“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Mark 1:1-3).
Mark begins his gospel account by declaring to his readers whose good news this is. This is the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Who is this Jesus Christ that we should know about Him? What is so remarkable about this Man?
Mark quotes from two an ancient prophecies with regards to his subject matter.
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isa 40:3).
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts” (Mal 3:1).
Mark makes doubly sure his readers are left in no doubt who this JesusChrist, the Son of God, is. The prophet Isaiah said, “Prepare ye the way of the LORD.” The word, LORD, stands for Yahweh, the name of God.
In quoting this prophecy as fulfilled in the one he is writing about, Mark is declaring to his readers that this Jesus Christ is Yahweh Himself!
The prophecy of Malachi reads, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me.” The messenger whom God would send was to prepare the way for none other than God Himself.
It is Jesus Christ who is the fulfillment of these prophecies.
Critics of the Bible claim that the gospel writers never meant to assert that Jesus is deity. Jehovah’s Witnesses, too, deny the deity of Jesus. Mark wants his readers to know that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God, not merely in the metaphorical sense of being a holy man, but as God Himself, sharing the divine essence as the Father.
This is an astounding truth. God, who is a Spirit (John 4:24), has become flesh and blood. “No man hath seen God at any time” (1Jo 4:12) but Jesus says, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).
John says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14).
Paul also affirms the divine identity of Jesus Christ.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Php 2:5-7).
In addressing Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Mark is using a term every Jew will understand to have a deep, profound meaning.
“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18).
When we turn to the pages of the gospel accounts—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—let us do so with reverence, for what we do read in them is not the story of a mythical figure or a great man of history.
We are reading about the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He is the One of whom it is written: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3).
He is the One who says of His work: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).He is the One who says of Himself: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
The deity of Christ is the very foundation truth of the Christian faith. If He were any less than God, then “we are of all men most miserable” (1Co 15:19). Why? Because by His resurrection His divine nature is once for all declared in all creation.
“Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:3-4).
Who is it we read of in the pages of scriptures? It is the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ! It is He of whom the scriptures testify (cf. John 5:39). It is He before whom all creation must bow and pay homage.
“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Php 2:10-11).