“And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased”.
Titles of Jesus – Son of God
Mark wants us to know very clearly, and immediately, why he is writing his Gospel which begins with a declaration that Jesus is the Son of God and, within a few lines, recounts Jesus’ baptism. The stories in Matthew and Luke are almost identical.
The question of Jesus’ identity has always been paramount, because from it flows the authority to say and do what he did. Mark explores Jesus’ authority, as well, in chapter 1, and this is no coincidence.
This declaration is political dynamite. It was a threat to Rome; only Caesar was declared “ Son of God’ and a threat to the political truce between Jewish religious authorities and Rome. Some have written that this was probably not the theological threat to Judaism many have supposed. The idea that the threat is mainly political carries merit even if, sometimes, the accusations against Jesus are dressed up in theological language. How often in church life we use “other issues” to act as the charger for what we really want to say?
How precious it is to us that God has, and does, walk amongst us; that God has lived our life and understands all we go through. How precious it is to us that a life lived Walking the Way that is Jesus, is never, ever a wasted life but the most fruitful and meaningful way to live, because Jesus is the Son of God.
What a difference God can make in our world through us as we walk alongside both those who don’t go to Church and those who do. Our confidence in Jesus can give us the confidence to hear God speaking to us through women at wells whose life styles don’t match our idea of “rightness” and through that preacher we don’t get on with but faithfully listen to.
That Jesus is the Son of God, declared by the Voice from Heaven, makes all the difference to the world, all is changed since that day.
Jesus Son of God and Son of Mary, enlighten my heart today, enlighten your world today. May we know the joy of walking with you all the days of our lives. As I plant my feet in your footsteps, may I make a difference in the world for your sake. Amen
The Rev’d Peter Meek is the Moderator of the East Midlands Synod.