New Hope Baptist Church
Friday, January 18, 2019
a place to call home


"Whoever has seen me has seen the Father...I am in the Father and the Father is in me...Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me."

                                                 John 14:9-11

This Sunday we opened our study of the book of Mark and I asked us to ponder this question as we read through this marvelous work we call the Gospel: “What are you putting your hope in?” Or we could ask, “Who are you putting your hope in?” As we read through Mark’s Gospel we’ll see that this question underlies every encounter with Jesus narrated here for us. We’ll see the question answered by the disciples, by John the Baptist, the Pharisees and others.

Mark opens up by calling Jesus the “Son of God.” I think all too often we view the word “Son” through the lens of our understanding of parenting; as though God birthed an offspring and therefore Jesus is God’s Son. Unfortunately the actual mechanics of how God the Father had a human “son” are not explained to us. And the Bible nowhere explains the Trinitarian theology to us by way of explicit explanation nor does it through analogy. So what does this term mean?

We looked at Isaiah 9:6 and saw that the Jewish understanding of the Messiah or as Mark called him, the Christ, would be God coming in the flesh to redeem and restore his people. For the readers in Mark’s day there was no struggle in understanding the concept of a God Man. Take for instance the Pharisee’s response in Matthew 26:63 when demanding of Jesus “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” When Jesus responded that yes, he was the Son, they equated that with blasphemy for Jesus, when saying he is the Christ, says he is God. Again in John 5:18 the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Jesus because, “he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.  

Jesus and the Father “are one” (John 10:38, 17:11) and Jesus is “In the Father as the Father is in” him (John 14:11). Jesus does not say that he is the Father but rather they are One. Yes, they are distinct yet unified. Jesus is God’s Son, Scripture teaches us, not in the sense that God and Mary had relations and 9 months later little baby Jesus popped out. Rather, Jesus is God’s Son in the sense that God is made manifest in human form.

Yes, the Trinity is tough to wrap our heads around but it is a beautiful display of how God loves his creation so much that he has revealed himself to us through the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This personhood of God shows us how we have a personal God breaking into the world with love, affection and sacrifice. But there is more, our God lives with us, indwells us and guides and leads us. Now that's a concept I know we all can wrap our heads around.