Mark is short, by far the shortest account of Jesus’ life. Among the four inspired accounts of Jesus’ earthly life, Mark is the most tract-like. Like a good tract it is short, but not too short. Mark uses simple vocabulary, assumes little knowledge of the Old Testament from his readers, and keeps you moving along at a steady pace – the word “immediately” appears 36 times in a mere 16 chapters.
Mark is therefore the best presentation of Christ for the purpose of evangelism. His point is simple: “This is Jesus, what do you make of Him?”
Mark is an advertiser: “This is my best product, will you be amazed and receive it, or will you mock and destroy it.” Except, Mark is not advertising, but evangelising. Mark is presenting you with Jesus, wondering how you will respond. Will you respond like many in Jesus day who were amazed—astonished!— or will you mock? Will you repent, or resist. Mark does not ask you directly for a response, but he shows you the many responses of the people of Jesus’ own time, subtly asking you “What do you make of Him?”
Mark puts you right down in the middle of Ancient Israel, and makes you see, hear, and experience Jesus.
And then every so often, Mark turns your head to see what the people of Israel around Jesus were doing.
He had seen Jesus, and he retells the story so we all can see Jesus. He had heard Jesus, and he recorded the words for us to hear too. He had witnessed the different responses to Jesus, he wants you to think about them. He makes you see Jesus, and then witness the astonishment in the people around him.
“This is Jesus, what do you make of Him?”
Are you accustomed to Jesus, content with your familiarity with Him? Are you ignorant about Jesus, without any real motivation to know Him?Or are you astonished? Are you amazed? Do you marvel when you consider Jesus?