The Gospel of Action


The Gospel of Mark is the gospel of action—and it is action of a unique kind.

Mark 1:4-13


The Gospel of Mark is the gospel of action, and it is action of a unique kind. More than any gospel writer, Mark moves rapidly through the events of Jesus’ life. It takes him only twenty short verses in chapter one to describe the ministry of John the Baptist, Jesus’ baptism, His temptation in the wilderness, and the call of the disciples. The truth is presented succinctly, but it is packed with tremendous spiritual blessing. We are being introduced to the God who, in the words of Philippians 2, “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (w. 6–7). It is as the sovereign servant, the God–man, that Jesus is coming to win the battle over sin. Mark’s emphasis is on action, and we can sense his excitement as he takes us quickly from one event to the next.

The first event of Jesus’ life that Mark describes is found in verses 9–11: “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when He came up out of the water, immediately He saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘Thou art My beloved Son; with Thee I am well pleased.”’


  • Why is Mark the Gospel of action? What is a good example of Mark being the Gospel of action?
  • Why was Jesus Baptized?
  • What does it mean that the Father is “well-pleased” with Christ? Why is it important to notice this?

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