The Word of Our Lord

The New Testament


The Holy Gospel According to Mark


This shortest of all New Testament gospels is likely the first to have been written, yet it often tells of Jesus' ministry in more detail than either Matthew or Luke (for example, the miracle stories at ⇒ Mark 5:1-20 or ⇒ Mark 9:14-29). It recounts what Jesus did in a vivid style, where one incident follows directly upon another. In this almost breathless narrative, Mark stresses Jesus' message about the kingdom of God now breaking into human life as good news (⇒ Mark 1:14-15) and Jesus himself as the gospel of God (⇒ Mark 1:1; ⇒ 8:35; ⇒ 10:29). Jesus is the Son whom God has sent to rescue humanity by serving and by sacrificing his life (⇒ Mark 10:45).

The opening verse about good news in Mark (⇒ Mark 1:1) serves as a title for the entire book. The action begins with the appearance of John the Baptist, a messenger of God attested by scripture. But John points to a mightier one, Jesus, at whose baptism God speaks from heaven, declaring Jesus his Son. The Spirit descends upon Jesus, who eventually, it is promised, will baptize "with the holy Spirit." This presentation of who Jesus really is (⇒ Mark 1:1-13) is rounded out with a brief reference to the temptation of Jesus and how Satan's attack fails. Jesus as Son of God will be victorious, a point to be remembered as one reads of Jesus' death and the enigmatic ending to Mark's Gospel.

A synopsis of each chapter is provided below. Please click on the synopsis of the chapter you wish to read.

Chapter 1 - Jesus was baptised by John. He called Simon, Andrew, James and John to follow him. He preached and cast out demons. He healed a leper.

Chapter 2 - Many gathered at the house. Jesus forgave a paralytic his sins and healed him. He was questioned about fasting and keeping the Sabbath.

Chapter 3 - Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath. Great crowds followed him. He appointed twelve apostles. He said, "Whoever obeys God is my family."

Chapter 4 - Jesus taught a parable about a sower and many others. He explained everything to the disciples. In the boat he calmed a great storm.

Chapter 5 - Jesus delivered a man of many demons. They entered a herd of pigs. He healed a woman with a haemorrhage and raised Jairus' daughter.

Chapter 6 - He sent the twelve out to preach. Herod executed John the Baptist. Jesus fed 5,000 men. He came to the disciples walking on the sea.

Chapter 7 - The Pharisees questioned Jesus about tradition. He said, "Evil comes from within." He delivered a Gentile girl and healed a deaf man.

Chapter 8 - Jesus fed 4,000 people and healed a blind man. Peter said, "You are the Christ." Jesus told them that he must be killed and rise again.

Chapter 9 - Jesus took Peter, James and John and was transfigured. He healed an epileptic. The disciples argued about which of them was greatest.

Chapter 10 - Jesus was questioned about divorce. He told a rich man to sell everything. He said, "The first must be last." He healed Bartimaeus.

Chapter 11 - Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. He drove the money-changers from the temple. The elders asked, "Who gave you this authority?"

Chapter 12 - Jesus said, "A man's tenants killed his son." The Pharisees questioned him about the law. He said, "Love God and love your neighbour."

Chapter 13 - Jesus said, "In the end you will be hated by all. Let those in Judea flee. The Son of Man will come in glory. No one knows the day."

Chapter 14 - Jesus took Passover with his disciples. He prayed in agony in Gethsemane. Judas betrayed him to the chief priests. Peter denied him.

Chapter 15 - Jesus was handed over to Pilate. The crowd cried, "Crucify him!" He was mocked and crucified. Darkness fell and he breathed his last.

Chapter 16 - The women went to the tomb. A man in white said, "He has risen!" Jesus appeared to the disciples. He said, "Go and preach the gospel."