To Serve and To Give
Mark is distinctive among the Gospels in many ways. It is the shortest of the four, and the
easiest to read and understand. A fast reader can finish the book in about an hour.
Mark makes no effort to "prove" anything. He is simply stating the facts. Yet these facts have a
central purpose. The death of Christ is a primary theme. Mark has been described as "a
Passion-narrative with an extended introduction." This means that the meaning of the facts
about Jesus reported by Mark is revealed in the final chapters of the book.
The emphasis on Jesus as a Royal Servant has the practical purpose of explaining the nature
and requirements of true discipleship. If, as it is generally supposed, Mark was written to
Roman Christians soon to face martyrdom, we can understand the practical importance of
Mark's realism. Using Jesus as his example, he tells them that the way to glory is the way of
suffering and service.
by Ruel Dean Catlett
Publisher: Christian Publications