26th July 2023
Read - Mark 12:35-37
Message Alan Burke
The Christ the Messiah, two words that mean the same thing. The Greek word Christ comes from the Hebrew word Messiah, whether the Greek word is used or the Hebrew word, both mean that it is the anointed one, the Messiah is the Christ, the Christ is the Messiah. What we are thinking of though is how the teachers of the law were teaching that the Christ was the son of David. We need to go to the book of 2 Samuel. Now we trace the Messianic hope from Genesis to Samuel and we get to David and what is known as the ‘Davidic covenant’. The Davidic covenant is a covenant that God made with David that there would be an eternal throne, that one of his offspring would rise up to succeed him. This passage is key to the understanding of who Jesus was and is, that he would be the son of David and that the kingdom would ever reign (see 2 Samuel 7:11-13;
But a couple of generations after David the kingdom was over and just a footnote on the pages of history. David’s rule was seen as the golden age of Isreal, but from the time of its peak in David’s reign it dwindled and the promises of God remained unfulfilled. This is what why the teachers of the law taught that the Christ would be David’s son but it was all wound up with much of their cultural baggage, for the kingdom that they were expecting was a return to the golden age of Isreal. This is what was taught and this is what the people were looking and longing for, this golden age to be restored, that David’s son would come, one of his offspring would come and establish the kingdom forever. The question Jesus asked here in Mark wasn’t going to ruffle any feathers, because for generation after generation of God’s people they had been looking and longing that the son of David would come.
But the Christ that would come and had now come would not be what the people were expecting, and it was much greater and wonderful than the people had understood for their baggage had got in the way of seeing just how wonderful the promises of God were. Jesus then quotes to the people as he teaches them from the Psalmist, Psalm 110 one of the most frequently cited passages from the Old Testament in the New Testament. It on the face of it seems like a contradictory passage, but notice what he says there before he quotes it in v36;
“David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit”
This is one of those things that we can easily take for granted, that we can think, “ok yep we know that”, let’s get to the next bit, that we can passover it without a second thought. But there is something that we should take note of, that we need reminded of continually because it is so important. What we are reminded of is that, well David is the author, it isn’t written about David or on his behalf but by David, the opening of Psalm 110 testifies to that for it begins with ‘A Psalm of David’. Jesus here reminds us not only about this Psalm that he quotes of but of all of Scripture, it is inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The word of God, the scriptures that we have before us is an inspired book, it is inspired by God, Timothy puts it as breathed out by him (2 Tim 3:14-17) God used human authors and worked in them by the Holy Spirit, God used them to communicate his revelation they spoke as they were carried along but the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).
Jesus understood this, this is why he makes it clear that this was David speaking by the Holy Spirit, and there are a few implications for us; it is the word of God, there is no bit of it that is uninspired, all of it is his word to us and it is the only rule to direct us how to glorify and enjoy him. We can also say that it is clear, it was written that ordinary people could understand, sometimes it takes work to understand the fullness but it is so that even those without learning can understand, young and old. Some say it is unstable for children but it speaks directly to them, it is for them as much as us. It is also sufficient, some people think that they need more, another revelation, that God is speaking new words today but he has given us everything we need. What we need to know is that as Jesus makes the point, he has a high view of scripture, likewise we should have a high view of scripture, it is the very word of God, his revelation to us. How high though is your view of Scripture?
Q1 What is the chief end of man?
Man’ s chief end is to glorify God, (1 Cor. 10:31, Rom. 11:36) and to enjoy him for ever. (Ps. 73:25–28)