From the Desk of Pastor Darryl Fitzwater-An Outline of the Gospel of Mark. Written for Ben Witherington’s Exegesis of Mark Class.

Outline of Mark

Defining Questions of this Book: “What new teaching is this, and with authority?” and “Who can this be, that even the wind and the waves obey Him?!” (1:22, 27; 4:41).


Answers are in His Baptism, His Transfiguration, and His Passion.


Introduction (1:1-8)
I. Introduction to the Christ Biography (1:1-13)
            A) Thunder burst announcement from OT Prophets (1:1-3)
            B) John the Baptizer as fulfillment of the prophecy & messianic forerunner (1:4-8)
                        Compare with description of Elijah in 2 Kings 1:8

Verse 1:9 is Transition Verse

Alpha Portion (1:9 – 9:1) The Revelation of Christ in His Baptism (veiled majesty)
I. Revelation of the Christ’s Mission (1:9-13)
            A) His Divine Nature (1:10-11)
            B) His Human Nature (1:12-13)
                        1:9-13 describe the duel between Christ and satan[i]

*First Cycle of Messianic Ministry (1:14 – 6:6): Begins in Capernaum, then spreads throughout Galilee

II. Calls First Disciples (1:16-20)
III. Teaching with Authority (1:21-34)
            a) His authority is manifest by His power of demons
            b) Healing and exorcisms in town. He is Master over satan (1:25-26).
III. Leaves Capernaum and Starts New Community (wineskin) (1:35 – 3:12)
a) Restores Ceremonial Standing: Restores the Human-Law Understanding. He is Master over sickness (1:40 – 45).
b) Restores Spiritual/Physical Standing: Forgives Sin – healing a fully paralyzed man; the man is now in full fellowship with God and others. He is Master over sin(2:1-17)
c) Restores Social Standing: Brings in social outcasts into His immediate sphere
(2:12-17)
            Illustrative Teaching on what He is doing – the Pharisees are an old wine skin unable to hold what He is pouring out. He is beginning to build and shape His new wineskin (2:18-22)
d) Inclusive event – healing of the sick, restoration of social and ceremonial status, and proper application of the Sabbath.  He is Master over the Sabbath.
III.  The New Wineskin and the New Wine both Explained (3:13 – 4:34)
            a) Formation of New Wineskin (3:13 – 19)
            b) Division Begins (3:20 – 35)
                        1) His own family – vs 21
                                    2) Religious Leaders – vs 22
3) Blasphemy and Binding – vs 23-29; to continually speak against His work in forming a New Community by resisting the Holy Spirit; those calling the Spirit ‘satan’ is in danger of eternal peril.
                                    2) Religious Leaders – vs 30
                        1) His own family – vs 31
Comparing verses 20 and 32-35 – the New Community is a not natural bond, but a spiritual bond.
            c) New Wine is the Kingdom of God; Proclamation and Explanation (4:1-34)
                        1) The Sower (4:1-9)
                                    a) WHAT?!? (4:10-20)
                                                i) Mystery of the Kingdom (4:10-11)
b) Explanation of Sower (4:13 – 20).Compare with Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:17 and his statements in 1 Corinthians 2.
c) Revelation must be wisely shared (vs 21 – 23) and diligently stewarded (vs 24 – 25).
                        2) Kingdom Harvest (4:26 – 29)
                        3) Kingdom Growth (4:30-32)
4:33-34 is Sub-Transition
IV. Further Expressions of the “Beloved” well-pleasing Divine Son (4:35 – 6:6)
            a) Authority over the Abyss (4:35-41) [cf. Gen. 1:2; Exodus 14; Josh 3:16; Ps. 29:3]
            b) Authority over Legion (5:1-20) [cf. Lk. 8:31 “don’t send us into the abyss!”]
-His authority reaches into the watery demonic depths, and into the recess of human experience.
            c) Authority in Relation to Faith (5:21 – 6:6)
                        1) ‘Lay Your Hands’ – (vs 21 – 24)
                        2) ‘If only I may touch’ – (vs 25 – 34)
                        3) ‘Only believe’ – (vs 35 – 43)
                        4) ‘No Mighty Work’ – (6:1-6)
Contrast His unchallenged authority over the elements, His mastery over rebellious demons, with His ability to do for a person according to their ability to believe Him.

*Second Ministry Cycle Beyond Galilee after Nazareth Rejection(6:6 – 9:50)

V. Sending out of Twelve (6:7-13). Cf with Matt. 10:23 and Mark 1:4-8; like John the Baptizer as forerunners
VI. Parenthetical Note about John the Baptist (6:14-29)
VII. Concerning Food, Tradition, and Leaven (6:30 – 8:21)
            a) Feeding of the Five Thousand (6:30 – 44)
                        1) Walks on Water (6:45 – 52)
                        2) Wholeness Restored (6:53 – 56)
                                    3) Dead Traditions the Cannot Give Life (7:1 – 23)
                                                Spiritual death is an internal condition, not external.
                        4) Faith Restores Spiritual Life/Freedom (7:24 – 30)
                        5) He restores speech and hearing; only He can give revelation to right misconception (7:31 – 37)
            b) Feeding of the Four Thousand (8:1 – 10)
                        1) No Sign (8:11-12) // with 6:45-56
                        2) Dead Tradition and Government (8:13 – 21) // with 7:1-23
VIII. Progressive Seeing as Foreshadow of Gradual Spiritual Seeing (8:22 – 26)
IX. Confession and Confrontation in View of Discipleship (8:27 – 9:1)
            a) Peter’s Confession by Divine Revelation (8:27 – 30)
Aleph First Prediction by Christ of His Passion (8:31-32a)
            b) Peter’s Confrontation by satanic Revelation (8:32b-33)
            c) Jesus’ Instruction’s about Discipleship (8:34 – 9:1)
Peter, thus all of us, are like the blind man who was gradually healed – do not assume that because we are correct in revelation/understanding in one important thing that are co

9:1 is Transition Verse

Mu Section (9:1 – 15:32) The Revelation of Christ in His Transfiguration (unveiled majesty)
I. Unveiling of Christ’s Eternal Nature (9:1 – 8)
            a) Moses and Elijah, Lawgiver and Prophet, spoke with God on Horeb (Ex. 19ff; 1 Kings 19:8ff). Now they speak with Christ – affirming His deity – and testify that their fulfillment is in Him.
II.  Elijah to Come? (9:9-13) He has already been present in John the Baptist
III. Contends with Demonic Power (9:14-29)

*Third Ministry Cycle on His way to Jerusalem (9:30 – 11:1)

Mem Second Prediction by Christ of His Passion (9:30-32)
III. Discipleship and Its Consequences (9:33- 49)
             Strife, the opposite of peace, is not innocent and endangers those involved with Hell-fire – compare 9:33 with 9:50b.
IV. Marriage (10:1 – 12)
V. Blessing Children (10:13 – 16)
VI. Peril of Mammon (10:17 – 31)

Tav Third Prediction by Christ of His Passion (10:32-34)
VII. Discipleship Again Expounded Upon (10:35 – 45)
VIII. Healing of Bar-Timaeus (10:46 – 52)
            Bar-Timaeus heralds Jesus as the Son of David – He is about to enter the Temple as such.

Jerusalem Ministry unto Passion
IX. Entrance into Jerusalem (11:1-11)
X. Rejection of the Temple System/Judaism
            1) Temple Event
a) Prefigured judgment on Temple (11:12-14)
                                    b) Temple Cleaned (11:15 – 19)
                        a’) Judgment Explained (11:20 – 26)
                                    Contains message on faith and forgiveness.
            2) Authority to Change [Reminiscent of 2:1-12; 7:1-25] (11:27-33)
XI. Temple Discourses
            1) Wicked Vinedressers (12:1-12)
            2) Taxes to Caesar and Life to God (12:13 – 17)
            3) Resurrection Revealed (12:18-27)
            4) Loving God totally and loving neighbor as ones self fulfills the Law (12:28-34)
            5) Relationship of the Messiah to David (12:35 – 37)
            6) Concerning Scribes (12:38-40)
            7) Concerning Giving (12:41-44)
XII. Teaching on Coming Transition (13: 1- 37)
            1) Overthrow of Jerusalem and the Temple (13:1-23)
            2) Second Advent (13:24 – 27)
            3) Preparation for these events (13:28 – 37)
XIII. Betrayed and Initiation of Eucharist (14:1 – 31)
            1) Anointing for Burial (14:3 – 9)
            2) Betrayer Falls Prey to All Christ has forewarned about (14:10-11)
            3) Passover Meal Becomes Eucharist (14:12 – 31)
XI Passion Begins (14:32 – 15:41)
            1) Gethsemane and Prayer (14:32 – 42)
            2) Arrested (14:43 – 51) – mysterious young man in verses 51-52
            3) Jesus’ Trials (14:53 – 15:15)
                        a) Before the Jews (14:53 – 65)
                                    b) Peter’s Denials (14:66-72)
                        a’) Before the Gentiles (15:1 – 15)
            Peter denies the kingly Son of Man, who has already pronounced judgment on the system that now condemns Him. Christ is consigned to death with brigands, when He should be lauded and worshipped as the Son of the Father.
            4) Mockery – His Glory is Still Veiled (15:16-20)
XII. Crucifixion (15:21 – 32)

Omega Portion (15:33 – 16:20) The Revelation of Christ in His Passion (unveiled majesty to world)
I. Jesus Dies (15:33 – 37)
II. Opening of revelation to Jews and Gentiles [torn temple veil and profession of centurion] (15: 38 – 41)                                  
III. Jesus is Buried (15:42 – 47)
IV. Angelic Announcement of Resurrection (16:1-7)
V. Resurrection Appearances[ii] (16:8-19)
            1) To Mary Magdalene (16:9-10)
                        a) Unbelieving Disciples // with 9:14-29
            2) Two Other Disciples
                        a) Unbelieving Disciples Still
            3) To the Eleven, in their Unbelief (16:14 – 18)
                        a) Great Commission (16:15-18)
                        b) Their Faithful Obedience to Him and He to them (16:19-20)
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One response to this post.

  1. The prof is not Witherington, I just recommend his commentary. Thanks for the repost though!

    Reply

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