Difficult Passages Series — Mark 14:61,62 Jan. 20, 2010

1.     Why is this passage listed among difficult passages?

The passage has raised questions of text as Luke for example records the words as “Yes, it is as you say”  (Lk 22:70).   There is also the question of what the saying about seeing him coming in the clouds means.  

2.     How do we deal with the difficulties in this passage?

As to the textual question, in Mark textual evidence points to a more direct answer as the NIV indicates, while in Luke the evidence points to an answer more along the lines of “as you say.”   But whether Jesus says a simple yes or reflects his questioner’s words back to him, the next verse in Mark makes it obvious that Jesus made his own positive confession about being the Messiah in his own words.

To interpret Jesus’ saying, we need some references.  Jesus’ words point back to two OT passages. Daniel 7:13,14 and Ps 110:1 provide the OT background.  Both are Messianic prophecies and help us understand that what Jesus is saying is indeed a bold Messianic claim. 

As to when the event Jesus refers to will take place, the writer of Revelation refers to it in Rev. 1:7.  So we can conclude that it is still in the future.  Jesus says in Jn. 5:29 that there will be resurrection of both those who will be rewarded and those who will be condemned.  Presumably, that is when this verse will come true for the high priest to whom Jesus spoke.   

3.     What are the key truths or inspirational messages of this passage?


It is important for us to understand that Daniel 7:13,14 and Psalm 110:1 give us a picture of Jesus’ own understanding of the OT picture of him as Messiah.   Jesus had already referred Psalm 110:1 in the riddle that he gave in Matt. 22:44,45.  Both the riddle and Mark 14:62 seem planned to point out to the listeners that Jesus is more than just an earthly messiah figure like so many others who claimed to be one.   No, he was divine and could legitimately claim to have received his authority from God;  to be returning to God; and to one day be returning from God.   These verses for us are more than an affirmation of his Messiahship, they help us affirm his deity.