The Book of Mark Influence to the Church … Essay
Pages: 9 (2661 words) | Style: MLA | Sources: 3
Book of Mark, or otherwise known as the Gospel of Mark, is regarded as one of the most accurate records of the teachings of Christ and the events that surrounded him here on earth. The details of this book give proof to support the argument that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was and is the one and only true Messiah, and that belief in Jesus is the only true path to salvation. The fact that the Gospel of Mark has not been altered in any way shows the significance or value attached to its records from the very start. When compared to the other gospels in the Bible, the book of Mark is rather short; however it provides a basis for most of the other Gospel books. The authors of the gospel of Luke and Matthew seem to have integrated in their books every detail that was necessary to remember from Mark's gospel, so as to give in their books more complete and detailed accounts. The book of Mark has however remained, in terms of origin, the most authentic gospel and is very highly valued by different Christian denominations, particularly, the church of Rome, which ended up becoming the biggest denomination of Christian churches (Summary and Analysis The Gospel of Mark para 1).
Similar to the other Gospels, the book of Mark is about the works of Christ on earth. Christ's teaching ministry, healing ministry and the miracles he performed in the name of God, and most of all, the sacrifice he made so that all who believed in him could live. Though, the work of Jesus Christ is truly unique, it is amazingly a seamless component of God's plan for salvation and what he intended for the world from the very beginning. Even though what we do is not the same as what Christ did, it has a similar purpose. Thus, the Gospel of Mark is not just about what we do (our work), but it is the basis for it and defines the fundamental goal of our work. Through studying the Gospel of Mark, we get to know God's call for all believers to serve for the purpose of His kingdom. The gospel informs us of the patterns of worship, rest and work that God intended for our lives. We see the dangers and opportunities that come with gaining wealth, earning a living, gaining status, working and paying taxes in a world that isn't particularly aiming for the kingdom of God. In the Gospel of Mark, we also get to meet mothers, tax collectors, persons with disabilities, governors, soldiers, merchants, rich men, philanthropists, masons, lawyers, farmers, leaders, fathers, laborers and fishermen. In other words, we get to witness the same wide range of personalities that we also encounter in our modern day-to-day lives. We get to see persons not merely as individuals, but as important parts of societies, nations and families. Work and workers do almost every chapter of the book of Mark (Mark and Work para 1&2):
The Gospel of Mark, when compared to that of Luke and Matthew, contains less of Christ's teaching material. Our duty when reading this book is therefore, to determine how this book applies to work, that is, not kingdom oriented. The work-related chapters or passages in the Gospel of Mark are grouped in 3 categories:
1) Call passages, as Christ calls men to work for the purposes of God's kingdom;
2) Sabbath issues the concern the cycle of work and rest; and
3) Economic matters about taxation and wealth accumulation.
In each of these categories, Mark is basically concerned with believers of Christ who must be changed at a deeper level. Similar with the other Gospels, the book of Mark is written at a time when things were very difficult economically. Also under the Roman Empire, the area of Galilee was under constant social turbulence, and lands were increasingly being grabbed or taken by few rich men, most of whom were foreigners and the farming was becoming increasingly larger scale. The Galileans who were once landowners or even peasant/tenant farmers were now turning to day laboring to earn a living, frequently having lost their lands via failure Roman Empire taxes. Set against such a tough economic background it is not surprising that fiscal and economic themes occupy a wider part of Mark's text and in his teaching about Christ. The knowledge of this social setting enables us to understand the undercurrents that we may have otherwise assumed (Mark and Work para 3&4)
The Gospel itself is titled as the beginning of the good news about Christ. In a narrative perspective, pointing to the fact that the book at the beginning is interesting, seems like the gospel appears to lack a conclusive ending. Most of the first manuscripts of the gospel abruptly end at Mark 16:8, which states how some individuals fled with terror and amazement after not finding Christ in the tomb. The text ended so inconclusively that some early scribes patched it up with additional text taken from the other gospels, forming the passages that occupy Mark 16:9 -20. However, it was perhaps Mark's intention to end the gospel so abruptly. The fact that he titled it as, only the beginning of the good news about Christ also implies that we who read the text are the participants in the continuity of the gospel. This shows that our lives are a continuation of the gospel of Mark and hence we should obviously apply its message to our work. The author of the gospel of Mark always portrayed believers as individuals who were not totally perfect. This is the same even for Christ's twelve disciples. The book of Mark, more than any other of the four gospels portrays the 12 disciples as ignorant, unperceptive and constantly failing Christ. This is quite encouraging to believers as they attempt to follow Jesus in their day-to-day work and feel that they are not adequately doing so. Thus, from this perspective, we as modern day believers are similar to the disciples themselves (Mark and Work para 5&6).
Major Teachings from the Gospel of Mark to the he New Testament Church
In the Book of Mark, chapter 1 and chapter 2 are all about action. The book focuses more on what Christ did than what he said (Wheeler 12). In the third chapter of the book, Mark explains how so as to obey the commandment of God not to work on His Sabbath, the Israelites came up with an efficient system complete with guidelines (Wheeler 15). In chapter four, the book says how the inhabitants of Asia minor (the Greeks and others) were of the belief that lacking understanding of the word was brought about by a lack of intelligence. However, in the same chapter, the author explains how Jesus came out strongly against that belief and explained how lacking intelligence was not related to the "seed" failing to bring about change. Instead, Christ explained how the seed is stifled by various things, including the plans of Satan, wrong priorities and anxieties. The real problem is not in the mind, but in the heart (Wheeler 20). In Mark chapter five, Mark portrays Christ as being concerned with not only the spiritual, but also the physical needs of people. While Christ came here to deal with matters of the heart, he did not neglect people's physical needs. In the same way, we should not neglect our bodies. We should realize that we are just stewards of our bodies and they are from God. It is obvious that nurturing our spiritual connection with God should be our priority, but not at the expense of our physical needs (Wheeler 27). In Chapter 6, Mark notes how Christ pointed out that it was the natural response of humans to listen to strangers and neglect the opinion of those whom we know. In the same chapter, Mark continues in his narrative showing how the Jews themselves did not respond to the works of Christ and to the many healing miracles that he had performed all over the region (Wheeler 29). Chapter 7 of the Gospel of Mark teaches how the majority of the Israelites back then thought that we would all co-exist peacefully if:
a) Everyone was given quality education
b) Poverty was eliminated
c) Standards of living were improved
d) And bad influences removed
However, other Israelites were of the opinion that evil would be destroyed through:
a) Improved welfare programs
Thus, back then, as it is now many individuals believed that they could fix their own problems through their own might. This they were sure of, what they did not agree on was through which method. However, the teachings of Christ are quite different. Jesus teaches that it is not one's external conditions that make him or her evil, instead in is one's sinful heart or mind that makes him/her become evil. Thus, the solution to solving the problem of evil is not through… [END OF PREVIEW]
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