Man or God


Mark 12:35-37

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 Jews of Jesus day were waiting for the messiah to come in glory and power and mystery. They were waiting for the wrong thing. They should have been waiting for God.

“‘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.

Jesus has been tested over and over again by the establishment. He has answered their questions with options they didn’t foresee, poked holes in their knowledge and undermined their authority with the people. The gospels tell us that at this point, they give up asking. But Jesus isn’t finished. Now He sends a question their way. “Why do the teachers of the law say the Messiah is the son of David?”

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is recorded as asking them who the Messiah is. When the Pharisees answer “The son of David,” He then poses them this scenario saying, “If David calls him ‘Lord’, how can he be his son?.”

The expectation of the Jews was that the Messiah would be a descendant of David who came and re-established the “golden age” of Israel. Like King David of old, the messiah would destroy Israel’s enemies and make Israel a great nation. It would be some kind of paradise on Earth, with Israel in charge (and no doubt, the Pharisees in charge of Israel, under the kingly power).

The messiah was expected to crush his enemies under his feet. If you look at this passage from Psalms 110, who is it that subjugates Israel’s enemies? The Lord. And David rightfully attributes the action to God. God is the one who is going to crush Israel’s enemies. Therefore, the promised one, the messiah, the one who will put down his enemies, is . . . God. They were expecting a man messiah but Jesus points to God. He is taking them to a new level of understanding. When you feel oppressed and surrounded, don’t expect man; expect God. You can’t always help yourself and others can’t always help you, with their wisdom or their human ways. Turn to the true Messiah.

The Jews of Jesus day were waiting for the messiah to come in glory and power and mystery. They were waiting for the wrong thing. They should have been waiting for God.

They were putting their belief in a man, who was to save them physically. They forgot about the God-Man, who would save them spiritually.

When I take my problems to God, I often do so in a sense of desperation. I have tried everything and it’s not working, or I’m overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness. I should approach Him with a sense of expectation and faith.

Even King David acknowledged that it was the power of God that would save him from his enemies. All he had to do—all God instructed him to do—was to sit at His right hand. Do we look to God for our spiritual salvation, or are we more caught up in the physical?

This concept should have blown the Pharisee’s minds. The messiah they were waiting for was God Himself. He was standing before them and they missed Him.

This concept should blow your mind. God became man and dwelt among us. He came not with a sword but to seek and save the lost: us. He came that we might have life more abundantly. He came so that His will would be done on Earth as it is in heaven. He came just for you. Don’t miss Him.