God's Kingdom and God's Son: The Background in Mark's Christology from Concepts of Kingship in the Psalms

By Robert D. Rowe | Go to book overview

CONCLUSIONS

At the end of each of our chapters (or the sub-sections, other than the short third sub-section, to chapter 5) we have summarized our findings and it is unnecessary here to reiterate them. Our argument has developed, with cumulative effect throughout the six chapters, to demonstrate the fact and significance of the linkage of the two themes of the kingdom of God and of the messianic kingship/divine sonship of Jesus in the gospel of Mark. Without going over all the stages of that argument, we shall now attempt to summarize what we consider to be the main results and significance of this study.

1. In chapter 4, we considered Jesus' preaching of the kingdom of God, according to Mark. We saw that the coming of God's kingdom was closely related to the person and works of Jesus himself, and entry into the kingdom depended on following Jesus with childlike trust. God's kingdom is eternal, but was being manifested uniquely through Jesus: that was the secret of the kingdom of God, made known to Jesus' disciples. Further, the future coming of God's kingdom in power would reveal the glory of Jesus, given to him by his Father, as anticipated in the transfiguration.

In chapter 6, we saw that Mark's presentation of the messianic kingship/divine sonship of Jesus (especially by reference to Psalms 2; 118; 110; and 22) shows it as being subordinate to God's kingship, and also the primary means by which God's kingdom is revealed on earth. Thus, the coming of God's kingdom was, and will be, primarily revealed through Jesus' messianic kingship, which involved rejection, suffering and death, but is to be vindicated in the future. Jesus' kingship/Messiahship/divine sonship was veiled during his earthly life, but it will be manifested fully at a future time. Indeed for the believer, Jesus' vindication and his manifestation as King has already begun in the events of the crucifixion and resurrection. It was only after Jesus has died, that he was confessed by the centurion as 'Son of God' (Mark 15:39).

So, according to Mark, Jesus (following the Psalms and other Old Testament passages) linked the concept of Messiahship/divine sonship with the kingdom of God - powerful, ethical, personal, and compassionate - whose coming was 'good news'. He is further seen as reinterpreting current notions of Messiahship in two ways. First, the Messiah

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