Jesus said in Mark 8:38-9:1, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
I find it interesting that in verse 38, that Jesus first mentions Himself in the 1st person, but in the 2nd part, the consequence of being ashamed of Him, He then talks of Himself in the 3rd person: “If any of you are ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
I believe this is for the sake of emphasis (the serious offense of rejecting Jesus before others), as well as proclaiming His authority. Remember, so far, all who recognized Jesus as more than a healer, noble teacher, or prophet, were told to keep it quiet. Most likely, if He had revealed Himself before His illegal trial, they would have either killed Jesus before the Passover, or made Him King. So to say, “I will be ashamed of you when I go into My Father’s glory with the Holy angels” would have made many wonder, and others push towards blasphemy.
Emphasis and authority:
By saying such though also puts Jesus and His Words in the position of divine authority. He’s claiming that either rejection of Him is the same as rejection of God, or that He’s so connected with God that by rejecting Him, God will reject us. STRONG CLAIM! And to be claimed by anyone other than the Messiah of God would be a direct sin against God. For by saying so, Jesus is not only claiming connection with God (“we’re like this” –fingers crossed), but also claiming equality to God, or Godship Himself.
If you reject me, God will reject you.
If we were to hear somebody say that today, we’d say they were nuts. And rightly saying so, for only Jesus was able to claim this. Although, as Christians, when we teach on Jesus and His Gospel, if somebody rejects and/or persecutes us, they’re not only (or actually?) rejecting us, but the message about Jesus. And so by rejecting Jesus’ message, they’re also rejecting Jesus, and if Jesus, then also God, with the same results above.
Understand though, this is not to say we’re anywhere near being equal to God, but that by knowing Christ, we’re also knowing God…our fellowship with Him is that close. If somebody rejects God’s servants, they reject the Son, also, and by rejecting the Son, they’re rejecting the Father.
By mentioning Himself in the 3rd person, Jesus is proclaiming His authority, as well as the seriousness of His words, and that He was sent to them by God.