Who is he to you?
Mark 12:35 ¶ While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David?
Mark 12:36 David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.” ’
Mark 12:37 David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.
These few little verses paint a picture of the peoples' understanding of Jesus. There were varying opinions and that was part of the problem. Jesus would often discuss the issue with those around him in a manner that would make them stop and think. Now, he's having a discussion in the temple about the "Son of David." There have been a number of times when people have declared that he is the "Son of David." But what exactly does that mean?
Most religious leaders were convinced that the Messiah was to be a descendant of David and therefore was to be a "Son of David." Jesus is affirming this about the Messiah. Yes, the Messiah is to come from the line of David and will be, in the flesh, a son of David. But then, he wants to stretch the minds of those in attendance. He wants them to understand that the Messiah is not just present to bring about a new earthly kingdom and is not just present in the flesh as a descendant of David, but that there is more to comprehend about the nature of the one who is called "Messiah." He goes on to say that even David calls the Messiah "Lord." Within the city of Jerusalem the Temple was found to be at the right of the King's palace. Therefore when David says "sit at my right hand" he is referencing the house of God. This entire conversation is pointing to a vital truth. Yes, the Messiah is a descendant of David and will come in human form, but at the same time he is God.
By this time I'm sure the scribes in the Temple were exasperated but the ordinary folks in attendance were thrilled. This man, this Jesus, this Messiah was their Savior. He could relate to them and understand where they are in their lives while at the same time they could trust in him for salvation for he was also truly God. The scribes may not have wanted to grasp what he was saying that day, but the ordinary folks, they got it!
This brings us to the question of the day, "Who is he to you?" Jesus was revealing his own nature to the people that day and there were those who got it and there were those who did not. There were those who enjoyed studying about him and accepted things about him at a rather surface level. Yes, a descendant of David -- that is good. A good man, a man who will work to bring about political changes in the world today.
Then there is a level which is really quite beyond the comprehension of many people but one that the crowd embraced. Here is a man, who is also God. His kingdom is not about earthly political reform, instead it transcends all that we understand and we are ushered into a relationship of intimacy with the creator of all kingdoms. The hope which this provided to the ordinary people of the day was beyond their expectations. You see, they had no hope of changing their status in life; they had no hope of winning the lottery; they had no hope of trading in their parents for royalty; they had no hope of suddenly being educated -- but now there was one in whom they could put their hope.
Jesus can be our Messiah and our Lord, or he can simply be a good man who walked this earth. Jesus can either help us transcend the things of this world or we can trudge around in frustration with all we have to endure. The choice truly is ours, but when we step into a relationship of faith with Jesus, the Messiah, the God-Man, everything begins to change. Suddenly we begin to see the world with kingdom eyes and the temporary nature of this life gives way to the eternal nature of God who invites us to stretch out with him into all eternity. Which Jesus would you rather know?
Lord, I want to know you in your fulness. Amen.