The Gospel of St. Mark

II - THE MISSION OF HIS HEIRSHIP

(a) The Relationship of the Heir

The dignified relationship Christ held as heir is clearly portrayed in ch. 12, where He is described as the one beloved Son. This again throws us back to the message of Isaiah. The whole of the prophet's concentration was focused upon one great life and death upon which the deliverance of the world depended.

Although many expositors dwell upon the servant character of Messiah so clearly defined in the prophecy, they omit to point out how the whole account is intermingled with the heritage He would secure to His people; the spoils of the strong He would divide, the exalting to power and extolling of praise He would receive, until, through all the Universe, the pleasure of the Lord prospered in His hand. Even the animals will feel the impact of His government, and the wolf and the lamb shall lie down together, and the lion cease to devour. Then the fertility of the earth shall be realized, the docility of beasts expressed, and the longevity of man experienced. The description of the finality is as concise as it is clear-cut.

“Is it a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribe of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel? I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Isa. 49:6)

“I shall preserve thee and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, and to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.” (Isa. 49:8)

"They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them, for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by springs of water shall He guide them.'' (Isa. 49:10)

Along with the work of the servant who is to restore Israel, enlighten Gentiles and secure salvation to the ends of the earth, is the establishment of the earth itself and the inheriting of the heritages.

Interwoven with these processes there is incorporated a vision of the ultimate issues of the conditions that will pertain when the inheritance is entirely under the beneficent administration of the Redeemer's sway with the intruder fully ejected. This radiant rule is further disclosed in the unveiling in chs. 4.7 which crowns Mark's presentation of Christ as sole heir to the universal estate. Rev. 7:14.17 is the climax to the age.abiding conflict for world.possession between the usurper and the Redeemer.

(b) The Rejection by the Husbandmen

The heinous crime of the husbandmen, in rejecting the one solitary Son and sole Heir, with His absolute right to possession and almighty resource to procure and perfect the entire estate, appears dastardly in such a light! With all the talent and capacity bestowed upon man, there is a tendency universally to refuse the Creator a place or share in the life. Any appeal or claim that may be made is esteemed an intrusion. With a large majority, there is no desire to retain God in the mind as Paul declared. Such a class is possessed of the idea that to eliminate all thought of God from the world would usher in a state of unbounded freedom. What folly! The tyranny of the sinister powers of evil would soon bring wholesale corruption and ruination. (See Rom.1:28, 32) Anarchy is not Authority. The Son came to these husbandmen with the badge of official right which they recognized when they said, "This is the heir, come let us kill him.” His submitting to their cruel injustice did not imply His relinquishing of rights, but contrariwise, He made their action contribute to His securing the estate, equally as did the selling of Joseph by his brethren in Egypt secure the very end they sought to frustrate.

Although they despised His rights they could not dethrone Him, for “The stone which the builders rejected, the same has now become the head of the corner." Isaiah was the prophet who depicted him securing the inheritance not through terror, expressed as by the roar of the lion; but through a triumph exhibited in the silence of the lamb. Christ was convinced of a way of victory that no one before Him knew anything about. In this consciousness, He fulfilled His function in perfect simplicity and humility. The character of His work was not merely relative and limited, but universal, absolute and final.

( c) The Right Hand of Honor

How definitely and distinctly Christ foresaw the purpose of His death, the position He would occupy and the power He would wield! Beyond the seven “shalls” of human action stated in Mark 10:33, 34, came the one "shall" of Divine intention, and all man’s effort was ended. The eighth "shall" marks the great transition from the deepest realities of the cross to the sublimest feature of His conquest. Yea, it spans the distance from the abysmal chasm of deepest night to the radiant dawn of brightest day. The sequel here stated is thrice rehearsed. "And Jesus answered and said while He taught in the temple, ‘How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? For David himself saith by the Holy Spirit, Sit thou on my right hand and I will make thine enemies thy footstool!’”

“Again the High Priest asked Him, and said to Him, 'Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?' And Jesus said, ‘I am, and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’”

“So then, after the Lord had spoken to them He was received up into heaven and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the words with signs following.”

There are three momentous results that are declared as issuing from this enthronement:

(1) The Complete Subjugation of the Enemy,
(2) The Crowning Second Advent of Power, and
(3) The Constant Support of Evangelical Enterprise.

The right hand of God is the rightful position of the Heir, for the administering of the extensive estate, and is the final and ever-reverberating declaration to the world and all its generations of the perfect achievement of the Son of man, and His absolute title to all creation and every creature. Because of these ruling characteristics, neither the founding of the Church recorded by Matthew nor the Bride of John are referred to in this Gospel. No one in addressing Christ uses the word 'Lord' at any time; yet, withal, relationships are signally stressed. Four of Christ's brethren and sisters are mentioned by name. (Mark 6:3.6) These matters do not minimize His dignity. He demonstrated all the marks of high connection and holy companionship. His stateliness of mien and lofty bearing expressed the highest nobility of nature, so that when He spoke there was a degree of eloquent authority that startled all existing authorities. No one else among the masters of men and thinking has ever shared the same absolute God-confidence in will and heart and mind as Christ did. He was Heir to dominion more transcendent, to devotion more universal, and to dignity more completely noble than any other Leader.

Nor has He ceased to arrest, arraign and interrogate the consciousness of man, as He did so frequently in these chapters on the matters of duty, authority and destiny.