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by Rhoderick D. Ice
INTRODUCTION TO MARK
John Mark was a cousin of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10), and went with Paul on the first tour of missions (Acts 13:5). He deserted Paul during this first tour (Acts 15:37-38), but went with Barnabas on the second tour (Acts 15:39). His work on this second tour demonstrated his faith, and Paul placed his seal of approval on him (Colossians 4:10).
His mother’s name was Mary (Acts 12:12), and she was a close relative of Barnabas [Mark being first-cousin to Barnabas, she would be an aunt]. His early home was Jerusalem, and he was converted by Peter (1 Peter 5:13) which some think means he was one of the “3,000” on Pentecost (Acts 2:41). He was with Paul during Paul’s first imprisonment (Colossians 4:10) 61–63 A.D. After this, he must have joined Peter in Babylon on the Euphrates, where there were many Jewish Christians (1 Peter 5:13). During Paul’s second imprisonment in 68 A.D., he wrote to Timothy asking him to bring Mark with him to Rome (2 Timothy 4:11).
Mark wrote especially for the Gentile Christians, and he describes Jesus as “God’s Superman,” who demonstrates his Deity by his Miracles. He tells the things Jesus did, rather than the things Jesus said. He explains some things which Jews would have known.
Mark’s gospel is thought to have been written from Rome, sometime between 60 and 70 A.D., perhaps while Paul was there during the first imprisonment.
the Fifth Week after Epiphany