In our last post we talked about how the Gospel of Matthew presents Christ as King. In this study we’re going to look at the messianic theme of suffering and serving and how this theme is presented in the Gospel of Mark.
As we mentioned last time, we aren’t saying that one Gospel only presents one messianic theme; but just that each emphasizes one theme a bit more than others.
Christ, the Suffering Servant
Though a King, the Old Testament prophets said that the Messiah was going to be rejected. He’s despised, rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief and one who was to be despised in Isaiah 53:1-3. He is a sanctuary for some but a stone of stumbling for others in Isaiah 8:14.
The prophets also said the Messiah would be a sacrifice. He was to be cut off (or killed), but not for Himself, Daniel 9:26 tells us. He’s wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, His soul a sin offering, the Lord lays our sin on Him, and He makes intercession on our behalf in Isaiah 53.
This is the Suffering Servant presented to us in the Gospel of Mark.
The Gospel of Mark can be divided into two sections: The Service of Christ (Chapters 1-13), and the Sacrifice of Christ (Chapters 14-16).
Mark focuses more on what Jesus did rather than what He said. We find more miracles than parables. Three times in the first chapter alone we find Jesus healing people. Overall, Mark records nineteen miracles in only sixteen chapters.
Most of these miracles involve Jesus feeding the poor and healing the sick. “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,” Mark 10:45 tells us.
In chapter 11 we find Jesus willingly entering Jerusalem knowing He would be crucified there. Judas plots to betray Him and the Apostles forsake Him in chapter 14. Jesus is alone as He is tried, beaten and sent to the cross in chapters 15.
In chapter 16, after He’s resurrected, Jesus seeks out those who abandoned Him, restores their faith, and sends them out into the world to tell about the Suffering Servant Messiah who died for those He loved.
Next: The Gospel Of Luke; Christ is Perfect Man