Titles and their significance for 1st Century Jews
Son of Man- Could mean ordinary man as a representative of humankind.(Psalm 8 or Ezikiel).Some say it simply meant 'I'. In Daniel 7 it was someone with divine authority.
Son of God- OT Isralis were described as being a 'son' whom God carried. This was a metaphor. Jesus claiming he was the SofG was blasphemy as Jews believed 'the Lord is one' and ergo could not be separated into more. God also called Jesus His 'beloved' Son. This implied that Jesus was unique as the only 'begotten' SofG.
Messiah, Christ, Son of David- The Jews thought that the Messiah would be a warrior king, a la David( the Messiah was a decendant of David) when it actually meant that the Messiah would bring in the KofG. Messiah(Hebrew)=Christ(Greek)= anointed one. Jesus was different than the expected Messiah e.g entry to Jerusalem- humble, bringing peace.
Meaning for Christians today
Son of Man- It was the title Jesus used for himself (14 times in Mark). It also serves to tell us of Jesus' humanity and humility( 'The Son of Man came to serve, not to be served-Mark 10). It also speaks to Jesus' divine authority and power, however some say it is not significant because it is closely related to OT passages. Not commonly used today.
Son of God- There are no political conotations (unlike the Jews). It represents intimacy with the Father and divine authority. It also stands to serve as a reminder of the uniqueness of Jesus throughout human history. It tells us that Jesus is a part of the Godhead(human and divine), however, some say that it makes Him seem distant.
Messiah, Christ, Son of David- Messiah reminds people that Jesus was a historical figure and a decendant of David. It also reminds Christians that Jesus fulfilled OT prophecy.
Miracles and teaching
Miracles- super controversial. People and scholars have often debated to the validity of the miracles, some scholars saying that they are like parables. Jesus often used miracles to convey important lesson to his followers.
For instance, Jesus fed 5,000 men after teaching them for an entire day and also taught the disciples through the miracle about trusting God to provide. Again, with the paralysed man, Jesus taught the Pharisees and the crowd that he had the authority to forgive and heal through the miracle. Finally, the calming of the storm taught the disciples to have faith in the middle of a crisis and that Jesus rules over nature.
Meaning and Significance of the Last Supper
The Last Supper is an interesting one. Jesus and Co. were celebrating Passover, which was symbolic of what Jesus was going to do for the world(deliver the world, how God delivered them from Egypt).With the breaking of the bread and sharing of the wine. Jesus ushers in a new covenant. Unlike the old OT covenant which was based in Law, this was based in Jesus' death on the cross.
The Significance of breaking the bread
Catholic Beliefs: Transubstantiation- it literally becomes the body and blood of Jesus. The real presence of Jesus lives in the bread and wine. They also believe that the Eucharist is a re-enactment of the Last Supper and Jesus' sacrifice.
Protestant Beliefs: The bread and wine stay the same, they are REPRESENTATIONS of the body and blood and they are REMEMBERING, not RE-ENACTING Jesus' sacrifice.
Points of Agreement:Thank God for the death and resurrection of Christ, they recieve a special blessing, Jesus is present with Christians in a special way and they share together as the body of Christ.
Death and Resurrection
The crucifixion is considered to be the greatest event in the Christian calendar. It has unlimited significance because it signifies:
1) Jesus giving us eternal life
2)Making a new covenant with us
3) Allowing us to be connected with God
However, the resurrection could also be considered for that position because:
1)Christ delivering us from sin('if Christ is not raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!)
2)Death is finished
3)The resurrection is a conerstone for the start of the church
The authority of St Mark's Gospel
We can believe that Mark's Gospel is a reputable source because:
1)Christians believe that the bible is God inspired
2)Fragments of the gospel date back to AD 68
3)That's older than other respected sources of literature like Caesar's Gallic Wars.
4) 8 Non-Christian authors refer to Jesus
5)The gospel was written about 30 years after Jesus' resurrection. People would have still remebered it. If it was false, it would have been refuted by eyewitnesses.
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God
A Present Reality: One definition of the KofG is 'a place where Jesus is obeyed'. So that could be in a church, or a prayer meeting which also extends to different communities that love and obey Jesus.
An Inner State: The KofG is also interpreted as a place where God is obeyed ergo, your own heart and spirit
In the Future: We know that the KofG will come in FULLNESS in the future as it is said in the Bible very clearly, when Jesus returns in the new heaven and earth.
People disregarded by Society
Man with leprosy: Jesus broke through fear and prejudice and healed an 'unclean' man.
Call of Levi: Tax collectors were regarded as sinners by the Jews because they worked for the Romans and cheated Jews out of their money. Jesus ate with him because his mission was to change the worst people in society.
Greek Woman's Daughter: Jews considered Gentiles as a lower class so Jesus showed he was here for everyone when he healed her and broke racial prejudice.
Demon possessed boy: Jews looked down on the disabled so Jesus showed care for a boy who was outcast.
Widow at the treasury: Jesus honoured a woman who were vey much treated as second class citizens.
Blind Bartimaeus: see demon possessed boy.
Jesus says that to be a disciple we must:
1)'Deny himself'- put God and others first
2)'take up his cross'- be prepared to suffer and die
3)'Follow me'- obey Jesus
4)'whoever loses loses his life for My and the Gospel's sake will find it'- we must sacrifice our own desires and ambitions for Him.
5)'What will it profit a man if he gains the world but loses the soul'- worldly wealth must never be put above our spiritual life.
6)'Whoever is ashamed of Me'- we must be prepared to speak about Jesus
Costs:leaving home, siblings, parents, children or land and persecution
Rewards:Will receive 100x of what was first given and receive eternal life.
The Importance of faith in Mark's Gospel
In Mark's Gospel, faith plays a important role and we see clear examples of where it is needed.
1)Call of Disciples/ Mission of the 12- faith is needed to follow and obey Jesus
2)Calming of the Storm- we need faith to endure the trials of life
3)Feeding of the 5,000- we must have faith in God's provision
4)Blind Bartimaeus/Greek woman/Leper: Faith is essential for healing
5)Rich Man: To enter heaven we must have faith to leave all to follow Jesus