The Gospel of Mark, the Son of God

THE Gospel of Mark opens with the words: “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”, but we do not notice the concentrated wonder of the last three words, for we have heard them too often. Why does it not strike us as astounding that God should have a Son? It did those who first heard it. For the disciples of Jesus, it was the supreme confession of faith – ”Thou art the Son of God, Thou art the King of Israel”, as another Gospel records from an early disciple; for His enemies, it was the culminating blasphemy, “and they all condemned him to be worthy of death”.

The whole Book vibrates with high excitement, supreme hope, crashing despair, and sudden restoration. There is deep-rooted loyalty, black treachery, stirring devotion, and revolting murder. We must recapture the ability to respond to these movements if we would read the Bible as it is. We cannot close our hearts. We must try to live in the events through which we move.

ALFRED NORRIS, On Reading the Bible, pages 21,22.