The Son of God --Part 1

The Son of God
Part 1

Ernest B. Sprunt

Most Bible commentators agree that Mark presents the Lord Jesus Christ as the Perfect Servant. It is, however, significant that the book opens with the words, “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

This statement does not refute the suggestion of His being seen as the Servant in the second Gospel. Rather, it dispels any implication that Jesus Christ ceased to be the Son of God when He became the Servant.

In the mouth of two or three witnesses, we are told, every word shall be established. Here we find triple testimonies from three spheres to confirm the fact of His Sonship. First, there is the testimony of the Prophets; then the testimony of Deity, and finally the testimony of Creation.

The Prophets

In Isaiah 40:3 and in Malachi 3:1, reference is made to one coming as the forerunner of the Lord Himself, to prepare His way. These passages are used in Mark 1:2-3, to introduce John the Baptist as the herald of Jesus Christ, the Coming One.

Thus the first and last of the Old Testament prophets combine to attest to the fact that this One is God the Son. They are, in effect, representative of all the prophets who wrote to bear witness of Him.

The triplet of prophetic testimony is completed by John the Baptist himself, the last and greatest of the prophets of the old dispensation. He preached the coming of One greater than himself, the latchet of whose shoes, John confessed, he was not worthy to stoop down and unloose (vs. 7).

Elsewhere we are told that John bore record, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God.”

Deity

From the early books of the Bible we gather that it was a common thing for the Lord to speak from Heaven directly to His servants and to His people. This experience, however, became less and less frequent as the hearts of the people grew increasingly hard and as they enjoyed less of the consciousness of His presence in their midst.

Consequently, the prophets and the holy angels became the medium whereby God spoke unto the fathers, until such time as He sent His own Son into the world as the Living Word.

The audible voice of God the Father was no longer heard, except when it was necessary to give assurance that Jesus Christ was indeed His Son.

For example, when Jesus came up from the water, after having been baptized of John in Jordan, God the Father said, with the voice from Heaven, “Thou art My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (vs 11).

Again, on the Mount of Transfiguration, when Peter proposed making three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elias, this same voice was heard from the heavenly cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son: hear Him” (Mk. 9:7).

Finally, in John 12:28, when Jesus cried with troubled soul, “Father, glorify Thy Name”, there came a voice from Heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

On this latter occasion, sad to say, the people were so bereft of spiritual perception that they did not recognize the voice as that of the Father. Instead, some said that it was an angel that spoke, while yet others passed off the phenomenon with the supposition that it was merely the rumbling of distant thunder.

Nevertheless, the evidence of God the Father stands to give threefold testimony to the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

The Holy Spirit, as the Third Person of the Godhead, also has a distinct part in the heavenly testimony to the Divine Sonship of Jesus of Nazareth. Previous reference has been made to His descending upon Him in the form of a dove on the banks of Jordan.

Notice also verse 12, “Immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness.” The resultant privation and temptation was not a surprise attack plotted by Satan; rather, it was according to the definite plan of the Spirit. It was the means the Spirit would use to display, under the most severe tests, the perfections of this distinctive Man, in order to establish beyond dispute that He is indeed the Son of God.

Creation

Let us now consider the sphere of creation for further testimony to the Divine Sonship of our Lord Jesus Christ. One would be reminded of the statement in Romans 1:20, “The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and godhead.”

Much is made of the miracle which was displayed when Daniel was cast into the den of lions. No less marvellous is the fact that Jesus, when tempted in the wilderness, was with the wild beasts (vs 13) and yet He was not harmed by them in any way. Being God the Son, He possessed the inherent power to shut the mouths of these beasts, even as He did those of the lions in Daniel’s day. These naturally ferocious animals, by their subjection to Him, gave mute but forceful testimony to His being the Son of God, the ordained Ruler of the coming millenial kingdom of peace.

Similarly, the ass’s colt submitted placidly when the Lord rode into Jerusalem. What other man could gain immediate and complete control over such a fractious animal upon which no one had ever before been seated? This is the way the brute beasts give testimony to their recognizing Jesus as the Son of God.

Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee (vs 16) would recall the incident in chapter four where the elements attest to His Sonship. As He was asleep in the hinder part of the vessel, you recall, a great storm of wind arose and the waves filled the ship. Rising from slumber, He displayed His divine power with the words, “Peace, be still.” At once the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

The disciples were thus led to exclaim one to another, “What manner of Man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” This is but further testimony to His Sonship.

Surely it was not by mere chance that on a certain occasion a fish found a coin in the sea and took it into its mouth. Nor was it by sheer coincidence that this same fish should open its mouth again to take the hook which Peter cast into the sea. It happened because Jesus, as the Son of God, was in control of His creatures.

Finally, the unclean spirit is forced to give due recognition of Jesus as the Holy One of God (vs 24). When the demon came out of the tormented man, the people were all amazed and questioned among themselves, saying, “What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commandeth He even the unclean spirits, and they do obey Him.”

Nor was this an isolated case of power over the demons. He cast out many (vs 34), throughout all Galilee (vs 39). Perhaps the outstanding case occurs in chapter five, where the demoniac was made perfectly whole as his legion of demons entered into the herd of swine, causing them to run violently down a steep place to be choked in the sea.

Thus, in Mark, chapter one, the words of the prophets, the witness of the Godhead and the testimony of creation would lead to the undisputed and irrefutable conclusion that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.