| Back to Home Page | Back to Book Index |


General Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons of the Book

How to Be a Bondman of God Seeing from the Book of Mark?
I.    To God:
1.  Please God (1:11; 9:7);
2.  Work by relying on God all the time ---- pray (1:35; 6:46; 14:34-40);
3.  Put all his emphasis on keeping the will of God (3:35; 8:33; 14:36);
4.  One shall rely on God in the divine works (6:8-10);
5.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your understanding, and with all your strength (12:30);
II.   To Satan:
1.  Overcome the temptations of Satan (1:13);
2.  Cast off the unclean spirit (1:27, 34);
3.  One can cast off the devil by only fasting and prayer (9:29);
III.  To Oneself:
1.  To deliver oneself unto death ---- to be baptized (1:9);
2.  Do not show off oneself ---- say nothing to anyone (1:44; 3:12; 5:43; 7:36; 8:30; 9:30);
3.  To deny oneself and take his cross to follow the Lord (8:34);
4.  One shall know that the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak ---- watch and pray (14:38);
5.  Do not defend for him (15:4-5).
6.  One does not do anything for himself ---- the book does not record even one matter that He does for Himself.
IV. To men:
1.  One shall follow the Lord and will become fishers of men (1:17).
2.  He has full compassion for those who are pitiful (1:41; 6:34; 8:2).
3.  He eats and drinks with tax-gatherers and sinners (2:16-17).
4.  He is distressed at the hardening of their heart (3:5; 8:11-12).
5.  He takes the responsibility of food to those who are hungry ---- Give you them something to eat (6:37).
6.  To the religious and worldly leaders ---- beware of the leaven (8:15).
7.  To the fellow-workers ---- he shall be last of all, and minister of all (9:35; 10:43-44).
8.  To he who does not follow the Lord ---- do not forbid them, for he who is not against us is for us (9:38-40).
9.  To a little one who believes ---- do not be a snare to him (9:42).
10.  To all the saints ---- Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another (9:50).
11.  He receives the little child and blesses them with putting his hands upon them (10:14-16).
12.  He sets Himself an example to the disciples (10:32).
13.  He does not come to be ministered to, but to minister (10:45).
14.  To those who have anything against Him ---- forgive their offences (11:25-26).
15.  One shall love your neighbor as yourself (12:31).
V.  To things:
1.  One shall be diligent ---- be too busy to eat bread (3:20; 6:31).
2.  One shall work by faith ---- all things are possible to him that believes (9:23; 10:27; 11:23-24).
The Example of the Lord’s Worker ---- John the Baptist
1.   He had concentrated mission ---- prepare the way for the Lord (1:2-3).
2.   He had uncommon life ---- he was clothed in camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins, and ate locusts and wild honey (1:6).
3.   He had humble attitude ---- lead men’s eyes to see Christ (1:7-8).
4.   He had moral boldness ---- he dared to rebuke Herod (6:17-29).
5.   He had actions likes the Lord ---- men thought he was Jesus (6:14-16; 8:28).
6.   He had heavenly message ---- all the people believed that his baptism was from the heaven (11:29-32).
How to Bring Men Out of the Power of the Devil?
1.   He commands the unclean spirit with authority to hold peace and come out of the man (1:25-27, 34; 5:8).
2.   Unless one first binds the strong, and then he will plunder his house (3:27).
3.   He rebuked the one that stirred up the wind behind (4:39).
4.   He would rather make men lose money than let them be possessed by unclean spirits, because:
a.  He had his dwelling among the tombs (5:3a) ---- who is often associated with death, darkness and filth; 
b.  And no one could bind him (5:3b) ---- who can be controlled by nobody;
c.  Not even with chains or shackles (5:3:c-4a) ---- men’s best way can still not control him;
d.  neither could anyone tame him (5:4b) ---- men cannot conquer him by men’s power;
e.  Crying out night and day (5:5a) ---- he often says some words of no profit to men;
f.   Cutting himself with stones (5:b) ---- he usually does something that hurts himself;
g.  He thought he had nothing to do with the Lord (5:6-7a) ---- he would not repent to believe the Lord;
h. He feared that he would be tormented right now (5:7b-8) ---- he only cares about the enjoyment at present, but ignores the punishment in the future;
i.   His name is Legion (5:9) ---- he likes to wallow in the mire with others;
j.    He would not leave that place (5:10) ---- he likes to linger over filthy places;
k.  He entered the swine (5:11-13a) ---- he deals in dirty works;
l.   He made the herd run violently down the steep place into the sea (5:13b) ---- he wallows in degeneration;
m.And drowned in the sea (5:13c) ---- he is utterly discredited and his whole life is ruined;
5.   One should cast off the devil by prayer and fasting (9:29).
How to Serve Sinners?
A.  One shall have compassion upon sinners ---- the Lord cleanses the leper (1:40-42).
B.  One shall draw near sinners ---- the Lord eats with sinners (2:15-17).
C.  One shall serve others by the provision of life (10:45).
D.  One shall not protect himself in order to save sinners (15:31).
How to Serve Those Who Are Hungry?
A.  Men shall have the bowel of mercy (6:34; 8:2).
B.  The Lord orders us to give them to eat (6:37).
C.  Men shall devote all of them to the Lord ---- Jesus takes them (6:38; 8:5). 
D.  Men shall sit before the Lord’s feet at rest (6:39-40).
E.  What has been devoted should be blessed by the Lord (6:41a; 8:6a);
F.  What has been devoted should be broken by the cross ---- broke (6:41b; 8:6b);
G.  What has been devoted shall be the channel of the Lord ---- deliver, set before, distribute (6:41c; 8:6c);
H.  The Lord’s provision can meet men’s need ---- they were satisfied (6:42; 8:8a).
I.    Men shall not waste the Lord’s grace ---- took up of fragments that remained (6:43a; 8:8b);
J.   The Lord’s grace is more than sufficient (6:43b-44; 8:8c-9).
The Difficulties of Serving God
A.  Being misunderstood by one’s family members in the flesh (3:20);
B.  Being despised by men in one’s countryside (6:4);
C.  Being rejected and persecuted by those who serve God in name only (8:31);
D.  Being treated with contempt by men in the world (9:12);
E.  Being questioned by what authority He did these works (11:28);
F.  Men schemed to catch Him in His words (12:13).
G.  Being betrayed by the closest one (14:10);
H.  Being mocked by men (15:29-32);
Know the Lord Jesus From His Names
1.   The Son of God (1:1; 15:39) ---- who is the manifestation of God;
2.   Jesus Christ (1:1) ---- who humbles first and is exalted later;
3.   Jesus (1:9) ---- who is God to be men’s savior (or salvation);
4.   The beloved Son of God (1:11; 9:7) ---- in whom God has found His delight;
5.   The holy one of God (1:24) ---- who is consecrate unto God;
6.   Doctor (2:17) ---- who is the healer of men’s spirit, soul and body; 
7.   Bridegroom (2:19-20) ---- who is always the ever-fresh reliance and joy;
8.   The Son of man (2:10, 28; 8:31, 38; 9:12, 31; 10:45; 13:26, 29) ---- who is the incarnated one;
9.   The Lord of the Sabbath (2:28) ---- who gives true rest to men;
10. Teacher (4:38; 9:38; 10:35) ---- who is the teacher of the people of God;
11. The Son of God the Most High (5:7) ---- who is the manifestation of God the Most High;
12. That carpenter (6:3) ---- who builds the dwelling place of God;
13. Shepherd (6:34; 14:27) ---- who is the shepherd of the flock of God;
14. Lord (7:28; 16:20) ---- who is the Lord of all;
15. Christ (8:29; 12:35) ---- who is anointed by the Holy Spirit;
16. Good Teacher (10:17-18) ---- God Himself becomes the teacher.
17. The son of David (10:47; 12:35-37) ---- who is the king of the kingdom (the Messiah);
18. Who comes in the name of the Lord (11:9) ---- who was sent by God to come to the earth; 
19. The son of the lord of the vineyard (12:6-7) ---- who is the inheritor of God’s possessions;
20. The stone which the builders rejected (12:10) ---- who is rejected by the Jewish leaders;
21. The corner-stone (12:10) ---- who is the foundation of the building of the church;
22. The master of the house (13:35) ---- who is the master of God’s house;
23. The Lamb of the Passover (14:12-25) ---- who comes to redeem men’s sins;
24. The Son of the Blessed (14:61) ---- who is the manifestation of the glory of God;
25. The king of the Jews (15:2, 9, 12, 26) ---- who is the king of God’s people;
The Spiritual Meanings of Signs in the Gospel of Mark
1.   He healed the man by an unclean spirit in the synagogue of Capernaum (1:23-27) ---- indicating that reasons or knowledge cannot deliver men from the power of darkness;
2.   He healed the mother-in-law of Simon in Simon’s house (1:29-31) ---- indicating that religious zeal is not real service;
3.   He healed a leper (1:40-45) ---- indicating that only the savior Jesus can cleanse men from their the filth of sins;
4.   He healed one sick of the palsy in Capernaum (2:1-12) ---- indicating that sin deprives him of the strength of walking in the way of life, and men can only walk after believing the Lord and being forgiven.
5.   He healed a man having his hand dried up in the synagogue on the Sabbath (3:1-5) ---- indicating that keeping religious customs is of no use, and only the Lord’s words can help men have normal service.
6.   He made the wind and sea cease when passing over the Sea of Galilee (4:35-41) ---- indicating that though the church may be confronted with winds stirred by the devil when passing from the earth to the eternal world, it can still surely pass over onto the other side through faith in the Lord’s presence. 
7.   He cast off the unclean spirit into the swine in Gadarenes (5:1-20) ---- indicating that men’s power cannot overcome the power of darkness, and most of the careers easy to make money in the world are filthy in the control of the devil;
8.   He healed a certain woman who had had a flux of blood twelve years (5:25-34) ---- indicating that only touch the Lord Jesus by faith can stop the loss of one’s life and restore one’s life;
9.   He raised the daughter of Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue (5:21-24, 35-43) ---- indicating that religion lacks life. The external zeal is of no use. Once the Lord comes into one’s heart, he will immediately have the risen life.
10. He fed five thousands men with five loaves and two fishes (6:34-44) ---- indicating that men in religion are as sheep not having a shepherd and can not be satisfied. Only the Lord is the bread of life, who can deal with men’s need more than sufficiently.
11. He walked on the sea (6:47-52) ---- indicating that the church in the world often encounters difficulties. However, we have the Lord who prays for us and this Master who transcends all will come again to receive His church.
12. He healed the little daughter of a gentile woman in the borders of Tyre and Sidon (7:24-30) ---- indicating that the Lord’s salvation also comes upon the Gentiles. If we stand on the right position of us and prayer to the Lord boldly, we can also be delivered from sins and the bondage of Satan;
13. He healed a deaf who could not speak right by the Sea of Galilee (7:31-37) ---- indicating that sinners could neither hear God’s words nor speak for God. However, once they have received the Lord’s gospel, they will be able to hear and speak spiritual words.
14. He fed four thousands with seven loaves and a few small fishes (8:1-9) ---- indicating that the Lord’s provision of life is not only bestowed to the Jews but also all the nations on the earth. Men from generation to generation will have part in His boundless fullness and have a surplus;
15. He healed a blind man in Bethsaida (8:22-26) ---- indicating that sinners could not see spiritual things. However their eyes of heart were opened because of the lightening of the Lord’s gospel of glory, and could see increasingly clear.
16. He was transfigured in the high mountain (9:2-8) ---- indicating that those who are of the Lord are brought by the Lord to see the vision of the glory of God’s kingdom and know only Christ is the most one whom God and men love. We have to hear Him only and no longer see any one, but Jesus alone;
17. He healed a child who had a dumb spirit at the foot of the mountain (9:14-29) ---- indicating that when those of the Lord live their life on the earth, they may still be troubled and persecuted by the power of darkness. Only prayer in faith makes us appropriate the power of God’s kingdom to overcome the devil;
18. He healed the blind man Bartimaeus in Jericho (10:46-52) ---- indicating that if one disregards men’s obstruction and catch the opportunity to beseech the Lord through faith, he will obtain spiritual sight and begin to walk in the right way and follow the Lord Jesus all the way.
19. He cursed the fig-tree and made it withered (11:12-14, 20-21) ---- indicating that men of the Lord are supposed to bear fruit of life to satisfy the Lord. However, if they focus on the objective knowledge (leaves) but ignore the subjective experience of life (fruit), they will be forsaken by the Lord and have no use on the earth.
Know the Religion and Religionists
1.   Religion is used by Satan ---- there was in their synagogue a man by an unclean spirit (1:23).
2.   Religion can neither remit one’s sins nor make men walk (2:6-12).
3.   Religionists are self-righteous and disdain to be with sinners (2:16).
4.   Religionists afflict their souls but do not know the joy with the Lord (2:18-20).
5.   Religion means to change men’s corruption in walking though external imitation ---- sew a patch of new cloth on an old garment (2:21).
6.   Religion receives spiritual things in the natural old man ---- put new wine into old skins (2:22).
7.   Religionists obstinately cling to customs and disregard the need of those who are hungry (2:23-28).
8.   Religionists obstinately cling to customs and disregard the need of the one whose hand is withered (3:1-6).
9.   Religionists do not know the works of the Holy Spirit (3:22-30).
10. Religionists do not know the mystery of the kingdom of God (4:11-12).
11. Religionists honor God with lips but their heart is far away from God (7:6).
12. Religionists teach teachings commandments of men (7:7).
13. Religionists forsake the commandments of God and hold what is delivered by men (7:8-12).
14. Religionists seek signs from heaven (8:11-12).
15. The teachings of religion are like leavens that corrupt men’s heart (8:15).
16. Religionists persecute the Lord Jesus, thinking they are serving God (8:31; 9:31; 10:33-34; 14:1).
17. Religionists have done to God’s prophets whatever they would (9:13).
18. Religionists only know the letters of the customs but do not know the will of God (10:2-12).
19. Religionists thought one could inherit the eternal life through good works (10:17). 
20. Religionists own large possessions outside of the Lord (10:21-25).
21. Religion is the fig-tree that has leaves only but no fruit (11:13).
22. Religionists make the house of God a den of robbers (11:15-17).
23. Religionists seek how to destroy Jesus (11:18).
24. Religionists dare not confess the heavenly authority (11:30-31).
25. Religionists fear men but do not fear God (11:32).
26. Religionists are unwilling to deliver fruit to God (12:1-5).
27. Religionists forcibly occupy the possessions of God (12:6-8).
28. Religionists cooperate with the worldly authority (12:13-17).
29. Religionists neither understand the Bible nor know the great power of God (12:24).
30. Religionists like to show off their biblical knowledge (12:28-34).
31. Religionists only know the letters of the scriptures but do not know the spiritual meaning (12:35-37).
32. Religionists are arrogant and like vain glory (12:38-39).
33. Religionists devour the houses of widows, and as a pretext make long prayers (12:40).
34. Religionists pretend to be Christ and mislead many people (13:5-6; 21-22).
35. Religionists persecute true believers (13:9).
36. Religionists pretend to be prophets, mislead many people (13:22).
37. Religionists find opportunity to betray the Lord for the sake of money (14:10-11).
38. Religionists accuse Jesus by bearing false witness (14:55-59).
39. Religionists deliver Jesus to crucify Him (15:1; 10-15).
40. Religionists mock Jesus (15:31).
Know Faith
1.   The origin of faith ---- repent and believe the gospel (1:15);
2.   The object of faith ---- believe the power of the Lord (1:40);
3.   The effect of faith ---- the remission of sins (2:5);
4.   The blocking of faith ---- be fearful (4:40; 5:36);
5.   The touching of faith ---- who desires in her heart and touches with her hand (5:25-34);
6.   The veil of faith ---- see the Lord according to the appearance (6:1-6);
7.   The words of faith ---- because of this word (7:29);
8.   The efficiency of faith ---- all things are possible to him that believes. (9:23; 10:27);
9.   The strengthening of faith ---- may the Lord help us (9:24);
10. The eyes of faith ---- from hearing the Lord to seeing the Lord (10:47-52);
11. The attitudes of faith ---- without doubt in heart (11:23);
12. The prayer of faith ---- if one receives it, and it shall come to pass for him (11:23-24);
How to Pray?
1.   One should have prayer when drawing near God in the morning (1:35).
2.   A good example of prayer (1:40-42):
a.  Prayer without misgivings ---- he “came”;
b.  Urgent prayer ---- he “sought”;
c.  Humble prayer ---- he “kneeled down”;
d.  Obedient prayer ---- “if you will”;
e.  Prayer with concentrated purpose ---- “make me clean”;
f.   Prayer with big faith ---- “you can”;
g.  Effective prayer ---- “he was cleansed”;
3.   One shall pay attention to the words of prayer (7:29).
4.   One shall sometimes pray and fast together (9:29).
5.   One shall prayer with faith (11:23-24).
6.   One shall forgive the transgressions of others, then his prayer shall be granted (11:25-26).
7.   One shall watch and pray (13:33; 14:38).
8.   One shall not pray in his own will but according to God’s will (14:36).
The Knowledge that Christians Should Have of Money
1.   One shall not trust in money (6:8).
2.   Money cannot change life (8:36-37).
3.   Money should be distributed to the poor, and we shall have treasure in heaven (10:21).
4.   Money can block men from entering the kingdom of God (10:23-25).
5.   One shall not suppose that godliness is a way of gain (11:15).
6.   Pay what is Caesar's to Caesar, and what is God's to God (12:17).
7.   Do not devour the houses of others (12:40).
8.   The Lord pays attention to how we devote money (12:41-44).
9.   One shall be willing to waste money on the Lord (14:3-9).
10. One shall not betray the Lord for the sake of money (14:10-11).
The Importance of Man’s Heart
1.   The Relation of Man’s Heart With the Word: 
a.    The wayside where the word is sown (v.4, 15) ---- the word has not entered into man’s heart (man whose faith is not stable).
b.    The stony ground where the word is sown (v.5-6, 16-17) ---- only a part of the word has entered into man’s heart (man whose faith is not sufficient).
c.    The thorns where the word is sown (v.7, 18-19) ---- a half of the word has entered into man’s heart (man whose faith is not firm).
d.    The good ground where the word is sown (v.8, 20) ---- the word has deeply entered into man’s heart (man whose faith is great).
2.   The Relation of Man’s Heart With Sin:
a.  That comes outside and does not enter man’s heart cannot defile man (7:15-19).
b.  That which goes forth out of man is the veil out of the heart of man and can defile man (7:20-23).
How Did the Lord Jesus Heal the Two Blind Men?
1.   Heal the Blind Man in Bethsaida:
a.  He came to seek Jesus (8:22).
b.  He was brought by the Lord out of the crowd ---- took the blind man out of the town (8:23a). 
c.  He was inspired because of the working of the life in the Lord’s words ---- He had spit on his eyes (8:23b).
d.  He enjoyed the blessing of and the union with the Lord ---- and put His hands on him (8:23c).
e.  His eyesight was still not vague when his eyes were just opened ---- men like trees, walking (8:24). 
f.   He experienced deeper union with the Lord ---- He put His hands on his eyes again (8:25a).
g.  His eyes of heart were fully clear ---- he was restored and saw everyone clearly (8:25b).
h. The Lord asked him not to be influenced by natural man ---- not go into the town (8:26).
2.   Heal the Blind Man Bartimaeus in Jericho:
a.  His poor condition ---- sat by the road begging (10:46);
b.  He has heard the gospel ---- heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth (10:47a);
c.  His action toward the gospel ---- began to cry out and say (10:47b);
d.  His actions toward the obstruction from men ---- cried out all the more (10:48); 
e.  He was called by the Lord ---- He is calling you (10:49); 
f.   His understanding of salvation ---- throwing aside his garment (10:50); 
g.  What he entreated of the Lord ---- that I may receive my sight (10:51); 
h. The reason for his being saved ---- your faith has made you well (10:52a); 
i.   His change after being saved ---- and immediately he received his sight (10:52b); 
j.    The way after being saved ---- followed Jesus on the road (10:52c); 
The Knowledge of God’s Kingdom in the Gospel of Mark
1.   Man’s repentance and believing the gospel are for the purpose of entering the kingdom of God (1:15).
2.   The book records many times the matter concerning casting off the devil (1:23-27, 34, 39; 2:11-12, 15, 22-30; 5:1-20; 6:7; 7:25-30; 9:16-29, 38), for the kingdom of God rises up against the kingdom of Satan (3:24-26).
3.   The mystery of the kingdom of God is only given to those who draw near the Lord (4:11).
4.   The kingdom of God is in man’s heart (see Luke 17:21):
a.  The word of God is like seed sown in man’s heart. The seed should be grown unto fruitful so that the kingdom of God shall be manifested (4:3-9, 13-20). 
b.  Satan makes man be offended (4:17) by direct robbing (4:15), troubles and persecution and chokes the word by cares, deceitfulness and lusts (4:19), thus blocking the kingdom of God from being developed in man’s heart. 
c.  Only good heart makes the word of God bear fruit fully (4:8, 20).
5.   The kingdom of God is of the sphere of life, as the progress of the growth of the seed ---- first blade, then an ear, then full corn in the ear. It is all because of the natural function of the life created by God. Man does not know how (4:26-29). 
6.   The kingdom of God was as tiny as a grain of mustard. However, there was unexpected development in its appearance after it had grown up ---- even Satan (the birds of heaven) can roost under its shadow (4:30-32). 
7.   The way to the kingdom of God:
a.  One must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again (8:31).
b.  Once one has been mindful of men, he will be manipulated by Satan and be kept from going ahead (8:33).
c.  One shall deny himself and take up his cross to follow the Lord (8:34).
d.  One shall lose his life for the sake of both the Lord and the gospel (8:35-37).
e.  One shall not be ashamed of the Lord and the Lord’s words (8:38).
8.   The condition of entering the kingdom of God:
a.  One shall not present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness (9:43-47; see Rom. 6:12-13).
b.  One shall be converted as little children (10:13-16).
c.  One shall overcome the power of the entanglement of money (10:17-27).
9.   How to live in the reality of the kingdom of God:
a.  One can have part in the kingdom of God as long as he honors the Son of God (12:1-12).
b.  What is of the world and what is of God should be separated (12:13-17).
c.  Only the risen life can live in the kingdom of God (12:18-27).
d.  What is most important in the kingdom of God is loving God and loving men (12:28-34).
e.  Christ is the king in the kingdom of God, so men should not be arrogant (12:35-39).
f.   One shall be able to fully overcome the power of the entanglement of money in the kingdom of God (12:40-44).
10. Believers will one day drink the fruit of vine new with the Lord in the realization of the kingdom of God (14:25).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Mary Zhou