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“The Christ is the Son of David“
Author Don Schwager – Scripture: Mark 12:35-37
35 And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declared, `The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet.’ 37 David himself calls him Lord; so how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
Meditation: What kind of ruler does the world need today? Who can establish true peace and justice for all? When the people of Israel settled into the promised land, they wanted a king to unite and rule them like the other nations around them. Their first king, Saul, failed to establish a dynasty. But when David was anointed king God established a covenant with him and promised that his dynasty would last forever. Among the Jews the most common title for the Messiah (the Hebrew word for Christ or the Anointed One) was the Son of David. The Jews looked forward to the long-expected Savior who would come from the line of David. Jesus was often addressed with that title, especially by the crowds (Mark 10:47ff, Matthew 9:27; 12:23).
Jesus, the Anointed King and Ruler of All, fulfills the promise God made with David
Why did Jesus question the Jews on the claim that their Messiah or Christ would be the son of David? After all the New Testament makes clear that Jesus himself is a direct descendant from the line of David’s throne (Romans 1:3, 2 Timothy 2:8, Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38). Jesus posed the question to make his hearers understand that the Messiah is more than the son of David. Jesus makes his point in dramatic fashion by quoting from one of David’s prophetic psalms, Psalm 110: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet. How can the son be the lord of his father? Jesus, who took upon himself our human nature for our sake, is not only the son of David, he is first and foremost the Son of God eternally begotten of the Father. The Messiah King whom God promised to send would not only come from David’s line, but would be greater than any earthy ruler who came before or would come after.
Jesus claimed a sovereignty that only God can claim – a sovereignty that extends not only to the ends of the earth but to the heavens as well. But the way Jesus would establish his kingdom was far different from any of the expectations of the tiny nation of Israel. Jesus came to rule hearts and minds, not lands and entitlements. He came to free people from the worst tyranny possible – slavery to sin, Satan, and a world ruled by greed and lust for power and wealth.
Jesus, risen in glory by the power of the Holy Spirit, now reigns as Lord over all of creation
Paul the Apostle states that no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). It is the role of the Holy Spirit to make the Lord Jesus present and known in our lives. We can accept the Lord Jesus or reject him, love him or ignore him. He will not force his rule upon us. But the consequences of our choice will not only shape our present life but our destiny as well.
Is your life submitted to the Lordship of Jesus?
What does it mean to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord? The word lord means ruler or king – the one who is owed fealty and submission. The Lord and Master of our lives is the person or thing we give our lives over to and submit to in a full way. We can be ruled by many things – our possessions, the love of money, our unruly passions, alcohol, drugs, and other forms of addictions. Only one Lord and Master can truly set us free to love and serve others selflessly and to be loved as God intended from the beginning. When we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord we invite him to be the king of our heart, master of our home, our thoughts, our relationships, and everything we do. Is the Lord Jesus the true king and master of your heart and do you give him free reign in every area of your life?
“Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of David and the Son of God. You are my Lord and I willingly submit myself to your rule in my life. Be Lord and King of my life, my thoughts, heart, home, relationships, work, and all that I do.”
157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, but I do not swerve from your testimonies.
160 The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures for ever.
161 Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words.
165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
166 I hope for your salvation, O LORD, and I do your commandments.
168 I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Jesus is Son of David and Son of God, by Cyril of Alexandria, 375-444 A.D.
“We also will ask the Pharisees of today a similar question. They deny that he who was born of the holy Virgin is very Son of God the Father and himself also God. They also divide the one Christ into two sons. Let these people explain to us how David’s Son is his Lord, not so much as to human lordship as divine. To sit at the right hand of the Father is the assurance and pledge of supreme glory. Those who share the same throne are equal also in dignity, and those who are crowned with equal honors are understood of course to be equal in nature. To sit by God can signify nothing else than sovereign authority. The throne declares to us that Christ possesses power over everything and supremacy by right of his substance.
“How is the Son of David David’s Lord, seated at the right hand of God the Father and on the throne of Deity? Is it not altogether according to the unerring word of the mystery that the Word as God sprung from the very substance of God the Father? Being in his likeness and equal with him, he became flesh. He became man, perfectly and yet without departing from the incomparable excellence of the divine dignities. He continued in that state in which he had always been. He still was God, although he became flesh and in form like us. He is David’s Lord therefore according to that which belongs to his divine glory, nature and sovereignty. He is his son according to the flesh.” (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 137.52)
Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use – please cite: copyright (c) 2020 Servants of the Word, source: www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager
Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.
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