Mark 15:39

The Roman officer, who was standing facing Jesus, on seeing the way in which he breathed his last, exclaimed, “This man must indeed have been God’s son!”

finally faced
humanity seen

we see what’s always there
an aura more than skin deep

called human
called G*D

death shows life
life anticipates death

between is more than a dash
less than a hair’s breadth

a loud cry a still small voice
are indistinguishable now

once seen can’t be unseen
yet unseen is still present

Mark is probably best heard rather than read. In this light, the question is what tone to use to convey the words Mark puts in the mouth of the centurion.

To have them be an affirmation of Jesus’ “good news”, we would have to presume that at some later date the centurion became involved with a group of people attempting to carry on a Way following Jesus’ chopping at the religious overgrowth clogging travel. He would then be in a position to tell what he saw.

It is more likely that these words are not an affirmation that Jesus was, as the inscription said, “King of the Jews”, or, more generally, was “G*D’s Human”.

This puts mockery on both sides of Jesus’ death. “Yep, died like some sad, foreign god’s offspring.”

Too much has been made of such an affirmation being made by a Gentile, as if no Jew could ever make such a declaration. This interpretation has further divided faithful Christian from blind Jew. In being a Roman, this affirmation mitigates some blame of Pilate’s decision for crucifixion—a Roman is now the first to affirm Jesus’ death as the full introduction of that august title, “Son of God”. Such a Christologic confession would keep the Jews as outsiders ready at any moment to be put inside a concentration camp.

Remembering that there is a question of whether or not “Son of God” belongs at the end of 1:1, means that this may not be intended as another bracket of an announcement of such status and a confirmation of the same.

Did the centurion see what no one else had been able to see? Does a Reader see this as the end of the story and of more import than the response of women flabbergasted by fear/awe?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.