Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 25th April 2023: Saint Mark, Evangelist

Mark Jesus Christ Evangelist Love Mark 13

Reading : Verses from Mark, Chapter 13

St Mark

Then Jesus began to say to them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and they will lead many astray.....And if anyone says to you at that time, “Look! Here is the Messiah!” or “Look! There he is!”—do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be alert; I have already told you everything.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Today we remember Saint Mark, the Evangelist who wrote the first Gospel. Also known by his first name John (Acts 12.25), he was a cousin of Barnabas. We know his mother's house in Jerusalem was a centre of Christian life, and that the two men travelled with Paul on his first missionary journey (Acts 12.12). We also know that Mark left Paul and Barnabas when they reached Perga, but we don't know why. Other information about him is obscure. Towards the end of Paul's life while in prison, he requests Timothy to bring Mark to him "for he is useful", but there is doubt as to this authenticity. He apparently acquired the information for his Gospel from Peter, though as someone at the centre of the new church, he would also have had access to those who were also with Jesus during his life. Tradition also has it that he founded the Church in Egypt, and died in Alexandria.

Mark's Gospel is the shortest and earliest of the four Gospels. The pace is fast and the word 'immediately' appears some 40 times in the Gospel. His symbol is the lion, and it can be seen on icons and pictures of the Evangelist. In today's reading, Jesus is talking to his disciples shortly before his death. He warns them, and us, not to be led astray. If though we wander away from the path, as did Mark, we can still be led back. New ideas and new leaders can attract us, but Mark's Gospel shows us both the divine and human Jesus, who took children 'up in his arms ... and blessed them' (10.16). If we measure ourself and others by the Jesus who loves the smallest and weakest humans, we won't go far wrong on our journey of life.


Lord Jesus Christ,
You called John Mark to be an evangelist,
to spread the good news -
that You came to rescue us
from a life of sin and death.
He told the story of the three years
you spent with Your disciples on earth,
and his emphasis on You as the Messiah
has encouraged us in our life of faith..
May we learn to be evangelists
and 'gossip' the gospel to others.

Follow Up Thoughts

If you would like to see an overview of Mark's Gospel in cartoon form, look at this site:

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