Often times when discussing the Historical Jesus, some skeptical scholars are quick to make the claim that Jesus was nothing more than an apocalyptic prophet. That the development of his nature from the Gospel of Mark to the Gospel of John is solid evidence for this; Jesus didn’t really claim to be God. However, this isn’t the case at all. In fact, we can find the divinity of Jesus all throughout the Gospel of Mark alone! Let’s examine the case:
Jesus Can Forgive the Sins of All
In Mark 2:5, Jesus tells the paralyzed man that “his sins are forgiven”. Immediately after, in verse 6, it says, “some experts in Moses’ teachings were there” and “Who can forgive sins but God alone?”. Jesus then responds, “I want you to know that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.”
Jesus Is the Lord of the Sabbath
It is very clear in the early chapters of the book of Genesis and all throughout the book of Exodus that God created the Sabbath and he is the Lord of it. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that in the same chapter that Jesus forgives sins, he also makes this bold claim in Mark 2:28: “The Son of Man is even the Lord of the Sabbath.”
Jesus Controls the Weather
During Mark 4:35-41, the disciples and Jesus are on a boat when suddenly a huge storm hits them. They ask Jesus to help them, and in Mark 4:39 he commands the wind and the sea to calm; which they do. Then the disciples ask themselves in Mark 4:41, “Who is this, that even the the wind and the waves obey Him!” Well, there is an answer throughout the entirety of the Old Testament that would answer this question: Who is this? God, who they thought controlled the weather. But let’s focus on one specific passage, found in the book of Exodus. Exodus 14:21 says, “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back and a strong wind to divide them.” So the Lord controls the wind and the sea, just like Jesus. No wonder the disciples were freaked out.
Jesus Transfigured with the Highest of Prophets
In Mark 9:2-13, Jesus and a couple of his disciples go on top of a mountain, where he is then transfigured. Suddenly, the disciples look, and the transfigured Jesus is having a conversation with Moses and Elijah (who ‘coincidentally the “Angel of the Lord” appeared to both in the Old Testament; the Angel of the Lord being the preincarnate Christ). Now, this doesn’t exactly prove Jesus was God in Mark alone, but it does show that Mark thought very highly of Jesus early on.
Jesus, the Unique Son of God at the Right Hand of Power
After Jesus is arrested, He is on trial before the Sanhedrin. One of them asks, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus replies, “I Am. And you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of Heaven.” They then charge Him with blasphemy. This passage is very important. Here is a list of verses in the Old Testament where God is the cloud-rider: Psa. 68:33, Deut. 33:26, 2 Sam. 22:11, Psa. 18:10, Isa. 19:1, and Psa. 104:3. Also, Jesus is referring to the Son of Man who rides the clouds in Daniel 7. Last, we have Him sitting at the right hand of Power, which puts Jesus at a pretty high position.
In conclusion, despite the claims of many, we can in fact find many pieces of evidence that the earliest Gospel, Mark, spoke highly on the divinity of our “Lord and God” (John 20:28) Jesus.