Rather than a “life of Christ” the Gospel of Mark is better understood as a narrative of the events leading up to his death. Note the quick moving pace of the story, and the constant mystery and intrigue in the way it unfolds, very much like a dramatic production.
The following represent rough sections of Mark:
First Section: 1:16-3:6 (transition 3:7-12)
Second Section 3:13-6:6a (transition 6:6b)
Third Section 6:7-8:21 (transition 8:22-26-giving of sight)
Fourth Section 8:27-10:45 (transition 10:46-52-giving of sight)
Final Days in Jerusalem 11:1-12:44 (Ten Final Events)
Apocalyptic Discourse 13:1-37 (themes of the End of History)
Passion Narrative 14:1-16:8 (note ENDING at verse 8!)
Pay attention to the ways in which you as the reader, are allowed inside the story, sharing the secrets throughout.
Key elements and motifs to trace through Mark:
1) The theme of the secret identity of Jesus, involving the various prohibitions regarding who Jesus is and what he has done: 1:25,42; 3:11-12; 5:43; 8:29-30; 14:61-62; 15:39, etc. Who knows who Jesus is, at what point, and with what significance?
2) The roles of various groups and individuals: the crowds, relatives, religious leaders/establishment, the inner Twelve, the wider group of disciples, key individuals (e.g., woman with flow of blood, poor widow, scribe, centurion)
3) The language about hearing, seeing, understanding, hardness of heart as it is constantly applied to the disciples. When and what do the disciples fail to understand?
4) The teachings of Jesus and what they essentially add up to? What is the secret of the Kingdom of God that the disciples are supposed to understand? (4:11). What is true religion according to Jesus as Mark presents things?
5) The importance of the apocalyptic context of this book, particularly as reflected in chapter 13, the most lengthy discourse of Jesus in the entire book.