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Gospel of Mark: Jesus the
Suffering Servant
- The identity of the author of Mark’s
gospel is unknown
- Tradition holds the author was
John Mark
- Today, most scholars believe it is
based on a number of oral
and written collections of
Jesus’ sayings and deeds
- Written sometime between A.D.
65 & 70
- Audience:
• Gentile Christians suffering persecution for
their beliefs
• Christians in Syria or Palestine

- Writings included:
• Jesus’ Baptism
• Preaching/ performing miracles in Galilee
• Journey to Jerusalem
• Preaching/Rejection/Crucifixion
Sources for Writing
1.) Oral Traditions
2.) Written collections of parables
3.) Miracle stories
4.) Outline of Jesus’ passion story
Message to Readers:
- Jesus walked the path of suffering to
glory and eternal life
- So must his followers undergo suffering
before they gain their eternal reward
-Asked his readers two questions about
• Who is this person?
• Will you follow Jesus?

-Hidden answers are the messianic secret

Gospel Reveals Jesus
- “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ [the son of God]” Mark 1:1
• No doubt about Jesus’ identity

- Declares what Catholics believe:

•God’s kingdom is related to Jesus himself
• Kingdom is about God’s salvation, peace
and justice, and closeness to human

- Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and

He lives
Gospel Reveals Jesus
Part One: Jesus the Authoritative Teacher
- Meanings of Authority
• Right to Command
• Someone with official power
• Source of reliable information
• Ability to gain respect of others and
influence what they do
• Knowledge, skill, or experience worthy
of respect
Gospel Reveals Jesus
- Jesus is a creative, original, and
influential teacher

Four parables about the Kingdom of God:

-Seed growing by itself (4:26-29)
-Growing seed (4:1-20)
-Lamp (4:21-25)
-Mustard Seed (4:30-32)
Healer and Miracle Worker
Patterns of Jesus’ miracles:
Re-read Mark 2:1-12

1.) Introduction presents setting and situation

Jesus is sitting in a room so crowded that friends of a
paralyzed man lower him through the roof

2.) Jesus is witness to the display of faith by the people

Jesus forgives the mans sins
Patterns of Jesus’ miracles cont.:

3.) Jesus responds to the problem

Jesus cures the man

4.) The result of the miracle follows

Man got up, picked up stretcher, and walked from room

5.) Reaction to the Miracle

Healer and Miracle Worker

Faith plays a major role

in Jesus’ miracles
Healer and Miracle Worker
- The Messianic Secret
• Why Jesus might have directed even his own
disciples to keep quiet about his identity

-Jesus’ contemporaries almost universally

expected the Messiah to be a military
-He wanted people to approach him with true
faith in him as one who serves, not as a
military leader
•The secret of Marks’ Gospel is revealed
“Jesus is the Suffering Servant prophesied by
Isaiah centuries before
Way of Discipleship
Part Two of Mark’s Gospel
- Jesus revealed himself as the
“suffering servant”

- Obedience to the Father leads to

ultimate victory

- Readers are challenged to accept

Jesus as Messiah, but one
who suffers crucifixion before
rising to glory
Way of Discipleship

Jesus’ followers must be
prepared to suffer as
Jesus Himself suffered
Paschal Mystery
- Commemorated in today’s church
during Holy Week

Initiated into
In Baptism

Paschal Mystery
Paschal Mystery
- The passion narratives were
probably the oldest stories
about Jesus circulating in
the early church
- First 13 chapters of Mark’s
gospel serve as an
introduction to the Passion
- The four gospels agree on the
basic essentials, but each
evangelist has their own
way of telling the story
Paschal Mystery
- Mark shows how everyone abandoned
Jesus at the very end:
• Judas betrays him

• Three disciples fall asleep during

Jesus’ agony

• Jewish/Roman authorities judge him

• Soldiers and crowd mock him

Paschal Mystery
- Some of the religious authorities thought Jesus
was a false prophet who claimed to be
- Jewish authorities turned Jesus over to Pilate
for execution as a political criminal
- Who was responsible for Jesus’ death?
- Tragedy of history has been the misguided and
unjust assigning of the blame on the Jews
- Jesus freely chose to be crucified to prove
beyond a doubt his immense love for us
Passion Narrative
- Conspiracy against Jesus
- Woman anoints Jesus at Bethany
- Judas’ betrayal
- Preparations for the Passover Supper
- Last Supper and
the Walk to the Mount at Olives
- Gethsemane
- Before the Sanhedrin
- Jesus and Pilate
- The Crucifixion
- Resurrection