Hi, I'm Tim Coombs, co-pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Scotia, NY, and a member of the Network of Biblical Storytellers. To learn more about it's mission go to www.nbsint.org.
The Gospel of Mark is perhaps the first gospel to be committed onto paper. It was written in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Basically, both Jewish and these early Christians probably thought that their world was ending. So what we find in mark is a word that is repeated over and over again. That word is ""immediately."" Make your decisions now, because there may not be a tomorrow. The other interesting thing in Mark's gospel is this thing that scholars call the Messianic Secret. Every time Jesus healed somebody in the gospel of Mark he would say to them, ""Don't tell anyone about this."" And the reason being Jesus doesn't want to be crowned king or Messiah until people experience the crucifixion and the resurrection so they can fully understand.
Some other features about Mark is that there is no birth narrative in Mark. It begins at his baptism ends with his resurrection. But we're told this line at the end that the women say nothing to anybody because they were afraid, even though the angels tell them to tell others. We see Jesus with a lot of emotion. He gets angry, he gets upset with his disciples. You can almost picture him laughing at times. And Mark is kind of a dirty Gospel, meaning that there's dirt. You can almost feel the grime, and the dust of the sand.
For instance, there's a story of healing the paralytic. They dig through the roof! You can almost picture the straw and the sticks falling in people's hands just before Jesus heals this paralytic. So Mark is a great story, it can be told in about two hours. And I think that's how people experience things: from beginning to end of his days. As an oral event as the great story of the good news of Jesus Christ.