Reading the introductory verses to Mark reminds me of both the amazing authenticity of scripture in general and the gospels in particular, and of the stunning nature of the divine inspiration of those writings.
Matthew and John were both clearly written by the disciples themselves. This is apparent by the internal witness of the respective gospels and the early and well-attested affirmation of many external commentators.
Clear evidence of John Mark's authorship of the second gospel is equally evident. A close follower of the disciples, though not an immediate part of the twelve, Mark brings an onlookers witness of the events. And his writing so impressed Matthew and Luke that they both quote Mark's gospel, almost in in its fullness, in their own.
Finally, Luke, not even an eye witness to the events, but an obviously well-educated and well practiced researcher adds yet another aspect to the glorious witness of the gospels.
Such a cloud of witnesses, and yet, even more importantly, men driven along by the Holy Spirit of God writing exactly what the Lord wanted to have recorded.
"Theopneustos" the Greek word for God-breathed, has its only use in 2 Timothy 3:16 where we read "All Scripture is God-breathed." And 2 Peter adds to this with:"For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." So while they were able to bring their own experiences and perspectives to the table, God, by the Holy Spirit, breathed into them, the words He intended for them to write. What the good Lord Himself wanted us to know. The essentials.
Reformed theologians talk about perspicuity, that is that God, by His Holy Spirit, has clearly communicate through scripture. We do not need a Biblical scholar to explain it, though that scholar might add information that would lead us into a fuller appreciation of it. God, the ultimate author of scripture, spoke through these men, His truth and, by His Holy Spirit, enables believers to comprehend it. The perspicuity of the Word of God.
Oh that we would more fully appreciate what we have before us. Oh that we would read it more intentionally, more consistently, and more searchingly. All we need to know about the Lord Jesus Christ, about the Father and the Holy Spirit, about our salvation and our calling, is there.
In this season of Advent, as we prepare for Jesus' coming again, let us renew our commitment to knowing Him as scripture alone can clearly, authoritatively, and factually make Him known. For scripture intentionally seeks to make Him known to all who truly seek Him.
How can you do what Jesus would do, if you don't know that which He did, if you don't know who He is. For Jesus cannot be known outside of the scriptural witness.
Solus Christus (1 Timothy 2:5); Sola Scriptura (2 Timothy 3:16-17)