Summary: Mark gives five evidences that Jesus is the Son of God, that Jesus is God in human form.
Last week I began a ten-week series of messages. It is based on a series that is titled Christianity Explored by Rico Tice and Barry Cooper, out of England.
Last week I introduced you to Christianity Explored, and I said that Christianity is not about beautiful buildings or boring services. Nor is it about throwing your brain out the window. No. Christianity is all about Jesus Christ. That is why we began last week by reading Mark 1:1 (quickview) .
And, that is the same Scripture I would like to direct your attention to this morning because today’s message is titled, “Jesus—Who Was He?” I want to examine what Mark teaches us about the identity of Jesus Christ.
There’s a great scene in the movie Notting Hill in which the character Bernie meets Anna Scott (played by Julia Roberts) for the first time. The movie is a romantic comedy about an ordinary man named William Thacker who falls in love with the most famous actress in the world. But William’s friend Bernie doesn’t know that when he first meets Anna. Here is what happens:
Bernie: So tell me, Anna, what do you do?
Anna: I’m an actress. What do you do?
Bernie: I’m actually in the stock market myself, so not really in similar fields, though I have done the odd bit of amateur stuff—P. G. Woodhouse farce, all that. . . . I’ve always imagined that’s a pretty tough job though, acting. I mean, the wages are a scandal, aren’t they?
Anna: They can be.
Bernie: I see friends from university. They’ve been in the business longer than you. They’re scraping by on $7-8,000 a year. It’s no life. What sort of acting do you do?
Anna: Films mainly.
Bernie: Oh, splendid! Oh, well done. How’s the pay in the movies? I mean, the last film you did, what did you get paid?
Anna: Fifteen million dollars.
Bernie: Right. . . so that’s fairly good.
Bernie doesn’t relate to Anna properly. Why not? Because he doesn’t know who she is.
Many people don’t relate to Jesus properly because they don’t know who he is.
If we are going to relate properly to Jesus we have to get his identity right.
The actor Noel Coward was once asked, “What do you think about God?” to which he replied, “We’ve never been properly introduced.”
We saw last week that, according to the Bible, God has introduced himself to us through Jesus.
So, who was Jesus? Was he a great moral teacher? A Galilean carpenter? A compassionate miracle-worker? A misunderstood revolutionary? A great historical figure?
Mark’s assessment goes far beyond any of these views. He states very boldly, right in the very first sentence of his book that Jesus is “the Son of God” (Mark 1:1 (quickview) ). Or, to put it another way, Jesus is God in human form.
Now, to say such a thing seems outrageous to many modern ears, but it was no small matter to the people of Mark’s day either. In fact, a claim to be God in human form got you thrown to the lions, because the only person you were supposed to acknowledge as God in human form was the Roman Emperor. Virgil, the Roman poet, described emperors as “a new breed of Man, come down from Heaven.”