Mark’s gospel reveals the exhilarating highs and lows of what it would have felt like to be one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Mark listened to Peter as he preached the story of Jesus throughout the Roman Empire, then he wrote it down. Mark wants the reader to experience what it was like for Peter and his friends when Jesus called them to leave their old lives behind and step into His story. Mark 1:1 to 7:23 is set in Galilee and it recounts the early days after Peter was invited to play a part in the Messiah’s story. Mark 7:24 to 9:29 is set amongst the pagans and it chronicles Peter’s growing realisation that what is happening in Israel is the world’s story. Mark 9:30 to 10:52 takes place on the road to Jerusalem and charts Peter’s growing awareness that it is going to be a costly story. Mark 11 to 15 records the week leading up to Jesus’ death and marvels at the fact that this is a surprising story. Mark 16 is the grand finale of the gospel, describing Peter’s mixture of fear and delight as he finds Jesus’ tomb empty and realises that he has been called to continue an unfinished story. Straight to the Heart of Mark is one of a series of devotional commentaries which allows people to get to grips with each book of the Bible one bite at a time. Each book contains 60 punchy and relevant chapters, crammed with fascinating and accessible scholarship.
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