
“All things are possible to him who believes.” - Mark 9:23
While all the writers of the Gospel highlight a significant portion of Jesus’ final acts, it was His Ascension into Heaven in the presence of the disciples that was particularly mentioned in the Gospel of Mark. Jesus ultimately rose up in a cloud that hid Him from their view, but two angels came to tell them that He would return one day in a similar manner. Jesus sits at the right hand of His Father in Heaven.
Mark joined Paul and Barnabas on St. Paul’s First Missionary Journey, but returned home before the journey was over, upsetting St. Paul. Approximately ten years later we find him in Rome as St. Peter’s secretary and interpreter.
The Church that St. Mark eventually founded was in Alexandria, Egypt, where he later died as a martyr. St. Jerome tells us, “So, taking the gospel which he himself composed, he went to Egypt and first preaching Christ at Alexandria he formed a church so admirable in doctrine and continence of living that he constrained all followers of Christ to his example. Philo most learned of the Jews seeing the first church at Alexandria still Jewish in a degree, wrote a book on their manner of life as something creditable to his nation telling how, as Luke says, the believers had all things in common at Jerusalem, so he recorded that he saw was done at Alexandria, under the learned Mark."
And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” – Mark 14: 22-25
St. Mark is commonly depicted as a winged lion. We also associate the lion to Jesus Christ, who was “the lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev 5:5). A lion is a kingly beast and courageous. Thus, Mark shows us that as Christians we are also called to be courageous and to spread the Good News of Christ.
This strange image for St. Mark is an association which was made early in the Church. It draws from Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 4, in which four living creatures or beings are shown at the throne of God, serving and worshipping Him, together with the 24 elders, the 12 patriarchs of Israel and the 12 apostles of the Church. Each angelic figure is winged, and each one has a different face, that of Man, a Lion, an Ox or an Eagle. Almost as soon as the Church was able to own and decorate churches, these images entered into Christian iconography––the Lion for Mark, the Man for Matthew, the Ox for Luke and the Eagle for John.
While St. Mark was martyred in Alexandria, he is currently buried in the Italian city of Venice. Today, his relics are venerated in St. Mark’s Basilica.
Videos About St. Mark
St. Mark tells the story of Jesus’ life in a straightforward manner; as “on the move”; interested in the activities of Jesus’ life.
While there are quite a few notable quotes from the Gospel of Mark, one that particularly stands out is towards the end of the Gospel. Recording the statement of the Roman Centurion on Calvary, Mark writes: “And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!’” (Mark 15:39).
It is understood that St. Mark was of Jewish extraction or came from the Jewish faith. The style of his Gospel abounding with Hebraisms shows that Mark was by birth a Jew, and that the Hebrew language was more natural to him than the Greek.