Themes in Mark
b The Messianic secret: Why does Jesus tell people not to speak about him?
b Revealing of Jesus identity in stages (in terms of titles, who does the revealing and who hears it)
  1:1 "son of God" - revealed to readers only
1:24 "Holy one of God" - revealed by an unclean spirit
3:11"son of God" - revealed by unclean spirits
5:7 "son of the Most High God" - revealed by a man possessed by an unclean spirit
8:27-30 "John the Baptist ... Elijah ... one of the prophets" - reported by the disciples
8:29-30 "the Messiah" - revealed by Peter
9:12-13 surpassing Elijah - revealed by Jesus
12:36-37 surpassing David - revealed by Jesus
14:61 "the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One" - question posed to Jesus by the high priest
15:39 "Truly this man was God's Son!" - revealed by the centurion at the cross
b Urgency - "and immediately"
  Mark uses the phrase often but also plots the story quickly. See how fast things begin in chapter one. Data: used 11 times in chapter 1, 21 times in chapter 2-8, 10 times in chapter 9 -16.
b Galilee vs. Jerusalem
  In the first part of Mark, Jesus is in Galilee and is acclaimed and performs miracles. In the latter half he is in or around Jerusalem and is opposed and performs fewer miracles. Notice how in 3:22 scribes come "from Jerusalem" to dump on Jesus.
b Jesus showing emotion
  Data: 1:41 moved with pity; 3:5 with anger, grieved; 6:5 could do no deed (cf. Matt); 6:34 had compassion; 8:12 sighs deeply in his spirit; 9:21 how long?; 14:33 greatly distressed; 14:34 very grieved; 15:34 despair.
b Growth of opposition and abandonment of Jesus
  As the gospel develops, there is more and more opposition to Jesus. More and more people turn away and abandon him.
Data: Note the section of 2:1-3:6 where opposition starts. Note the absense of miracles in the latter half of the gospel.
Last updated 2/28/07; first posted 5/6/00; original content © 2007 2000 John P. Nordin