I have completed my main reading in Mark, but still have more study to do on the parables and teachings. For the time being, you may find it interesting to see the structure for the book I have laid out in my mind. I have split it into chunks, each one characterised by the phase of Jesus' ministry.
- A. 1:1–13 Preparation
The gospel is announced, and Jesus enters.
- B.i 1:14–1:45 First Capernaum visit
- B.ii 2:1–3:6 Second Capernaum visit
He starts a local ministry around the Sea, calling followers, and proclaiming the kingdom, accompanied by healing signs.
- C.i 3:7–3:35 Apostolic ministry: appointment
- C.ii 4:1–34 Apostolic ministry: teaching in parables
Now his teaching begins in earnest. He appoints some of the followers to be his special apostles, and uses parables to start to tell them what the kingdom is all about. Though called, they are still blind.
- D.i 4:35–5:20 Sending of twelve: journey, via Gadara
- D.ii 5:21–6:6 Sending of twelve: journey home
- D.ii 6:7–6:56 Sending of twelve, and Jesus' own ministry
The disciples are now ready to start understanding who Jesus is, so he takes them home and sends them out to do his work. This is contrasted with his own signs, as unlike them, he patterns the true the man with perfect faith, but they still do not see who he is.
- E.i 7:1–7:30 Blindness and sight: Pharisees and the Gentile woman
- E.ii 7:31–8:30 Blindness and apostles' sight
Finally, Mark draws out the latent imagery in his healings and shows the disciples' movement to recognising their call to serve the true king.
- F.i 8:31–9:29 Preparation for death: first teaching and sign of transfiguration
- F.ii 9:30–10:31 Preparation: second teaching, on death and entrance into the kingdom
- F.iii 10:32–10:52 Preparation: final journey to Jerusalem
Everything is in place for the end; he has built his church, and now goes to finish his work on earth. He teaches them three times about his death to help his disciples through the change, first giving them the sign of the transfiguration, then telling them about how it is to enter the kingdom, then eventually taking them to Jerusalem.
- G.i 11:1–11:26 Confrontations: entry, and temple cleansing
- G.ii 11:27–13:2 Confrontations: altercations with scribes
In Jerusalem, he immediately acts to totally control the situation and be totally unguarded in his actions. He is open about who he is, especially with the religious leaders (who have featured regularly all the way through). He silences them with direct answers from the scriptures about his purpose and identity.
- H.i 13:3–13:37 Teaching on final things
- H.ii 14:1–14:11 Wednesday: plot and anointing
- H.iii14:12–14:72 Thursday: Passover and betrayal
- H.iv 15:1–15:47 Friday: meeting with Pilate, crucifixion and burial
- H.v 16:1–16:8 Sunday: Resurrection!
This is the end. He tells his disciples one last time about what must come, deeply concerned for how they will get through the next couple of days. He stays with them privately, and tenderly gives them his last words and eats with them, before leading them to see his arrest. He gave up the Ghost, and on the third day rose again from the dead. All that is taught is true, and he reigns victorious. Alleluia!