Biblical Commentary

  • Mark 1:1-8

    John the Baptist's Proclamation in the wilderness, Part 1 (see also Matthew 3:1-12; Luke 3:11-20; John 1:19-28). John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins.

  • Mark 1:4-11

    John's Proclamation, Part 2 (1:4-8). Jesus' baptism (1:9-11; see also Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34). Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting, and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. A voice came out of the sky, "You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

  • Mark 1:9-15

    Jesus' baptism (1:9-11; see also Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34). The temptation of Jesus (1:12-13; see also Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). Jesus begins his ministry in Galilee (1:14-15; see also Matthew 4:12-17; Luke 4:14-15). Immediately the Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness. He was there in the wilderness forty days tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals; and the angels were serving him.

  • Mark 1:14-20

    Jesus begins his ministry in Galilee (1:14-15; see also Matthew 4:12-17; Luke 4:14-15). Jesus calls his first disciples (see also Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11). After John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Good News."

  • Mark 1:21-28

    Jesus rebukes a demon, which demonstrates Jesus' authority (see also Luke 4:31-37). Immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, saying, "Ha! What do we have to do with you, Jesus, you Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" The unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.

  • Mark 1:29-39

    Jesus heals Simon's mother-in-law and many others (1:29-34; see also Matthew 8:14-17; Luke 4:38-41). Jesus proclaims his message in Galilee (1:35-39; ; see also Matthew 4:23-25; Luke 4:42-44). Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. He came and took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them.

  • Mark 1:40-45

    Jesus cleanses a leper (see also Matthew 8:1-4; Luke 5:12-16). A leper came to Jesus, begging him, kneeling down to him, and saying to him, "If you want to, you can make me clean." Being moved with compassion, he stretched out his hand, and touched him, and said to him, "I want to. Be made clean." When he had said this, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was made clean.

  • Mark 2:1-12

    Jesus forgives a paralytic's sins––and heals him (see also Matthew 9:2-8; Luke 5:17-26). Four people carried a paralytic to Jesus. When they could not come near to him for the crowd, they removed the roof where he was. When they had broken it up, they let down the mat that the paralytic was lying on. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."

  • Mark 2:13-22

    Jesus calls Levi (2:13-17; see also Matthew 9:9-13; Luke 5:27-32). A question about fasting (2:18-22; see also Matthew 9:14-17; Luke 5:33-39). Jesus saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he arose and followed him.

  • Mark 2:23 – 3:6

    Jesus defends his disciples for plucking heads of grain on the Sabbath (2:23-28; see also Matthew 12:1-8; Luke 6:1-5). Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath (3:1-6; see also Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11). Jesus said to the man who had his hand withered, "Stand up." He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do harm? To save a life, or to kill?" But they were silent.

  • Mark 2:23 – 3:6

    Jesus defends his disciples for plucking heads of grain on the Sabbath (2:23-28; see also Matthew 12:1-8; Luke 6:1-5). Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath (3:1-6; see also Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11). Jesus said to the man who had his hand withered, "Stand up." He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do harm? To save a life, or to kill?" But they were silent.

  • Mark 3:20-35

    Scribes accuse Jesus of being Beelzebul and using demonic power to cast out demons (3:20-30; see also Matthew 12:22-32; Luke 11:14-23). Whoever does God's will is Jesus' mother or brother (3:31-35; see also Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 8:19-21). The scribes said, "He has Beelzebul," and, "By the prince of the demons he casts out the demons." Jesus summoned them, and said, "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand."

  • Mark 4:26-34

    The parable of the seed which mysteriously grows (4:26-29). The parable of the mustard seed (4:30-32; see also Matthew 13:32; Luke 13:18-19). Jesus used parables in public, but explained them to his disciples in private (4:33-34). Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is as if a man should cast seed on the earth, 4:27 and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he doesn't know how."

  • Mark 4:35-41

    Jesus rebuked the wind and ordered the sea to become peaceful––and they obeyed (see also Matthew 8:23-27; Luke 8:22-25) A big wind storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled. Jesus was asleep, and they woke him up, saying, "Teacher, don't you care that we are dying?" Jesus awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

  • Mark 5:21-43

    Jesus raises Jairus' daughter from the dead––and heals a woman of a twelve-year hemorrhage (see also Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 8:40-56). One of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus, fell at Jesus' feet, begging, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Please come and lay your hands on her, that she may be made healthy, and live."

  • Mark 6:1-13

    The people of Nazareth, Jesus' home town, reject him (6:1-6a; see also Matthew 14:1-12; Luke 4:16-30). Jesus sends out the twelve two by two (6:6b-13; see also Matthew 10:5-15; Luke 9:1-6).

  • Mark 6:7-13

    The stories of Jesus' visit to his hometown and his commissioning of the twelve are two separate stories. The first story has to do with belief and unbelief. The second story has to do with the call of disciples and the proclamation of the Gospel.

  • Mark 6:14-29 Biblical Commentary

    The death of John the Baptist (see also Matthew 14:1-12; Luke 9:7-9). Herod swore, "Whatever you shall ask of me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom." She went out, and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?" She said, "The head of John the Baptizer." She came with haste to the king, and asked, "I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptizer on a platter."

  • Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

    Jesus takes his disciples to a deserted place to rest awhile (6:30-34; see also Matthew 14:13; Luke 9:10). Jesus heals the sick in Gennesaret (6:53-56; see also Matthew 14:34-36). Wherever Jesus went, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch just the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched him were made well.

  • Mark 6:45-52

    This story follows on the heels of the feeding of the five thousand, a stupendous miracle (6:30-44).  After their involvement in that miracle, it would seem that Jesus' disciples would not be surprised by anything—but that turns out not to be the case.

  • Mark 7:1-23

    The Pharisees ask Jesus, "Why don't your disciples observe the traditions?" (7:1-8; see also Matthew 15:1-9). That which defiles (7:14-15; see also Matthew 7:10-11). Evil comes from within and defiles a person (7:21-23; see also Matthew 15:15-20). Jesus He answered, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.'"

  • Mark 7:24-37

    Jesus expels a demon from the daughter of a Gentile woman (7:24-30; see also Matthew 15:21-28). Jesus heals a deaf man's hearing and speech (7:31-37; see also Matthew 15:29-31). A woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, came and fell at Jesus' feet. Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. She begged Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."

  • Mark 8:27-38

    Peter confesses his faith that Jesus is the Messiah (8:27-30; see also Matthew 16:13-20; Luke 9:18-20). Jesus foretells his death and resurrection (8:31-33; see also Matthew 16:21-23; Luke 9:21-22). Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me (8:34-38; see also Matthew 16:24-28; Luke 9:23-27). Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" They told him, "John the Baptizer, and others say Elijah, but others: one of the prophets." He said, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ."

  • Mark 9:2-9

    Jesus' Transfiguration (see also Matthew 17:1-8; Luke 9:28-36). Jesus brought Peter, James, and John up onto a high mountain. He was changed into another form in front of them. His clothing became glistening, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. Elijah and Moses appeared to them, and they were talking with Jesus.

  • Mark 9:30-37

    Jesus foretells his death and resurrection a second time (9:30-32; see also Matthew 17:22-23; Luke 9:43-45). Whoever would be first must be last of all and servant of all (9:33-37; see also Matthew 18:1-5; Luke 9:46-48). Jesus said, "The Son of Man is being handed over to the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, on the third day he will rise again."

  • Mark 9:38-50

    Don't stop him. Whoever is not against us is for us (9:38-41; see also Matthew 10:40-42; Luke 9:49-50). Stumbling blocks. Temptations to sin (9:42-50; see also Matthew 18:6-9; Luke 17:1-2). "Whoever will cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if he were thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around his neck."

  • Mark 10:2-16

    Jesus teaches about divorce (10:2-12; see also Matthew 19:1-9). "Let the children come unto me" (10:13-16; see also Matthew 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17). Jesus said, "Let the little children to come to me, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it."

  • Mark 10:17-31

    A rich man asks, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" (see also Matthew 19:6-30; Luke 18:18-30). A man asked, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" Jesus said, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross."

  • Mark 10:35-45

    James and John ask to sit at Jesus' right and left hand in his glory (see also Matthew 20:20-28). James and John asked, "Grant to us that we may sit, one at your right hand, and one at your left hand, in your glory."

  • Mark 10:46-52

    Jesus gives sight to the blind Bartimaeus (see also Matthew 20:29-34; Luke 18:35-43). Jesus asked, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said, "Rabboni, that I may see again." Jesus said, "Go your way. Your faith has made you well."

  • Mark 11:1-11

    Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (see also Matthew 21:1-11; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19). Jesus said, "In the village, you will find a young donkey tied, on which no one has sat. Untie him, and bring him. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs him;' and immediately he will send him back here."

  • Mark 12:28-34

    A scribe asks Jesus which is the first (greatest) commandment (see also Matthew 22:34-40; Luke 10:25-28). "The greatest commandment is, 'Hear, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. The second is like this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

  • Mark 12:38-44

    Jesus warns people to beware of the scribes, who devour widows' house and will be subject to great condemnation (see also Matthew 23:1-7; Luke 20:45-47). Jesus said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk in long robes, and to get greetings in the marketplaces, and the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts: those who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."

  • Mark 13:1-8

    Jesus foretells the destruction of the Temple (see also Matthew 24:1-8; Luke 21:5-11). Jesus said, "Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone on another, which will not be thrown down."

  • Mark 13:9-13

    There is bad news here.  The disciples will be beaten in the synagogues.  They will experience persecution—often severe. But there is good news here too—good news that trumps the bad news.  

  • Mark 13:24-37

    The coming of the Son of Man (13:24-27; see also Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 21:25-28). The lesson of the fig tree (13:28-31; see also Matthew 24:32-35; Luke 21:29-33). Keep alert, because you know now when the time will be (13:32-37; see also Matthew 24:36-44; Luke 21:34-36). Jesus said, "Watch therefore, for you don't know when the lord of the house is coming, lest he might find you sleeping."

  • Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

    Passover celebrated Israel's exodus from Egypt. God had inflicted nine plagues on the Egyptians and was preparing for the tenth plague—the death of the firstborn. God commanded the people of Israel to sacrifice a lamb for each family and to sprinkle the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and lintel so that the death angel, seeing the blood, would pass over the Israelites' houses and leave the firstborn untouched (Exodus 12-13).

  • Mark 15:1-47

    Jesus' trial before Pilate; Jesus and Barabbas; soldiers mock Jesus; Jesus' crucifixion; Jesus' death; Jesus' burial (see also Matthew 27; Luke 23; John 19). Crucifying Jesus, they parted his garments among them, casting lots on them. The superscription of his accusation was written over him, "THE KING OF THE JEWS." With him they crucified two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left.

  • Mark 16:1-8

    Jesus' resurrection (see also Matthew 28:1-10; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10). Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might anoint Jesus. They were saying, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?" for it was very big. Looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back.

  • Mark 16:15-20

    The emphasis here, then, is that Jesus' disciples (to include us) have a responsibility to proclaim the good news of the salvation provided by Christ Jesus. That good news is the offer of forgiveness of sins and the offer of eternal life.