“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1)
INTRODUCTION: It is often argued by biblical scholars that The Gospel of Mark is the most primitive of the four Gospels, and for that reason it is less adorned with theology and layers of tradition and interpretive meanings – and that, as such, it presents the most unvarnished or least engineered picture of who Jesus really was. Whether this analysis concerning the Gospel of Mark is valid is the subject of scholarly contention, but the purpose of this note is to suggest that, whatever the case may be, the Gospel of Mark clearly and definitely establishes the divinity of Jesus. What I have done in the chart below is simply to label the passages from Mark’s gospel that point to or bear upon the divinity of Jesus.
WHO IS JESUS?: THE VARIOUS DECLARANTS IN MARK’S GOSPEL
VERSE IDENTIFICATION DECLARANT
1. Mark 1:1 “the Son of God”…..by the Narrator/Mark
2. Mark 1:11 “my beloved Son” …..by God the Father
3. Mark 1:24 “the Holy One of God”…..by a demonic spirit
4. Mark 2:7 “Who can forgive sins but God alone?”…..by some of the scribes (when Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic and then healed him, saying, “But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”)
5. Mark 2:19 “the bridegroom”…..by Jesus (“marital imagery” of Jesus’ divinity)
6. Mark 2:28 “Lord of the Sabbath”…..by Jesus (implying Jesus’ divinity)
7. Mark 3:12 “You are the Son of God”….. by unclean spirits
8. Mark 4:41 “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey?”…..by the Apostles
9. Mark 5:7 “Jesus, Son of the Most High God”…..by the Gerasene Demoniac
10. Mark 6:50 “It is I,” says Jesus, walking on the sea, which can be translated, “it is I am,” the living God…..by Jesus, “taking for himself the divine name, ‘I am’ ” (ICSB)
11.Mark 7: 28 “Lord”…..by the Syrophoenician Woman
12. Mark 8: 29 “You are the Christ”…..by the apostle, Peter (“Peter’s confession is the [dramatic] climax of the first half of Mark’s Gospel” (ICSB)
13. Mark 8: 31 “The Son of man”…..by Jesus (“alludes to the royal figure described in Daniel 7:13-14”)
14. Mark 9:7 “This is my beloved Son”…..by God the Father
15. Mark 9:9, 12, 30 “Son of man”…..by Jesus (see 8:31 above)
16. Mark 9:41 “Christ” …..by Jesus
17. Mark 10:33, 45 “Son of Man”…..by Jesus (see 8:31 above)
18. Mark 10:47,48 “Jesus, Son of David”…..by Jesus (the Messiah was to be a descendant of King David)
19. Mark 11:3 “the Lord”…..by Jesus
20. Mark 11: 9-10 “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the coming kingdom of our Father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”…..by the crowd (the crowd sees Jesus as deliverer and Messiah as Jesus enters Jerusalem on a colt; multiple levels of interpretation)
21. Mark 12: 35-36 “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: ‘The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.'” ….. A veiled statement by Jesus, invoking the Holy Spirit, that the Messiah will not only be a son of David, but also the Lord who has power on high (see fulfillment at Mk 16:19)
CONCLUSION: From the many verses set forth above it can be clearly seen that “recognizing Jesus as the divine Son of God is the goal of Mark’s Gospel” (ICSB, p. 62). In short, the Gospel of Mark is replete with references to Jesus’ Divinity.
Image: Mark the Evangelist, 16th-century Russian icon, author unknown (Public Domain, U.S.A.)
References: For this note I have been relying on the commentary to the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, although the scriptural quotations above come from various translations.
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