Friday, December 5, 2008

The Gospel of Mark: The Authority of Jesus Christ

The Gospel of Mark and the Authority of Jesus Christ

As I read through the Gospel of Mark, I was struck by the beginning verses and how they seemed to form a "thesis" for the deity and authority of Jesus.

To quote a previous entry of mine:

Mark 1:2
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Malachi 3:1
"Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts.

Notice that in original quotation Malachi, God/YHWH uses the pronoun "Me," while in Mark when referring to Jesus it is "You." Why is that? Because Jesus is the second person of the Godhead and so when something is attributed to God/YHWH, it is appropriate to attribute it to Jesus.

[BTW, if you're wondering why it Mark says from the prophet Isaiah, its b/c Mark puts two verses together Malachi 3:1(v2) and than Isaiah 40:3(v3), and as the literary custom of the day, he attributes the entire quote to the higher ranking prophet.]

Now that we see that Jesus from the outset is equated with YHWH God, let's see how Mark develops His Authority in his Gospel:

Mark 1:1, 1:11, 9:6 - Authority as the Son of God (Not only does Mark, but God the Father explicitly calls Him "the Son" ~ Talk about a letter of recommendation!)

Mark 1:2-3 - Proclaimed as the predicted Lord and YHWH Himself

Mark 1:27 - Authority in Himself

Mark 1:29-34 - Authority over disease

Mark 1:34, 6:7 - Authority over demons (He even could give others the authority over demons)

Mark 2:5-7 - Authority to forgive sins

Mark 2:10, 14:62 - Authority as the Son of Man

Mark 2:28, 3:11-12 - Authority over the Sabbath

Mark 4:41 - Authority over the creation/natural world

Mark 5:41 - Authority over death

Mark 6:48 - Authority over the laws of nature

Mark 6:41 - Authority over matter and the power of creation ex nihilo (ie to create something out of nothing)

Mark 7:19 - Authority over the OT law (He declared all foods clean)

Mark 8:29 - Authority as the Messiah/Christ

Mark 9:2-3 - Authority of the Kingdom of God and power/The Transfiguration

Mark 13:26 - Authority to close the End of the Age

Mark 13:31 - Authority and eternity of His Words

Mark 14:22-24 - Authority of the New Covenant (to initiate it and that His blood is the New Covenant)

Mark 14:22-24 - Authority to institute new sacraments for God's people

Mark 15:39 - Authority of His Death

Mark 16:6 - Authority of His Resurrection

This is by means no means an exhaustive list of verses, but definitely gives a good bird's eye view of Christ's authority and really His equality with God/YHWH. As best put by the Pharisees in Mark 2:7 "Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" They were right about, but failed to realize Jesus was God.

Praise be to our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ!