Who is Mark?
Worship at St. Philip’s United Church has focused, most often, on The Gospel of Mark in 2021.
Noticing this, a member recently asked me: “Who is Mark?” The best scholars I read admit that little is known about one individual named Mark who might have written the account in one sitting. More likely, faithful church members two generations after Jesus’ life, death and resurrection gathered traditional oral stories told by first-hand witnesses. These were written down to preserve them as fewer of those eyewitnesses survived. Later the scenes were edited into a unified whole by a number of writers whose purpose was to help people come to faith.
I like The Gospel of Mark because it is the simplest and most straightforward Gospel. It has a brisk pace, action scenes, and cares about the spiritual well-being of its readers. One favorite verse includes these words Jesus’s disciples said about him: “Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:41)
While this complicated answer may not satisfy someone who wants a simple explanation of who the writer was: an uncomplicated answer will likely disappoint a serious bible reader with an eye for detail.
I take comfort in the thought that, whoever Mark was, she/he wanted what we want – help for our understanding of the nature of God and people and the world. Mark did her/his best to record what Jesus said and did to explain God’s realm to us. The result for many, then and now, often creates healing, inner peace, and life purpose. For me, that comes closer to satisfying the reason behind the question than anything else I’ve studied. I hope it helps you, too.
Pastor Mike Krewson