THE GOSPEL OF MARK – WHOSE SON IS HE?

WHOSE SON IS HE?

35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.”’
37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”
The large crowd listened to him with delight. Mark 12:35-37

Jesus had His own question to put to the people. This one seemed like an unsolvable riddle. “How can David’s Master be his son?” That was a real clanger if you didn’t know the inside story. His opponents, the religion scholars (did Jesus use the term with tongue in cheek?) readily acknowledged that David was inspired by the Holy Spirit when he made that claim.

This question delighted the people. Why? Many of them would have witnessed the on-going debate between the religion scholars and Jesus. Were their sympathies with Him at this point? Perhaps they recognised the unfairness of the attacks of the religious leaders in view of His impeccable life and uniquely authoritative teaching. Since questions were more important than answers and were the measure of a person’s intelligence, the people realised that Jesus was head and shoulders above His contenders in understanding God and His ways.

Unfortunately, their sympathies did not go deep enough for them to seek an answer from Him to His question or to be convinced that He was David’s son in the Messianic sense of the word. It is easy for us to understand what He meant from our post-resurrection, post-New Testament perspective but those who were in the moment had no reference point.

What does Jesus’ question mean to us? Here is the meeting point between God, the second person of the Trinity and humanity in the person of Israel’s greatest king. God had promised David that his dynasty would remain forever. How could that be, since Israel didn’t even have a king at that time? They may not have had a visibly reigning king, but David had a bloodline which traced right to Jesus, hence David’s “son”.

The religion scholars, Pharisees and ruling Jewish council made sure that He was enthroned on a cross and crowned with thorns but, in their mockery and unknown to them, that was God’s way of confirming Jesus’ eternal reign because He would, through His own death and resurrection, conquer sin and death. Now He reigns on the throne of heaven forever.

Luella Campbell


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