“On Your Mark”
Even David Called Him Lord (Chapter 12 V 35-40)
The question here is not an academic one, but the ultimate one concerning Jesus person. Every Jew knew that the Messiah would be of the line of David (v35), that is why Jesus raises the question. There is a follow-on connection with the last passage, the same One Lord (Deuteronomy 6.4-6), whose covenant grace and love is expressed in his commandments, is the One who has promised the gracious provision of the Messiah. The One through whom Israel, the world itself, would come to know and love the Lord God (Jeremiah 31.33-34). When Jesus speaks of love (Mark 12.28-34), it is no empty speak, but something he practises himself. For, despite the murderous hatred of these Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees, he is here found yet labouring patiently amongst them, trying to win them. Such love!
The one distinguishing mark of the Messiah, coming down from David? Well David himself marked him out. Unquestionably he would be David’s son, but more than that, when David under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration (v36), refers to him as Lord (Adonai) (Psalm 110; Acts 2.34-35; 1Corinthians 15.25; Hebrews 1.13; 10.13). The seed of David, human flesh, but yet Lord (God)? That corresponds to the God-Man before them, does it not? You see the whole problem with the Jews was the personhood of Jesus, they could not, and would not accept he had come down from heaven (John 6.42). It was his human nature which was their stumbling block, God manifest in the flesh was an impossibility. But it was a reality, and the gloriously exalted Messiah in his human nature sat at the Father’s right hand (Philippians 2-5-11). Will the Pharisees dare to contradict David, as Jesus here repeats himself (v37)? The more that is revealed concerning the person of Jesus, the more these men burn with anger, they are far from happy men. David’s son would be Messiah, yes, but more, not just a human deliverer, God himself, Lord. But a human Messiah was all Pharisaism expected, poor, pathetic, blind and impotent. Jesus deity was a closed book. No, they dared not deny Scripture, or even its inspiration, even they would have stoned people for that. So they read their blindness in to the Scripture. But many listened gladly to Jesus. So often reasoned, infallible logic leads people into positions of blindness, it can be so with Christians too. You leave out room for the spiritual dimension, and understanding, at your peril.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)