Friday, February 12, 2010


Mark 14:61-64
(61) But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?"
(62) And Jesus said, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven."
(63) And the high priest tore his garments and said, "What further witnesses do we need?
(64) You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?" And they all condemned him as deserving death.

(61) ὁ δὲ ἐσιώπα καὶ οὐκ ἀπεκρίνατο οὐδέν. πάλιν ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς ἐπηρώτα αὐτὸν καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Σὺ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ εὐλογητοῦ;
(62) ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, Ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ ὄψεσθε τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ δεξιῶν καθήμενον τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ ἐρχόμενον μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.
(63) ὁ δὲ ἀρχιερεὺς διαρρήξας τοὺς χιτῶνας αὐτοῦ λέγει, Τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων;
(64) ἠκούσατε τῆς βλασφημίας· τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται; οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου.

This is the extent of Mark's recording of Jesus' testimony at the false trial put on by the Jews.  It took two little words for them to condemn Him: Ἐγώ εἰμ.  These are the same words that would get him into hot water in John 8, but we'll get there in a couple of months.  The point is that Jesus' testimony was blasphemous in their ears.

Why?  He was invoking the divine name.  He took them back to Exodus 3:14.  This was inconceivable to them and it gave them ample reason to have Him killed.  To equate oneself with God was certainly blasphemous.  Of course, there is an exception if you actually are God.

You may have noticed that I do not necessarily provide a rich exegetical insight daily.  I didn't think that I would for a couple of reasons.  One is that I am hardly an expert at Greek, though I am getting better.  The other is that the English translations do a very good job and there is not a lot to add in most cases.  However, even this relatively short study over seven weeks or so has shown me time and time again that Jesus indeed claimed to be God.  This is not something that we need to infer.  It is right there in the simple statement Ἐγώ εἰμ.

Keep in mind that there are other words and expressions He could have used.  I have to think that there was purpose to every word recorded in Scripture.  I don't think that the repetition of this phrase was a coincidence.

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