My Jesus — the faithful Servant

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“Maranatha!” — The call for the return of Christ fits best into the Advent season, the time of expectation and arrival. But who exactly is this One who came and who is to return? Following is the first of four perspectives.

My Jesus is the devoted and unwavering Servant of God and mankind. I actually wrote a book about Him…

I am a Christian of the first century AD, and am something of a preacher type. My Greek is simple and colloquial. But I know exactly how to put it to best use. I am also quite familiar with Aramaic, the everyday language in the lands where these events took place. Mind you, I do confuse my geography of Palestine from time to time.

Between cultures

Not least of all, my material has been written for readers of the Roman culture. You can tell, because I am fond of using Latinisms in my Greek, for example, ‘kensos’ (from Latin census, meaning “taxes”) and ‘kentyrion’ (from Latin centurio, meaning “captain”). I even set my clock by the Romans, for example, the “fourth watch of the night”.

That is also why I often find myself explaining Jewish customs, such as the matter of uncleanness. And I expressly translate Aramaic words such as Abba, korban, and Golgotha – as “Father”, “gift to God”, and “Place of a skull”, respectively.

Nevertheless, I leave no doubt about it: my good news—or rather His good news—applies to “all the nations” and to “the whole world”.

He came to serve

My Jesus is the faithful Servant of God. He only does what His Father has told Him to do. And He only says the things He is supposed to make known. He is completely subordinate: “Father, all things are possible for You … nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

His service was His path of suffering. His death is already foreshadowed early on in my writing. But my Jesus diligently pursues this path right to its end. He Himself summarises it in a single sentence: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

The secret Son of God

Well, naturally, I also talk about my Jesus as the “Son of God”. However, my Messiah makes a secret of His majesty. Neither the demons he casts out, nor the sick he heals, are allowed to talk about it.

Only God, the Father, is allowed to do this—first at Jesus’ baptism, and then later on the Mount of Transfiguration. And at the end, it is a Gentile—namely the Roman captain under the cross—of all people, who is the first human being to utter aloud: “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

The name of the book

So late in the story? Well, of course! After all, I am trying to tell you something: it is not in the miracles that Jesus is able to perform that His true divine Sonship is revealed, but rather in His sacrificial death on the cross.

Indeed, my Christ is the devoted and unwavering Servant of God and mankind. I even wrote a book about Him. They call me Mark, the evangelist.

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