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March 25 | Mark 14:53-65


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Jesus' True Identity

by Pr. Dave Mann


Throughout much of the gospel of Mark, Jesus warned people NOT to reveal his identity to others (Mark 1:43-45; 8:29-30; etc.). This is often referred to as Jesus’ messianic secret. 

 

However, in the brief conversation between Jesus and Caiaphas, the high priest, Jesus clarifies his identity. Caiaphas poses the question, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”  Jesus’ response is simple and straightforward, “I am.” Not “I am he,” or “I am the one.” He answers with “I am.” This short answer is a sure ticket to condemnation by the Sanhedrin because it is a direct reference to Moses in conversation with the living God at the burning bush. Moses wants to know the name of God so that he can tell the Israelites who is sending him. You can read about this incredible encounter in Exodus 3. But note especially verse 14, “God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’“ This is the divine name of the eternally pre-existent YHWH.

 

If that is not enough to shock the Sanhedrin, Jesus adds for good measure another reference to a well-known passage in the Hebrew Scriptures, “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” This is a clear claim to be the “son of man” in Daniel’s vision in 7:13-14, a Messianic passage, "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed."

 

In just a few words, Jesus makes two proclamations that he is the Messiah, and more than that he claims the divine name YHWH for himself. This is plenty enough for Jesus to be charged with blasphemy, putting himself in the place of God. This would indeed be a valid accusation, except for the fact that it is true!

 

Unlike earlier passages in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus here speaks claiming his divine, messianic identity. Jesus is therefore condemned to die on the cross. No more secrecy. Just clarity. Jesus’ mission takes him to the cross.

 

PRAYER

Thank you, Jesus, for your faithfulness to your mission through the cross. Thank you for the clear revelation of your true identity as the Messiah and the eternal YHWH. The completion of your journey to the cross demands my soul, my life, my all. Amen.






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1 Comment


robin.lorms
Mar 25

Good morning, Pastor Dave.

We have all heard of situations with incredible odds such as winning the National Power Ball Lottery at 300+ million to one and the odds of all the prophecies of the Old Testament coming true as almost incalculable. Using the "odds" concept I think of all the generations and billions of people that have lived on earth over the millenniums and the odds that only one man is and can be the Messiah. Here stands Caiaphas and in front of him is the one and, never to be again, Messiah. Amazing odds that this high priest would be the one to send Jesus to His appointed death for the sins of the world. God's Omniscience i…


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