A Hidden Pearl

Digging for treasure in Mark’s Gospel

A Hidden Pearl

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The Gospel according to Mark is printed in every Christian Bible, but, even so, it has managed to remain (in many ways) like the pearl of great price buried in a field, waiting to be discovered and able to enrich spiritual treasure seekers with unexpected rewards. Those who would harvest this fortune must approach it with awareness, prayer, and determination.

Christians in the first century already esteemed Mark’s Gospel, which proclaims itself in its opening line as “The Good News of Jesus Christ” (Mark 1:1). More like a pamphlet than a book, it set a pattern for the way in which many would tell the story of Jesus’ life. Succeeding generations continued to copy it carefully in order to make its message available to the ever-expanding number of those who (like the Roman Centurion in 15:39) recognized that Jesus truly was the Son of God. Compared to the other three gospels, however, Mark received much less exposure in the public liturgical prayer of the church for many centuries. Writers during the whole first millennium were much slower to produce commentaries on Mark like those that were being prepared on Matthew, Luke, and John.

In fact, it was only during…

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