III. Major Themes of The Gospel of Mark
Mark is a mosaic picturing the ministry of Jesus as a relentless progression of events destined to reach their climax in the Cross of Christ. While a stumblingblock to those who believed that the Christ would be a victorious King, Jesus' crucifixion is, in fact, the fulfillment of God's plan. In the Cross, Jesus is revealed as the Son of God. Furthermore, in his death, Jesus obtains salvation for the new community of faith that is called to follow him in sacrificial discipleship.
Weaving its way through this gospel is the question of Jesus' identity, and it is clear that Mark wants his readers to understand properly who Jesus is. This is not simply a matter of getting the Christological titles right; rather, disciples must understand the connection between Jesus' identity and destiny, his person and work, his messiahship and the Cross. This is crucial since the faith of Mark's readers apparently has led them into struggle and persecution (Best). Against the backdrop of Jesus' steadfastness and submission to God in the face of death, his disciples are encouraged to faithfulness as they await Jesus' triumphant return.