Divine Government

I’m enjoying co-teaching the Gospel of Mark this semester. It’s wonderful to see the flow and unity of a single Gospel. I thought I would give you a quote from R. T. France’s “Divine Government: God’s Kingship in the Gospel of Mark” on the kingship of Jesus as it is presented in Mark,

“…[T]he man who proclaimed the arrival of God’s kingship in Mark 1.15 is presented in the story that follows as himself a king. His kingship is misunderstood and rejected by those around him, and finally its unthinkable culmination in his execution as a rebel against Rome, the very concept of kingship from which he had so clearly distanced himself. But beyond that apparent anticlimax he has pointed to another level of kingship altogether, and one to which his earthly humiliation will mysteriously prove the appointed means, the heavenly enthronement of the Son of Man. And his kingship is the kingship of God….The government is upon his shoulder. As God’s Son, he occupies by right his Father’s throne, for he is himself no less than God” (p. 105).

Jesus is the Christ [8.29], the Son of God [1.1] who has come as the Messiah, the Son of Man to give His life as a ransom for many [10.45]. Yet throughout Mark we see people who don’t understand His mission; people who don’t understand Him. At the end He is crucified, a death only reserved for the cruelest criminals and revolutionaries. Yet, by being the stone which the builders rejected, he has become the chief cornerstone. It was the Lord’s doing. His divine plan, and it is marvelous [12.10-11].

It is because of this humble obedience to the Father that He is exalted and given the name above all names to which every knee will one day bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord [Phil. 2.9-11]. It was how the Lion of the tribe of Judah had prevailed to open the scroll and loose its seven seals: by being a Lamb which had been slain [Rev. 5.5-6]. 

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
– Mark 8.34b-38

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