- The Greek christos is used to translate “anointed” or “Messiah.” It might have made sense to a Greek audience. But it would be hampered by its first century usage to refer to wrestlers who had “greased up” before their match to make it more difficult for their opponents to gain a tactical hold on them during the match.
- The uses of “Messiah” or “anointed (one)” in the OT do not help much in understanding Jesus as Messiah.
- The word is used of “the anointed priests” (Leviticus 4:3, 5, 16, 6:22; 2 Maccabees 2:10)
- The word is used of the king. (Throughout 1 and 2 Samuel)
- The word is used of Cyrus, the Persian King (Is 45:1)
- The word is used of the prophets (Ps 105:15; 1 Chr 16:22)
Mark begins his writing with a statement by the narrator: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ (the Son of God).” For the people in Mark’s narrative the realization of who Jesus is will come only in starts and stops. As readers of this gospel, right from the beginning, we are given the answer to the question, “Who is he?” We already know this is narrative is good news for us; news about what will happen to us and for us. Yet even as the opening answers big questions, we are left with other important questions, ones that will help us to plumb the depth of this good news. Continue reading