Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "MATTHEW"


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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible

(see outline of Mark on next page)
The world at this time was ruled by Rome and the Romans were very important people. To have omitted them would have been fatal to the Christian cause. The Romans were not interested in alien genealogies or messianic kingdoms; did not they rule? They scorned the dreamy philosophizing of the Greeks as decadent. This vigorous people of deeds needed to see the Great Servant of Jehovah, moving swiftly and confidently about among men, DOING tilings; and what things indeed, MIRACLES! They needed also to learn that the greatest deeds were not in the realm of the material but in the realm of the spiritual. In short, they needed Mark's Gospel, and God saw that they got it!!

John Mark had considerable association with Peter in his ministry. Although this is only alluded to in 1 Peter 5:13, it is mentioned clearly in the writings of many of the fathers, such as Papias, Jus tin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Eusebius. Indeed, it is the uniform tradition that, in a very real sense, Mark simply organized and wrote out the story of our Lord on the basis of the vivid sermons and descriptions of Peter. Justin Martyr calls the Gospel "Peter's Memoirs." Certainly apostolicity was a definite requirement for a book to be received into the New Testament Canon. It would therefore appear that just as Paul sponsored Luke's Gospel and Acts, so Peter sponsored Mark's, who wrote it at the urging of Peter's hearers who wanted a permanent record.


(Adapted from Robert Lee and Albert Hughes)

The Gospel of Mark is addressed to Romans. It is the Gospel which sets forth our Lord as the Servant of Jehovah. Its outline may be given as follows:

  1. The ARRIVAL and IDENTITY of the SERVANT 1:1-11
    1. The Servant announced 1-8
    2. The Servant arrives 9a
    3. The Servant accepted and identified by God 9b-ll
  2. The FIDELITY of the SERVANT 1:12-13
    Driven of the Spirit, tempted of Satan, strengthened by angels.
  3. The SERVANT at WORK 1:14-8:26
    1. The Servant begins His work and calls His first helpers 1:14-3:12
      Note: In Galilee, by the sea, in the synagogue, in the house, in the morning, in Capernaum, the conflict in the cornfield, His compassion in a synagogue, the coming of the crowd.
    2. The Servant appoints the Twelve 3:13-19a C. The Servant teaching and toiling 3:19-8:26
  4. The SERVANT starts for the CROSS 8:27-13:37
    1. The must of the Cross, the rebuke of the Disciples, the true interpretation of life 8:27-10:56
      (Selfishness loses; sacrifice wins.)
      The Servant transfigured; further teaching and toiling.
    2. The manner of a King 11:1-12:40
    3. The measure of a contribution 12:41-44
    4. The message of His coming 13
  5. The SERVANT OBEDIENT unto DEATH 14-15
    1. The traitor, Judas 14:1-11
    2. The triumphant Jesus 14:12-62
      He prepares the Passover; He plans the Supper; He predicts the betrayer. The thrilling Son; the troubled spirit; the triumphant statement.
    3. The trials, "treason, " and thorns 14:63-15:19
    4. D. The two temples rent 15:20-41
    5. E. The tomb 15:42-47
  6. The TRIUMPH of the SERVANT 16 In resurrection and ascension.



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