"For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open," reads the inspiring verse of Mark 4:22.
The Gospel of Mark is one of the three synoptic and four canonical gospels of the Christian Bible, and, like the others, it was written in order to deliver the Good News of Jesus' resurrection to the entire world. Despite the fact that the Gospel of Mark is placed second in the order of the four gospels, it was almost certainly the first gospel to have been composed. Scholars agree that it must have been written before the end of the first century, likely around the year 70 CE. It was used extensively by the authors of the Gospels of Luke and Matthew in the composition of their own gospels.
One clue as to the possible identity of the author of Mark comes to us from an Apostolic Father named Papias. Papias wrote that Mark was an interpreter of Peter the Apostle, and that he faithfully recorded everything Peter said to him about all that had been said and done by Jesus. If the gospel was written by this Mark, then it was likely composed in Rome. Other scholars, however, argue that Mark was written anonymously and that it would be impossible to attribute a specific author to the text. They point to the fact that Christian writers since the first few centuries have placed the writing of Mark in locations such as Palestine, Syria, and even Egypt.
Whoever the author of the Gospel of Mark was, the true importance of the text lies not in who wrote it, but in the purpose that it was written for. Its main goal seems to have been with the presentation of Jesus as a gentle, compassionate Messiah, not the warrior king Messiah that many Israelites had been expecting. In order to show that Jesus was nevertheless the true Messiah, the author took great care to show that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. He links Jesus to both the suffering king and the suffering servant that is mentioned throughout Hebrew scripture.
The Gospel of Mark has had perhaps the greatest impact on all of Christianity out of all four gospels. As it was written first, it helped to preserve the message and spiritually motivational words of Jesus at a time very close to His death. Its account of Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and teachings is marked by a simple style which was clearly meant to be accessible to all who read it.
"For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open," reads the inspiring verse of Mark 4:22. The author of Mark certainly wrote with these words in mind. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to share the Good News with all of humankind, to awaken and invigorate them with the message that Jesus had died to save us. For 2000 years now the Gospel of Mark has been used to win billions of hearts and minds over to the Christian message.
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”