John Mark

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John Mark, son of Elijah and Mary Mark, was one of the disciples of Jesus, who, as a young man, followed the apostles through most of their journeys with Jesus. It was in the elegant Mark home that a spacious "upper chamber" was supplied to Jesus to use for his last supper with the apostles.

John Mark is recognized by scholars as "Mark the Evangelist" and is known to have written the earliest notes (excepting those of Andrew) describing Jesus' life in a brief and simple manner. His record is in reality the Gospel according to Simon Peter. He was early associated with Peter; later with Paul. John Mark wrote this record at the instigation of Peter and on the earnest petition of the church at Rome.

Knowing how consistently the Master refused to write out his teachings when on earth and in the flesh, Mark, like the apostles and other leading disciples, was hesitant to put them in writing. But Peter felt the church at Rome required the assistance of such a written narrative, and Mark consented to undertake its preparation. He made many notes before Peter died in A.D. 67, and in accordance with the outline approved by Peter and for the church at Rome, he began his writing soon after Peter’s death.

The Gospel was completed near the end of A.D. 68. Mark wrote entirely from his own memory and Peter’s memory. The record has since been considerably changed, numerous passages having been taken out and some later matter added at the end to replace the latter one fifth of the original Gospel, which was lost from the first manuscript before it was ever copied. This record by Mark, in conjunction with Andrew’s and Matthew’s notes, was the written basis of all subsequent Gospel narratives which sought to portray the life and teachings of Jesus.

His early devotion is described in the Urantia text as one of a "lad lingering about many of the scenes which he depicts" but it was his singular desire to accompany Jesus during his last time "alone in the hills" before his trial and crucifixion that revealed the willingness of the Creator to befriend the creature.

"Even a youth, if the desire of the heart is really supreme, can command the attention and enjoy the loving companionship of the God of a universe, actually experience the unforgettable ecstasy of being alone with God in the hills, and for a whole day. And such was the unique experience of John Mark on this Wednesday in the hills of Judea.

It was said that after this visit with Jesus in the hills, "throughout the few remaining hours of Jesusearth life John Mark never permitted the Master for long to get out of his sight. Always was the lad in hiding near by; he slept only when Jesus slept."[1]