v 11. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
This unique form of address to Jesus is also the subject of Hebrews, chapter 1, with verses such as ‘For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus: “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father. ‘ (Heb 1:5) There is no other being in Heaven or earth spoken of in this way. Mark is determined from the very beginning of his Gospel to assert the unique nature of this man Jesus about whom is going to write.
So the story begins with God’s view of Jesus. It is as if Mark is saying – whatever anybody else is going to tell you about Jesus, here is God’s verdict on Him; You are my Son. Two Gospels, Matthew and Luke start off with birth narratives, while John goes further back to explain something about His eternal nature – In the beginning – but Mark chooses to begins with John the Baptist, Jesus’ baptism, and this announcement from Heaven. This is the moment when Jesus makes His first public appearance on the stage of history.
This was a decisive moment for Jesus. He steps out from the shadows of Jewish history and is immediately vindicated by His heavenly Father. From this point onwards He is going to be in the public eye. He is destined to face both joy and sorrow, acceptance and rejection; He will heal others but allow Himself to be crucified. He knows the end from the beginning, but perseveres in treading the pathway which His heavenly Father had prepared for Him.
How vital it was for Him to be assured that He was at the centre of His Father’s plans and greatly loved by Him. Some similar assurance, which was of such significance, was repeated later on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9) and it surely sustained Jesus through the dark hours of Calvary.
From the very beginning of his story, Mark highlights this incredible, unique and mind-blowing fact – the man about whom I am going to tell you is nothing less than the divine Son of the eternal God. He is One-of-a-kind, there is no other to compare, this man Jesus is a Man like no other.