Jesus Christ, Son of God, Mark 1

Mark begins his gospel, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1), and very quickly begins to pile up evidence to support that claim. From John’s testimony as the one who was sent to “prepare the way of the LORD” (Mark 1:3), to God the Father declaring from heaven that Jesus is His Beloved Son (Mark 1:11), to Jesus’ performance of many miracles, chapter one provides a strong foundation for the case that Jesus is truly the Son of God.

One thread of evidence that runs through the first couple of chapters is the authority put on display by Jesus. In chapter one Jesus is in the synagogue on the Sabbath in Capernaum and begins to teach. We are told the people “were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). It was the custom of the scribes in the time of Jesus to teach on the scriptures by referencing the traditions and opinions of renowned rabbis. Jesus did not teach in this manner. He did not need to reference the traditions and opinions of others. He spoke with authority directly to what the scriptures were saying, and the people noticed the difference.

Jesus’ second display of authority recognized by those in His presence was His authority over the unclean spirits. While still in the synagogue in Capernaum, a man with an unclean spirit cried out in the presence of Jesus, identifying Jesus as “the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24) and begging to be left alone. Jesus rebuked him, commanding him to come out of the man and the spirit obeyed. Again, the people were amazed saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him” (Mark 1:27). They were witnessing something they understood could not be accomplished by man alone, but only by a greater authority.

Lastly, in chapter two, four men brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus to be healed. “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’” (Mark 2:5). Immediately the people began to reason in their hearts that Jesus was blaspheming, because only God can forgive sins. Jesus healed the man saying, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power (authority) on earth to forgive sins” (Mark 2:10). His ability to heal the man immediately and completely was an indication of His authority to forgive sins. The physical healing pointed to the greater spiritual Jesus came to bring humanity.

In his gospel, Mark provides very powerful evidence of the fact that Jesus is indeed the Son of God. Jesus’ authority displayed in His teaching, His command of the unclean spirits, and His healing and forgiving power is at the heart of that evidence. We, like Mark, should be prepared to declare Jesus as the Son of God to the world.

by: Tim Butler