Summary: Having dealt with many questions, and silencing His accusers, Jesus did not remain silent. He seized the opportunity to ask some questions regarding their view of Him.
Confronting the Skeptics
Mark 12: 35-40
Our text today immediately follows the question Jesus was asked by one of the scribes regarding the Greatest Commandment. Having pleased this particular scribe with His answer, the remainder of those present were reluctant to challenge Jesus any further.
Although Jesus had silenced the crowd, He chose not to remain silent. In fact, knowing He had their undivided attention, Jesus began to challenge them regarding their view of Him. The Lord knew the majority had not received Him as the Christ, but He was committed to revealing Himself as such for those who were willing to hear. He had dealt with numerous questions by those within in the Temple, and now it was His turn to ask some questions.
As we discuss the statements Jesus made in these verses, I want to consider the thought: Confronting the Skeptics. I trust these statements will deepen our commitment and resolve for Christ while challenging our hearts to serve Him unconditionally.
I. The Witness of the Lord’s Deity (35-37) – Knowing the skepticism and doubt of many, Jesus confronted those within the Temple regarding His deity. Consider:
A. The Questions of His Deity (35) – And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? Likely no one present that day would have questioned or denied the authority of the Scriptures. The scribes were given the task of transcribing the Scriptures in order to reproduce them for others to read. It’s interesting when we consider the parallel passage in Matthew. Matt.22:42 – Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. These readily admitted that the Christ was the Son of David, as revealed in the Scriptures.
The questions of Jesus had purpose. He was not seeking information for His benefit – He already knew their hearts. In fact, He was not at this moment seeking to discern what they thought of Him. Jesus specifically asked whom they considered the Christ to be. Who was the Christ; who was the Messiah? These rightly affirmed that the Christ was the Son of David, but they failed to see Jesus as the Christ. That was the major point of contention.
This question remains today and is no less significant than it was then. Who is the Christ? What does the Bible reveal about Him? Did Jesus not fulfill every prophecy concerning the coming of the Christ? If He did, (and we know He did), then why do so many have a problem accepting Jesus as the Christ and the sole means of salvation?
B. The Affirmation of His Deity (36-37a) – For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. [37a] David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? Referring to the Messianic psalm, Psalm 110:1, Jesus declared David had penned these words through inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The LORD, Yahweh, said unto his Lord, Adonai, sit on my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool. While David had not lived to see Christ in the flesh, through the Spirit he recognized his Lord as Christ, the Son of God, having a place of authority on the right hand of the Father. David affirmed the deity of Christ not having seen Him, and yet these stood in His presence and failed to recognize Jesus as the Christ. David affirmed the deity of Christ through recognizing His position with the Father, calling Him his Lord, while being led of the Spirit.
Jesus then asked a question they were reluctant to answer. If David called the Messiah his Lord, how could He then be his son? The Scripture declared that Messiah would come through the lineage of David, but Jesus was pointing to a more significant truth. If these only saw the humanity of Jesus, and yet failed to recognize His deity as the Christ, they were unable to receive Him. A mere mortal would have been unable to provide for their deliverance and redemption. Had Christ not been God in flesh, there would be no salvation. (We too must see Him as more than a man who walked upon this earth with great wisdom performing mighty acts. We must see Him as the Sovereign Lord He is!)
The question was actually two-fold. While challenging them to see more than the humanity of Jesus, He also laid claim to being the Son of David, the Christ, the Son of the living God. If they were unwilling to accept Jesus, they were unwilling to accept the Christ. The Promised One stood before them and there was no need to look for another! (We must embrace Jesus as the Christ. He came to earth, fulfilling the plan to redeem mankind from sin. Through Him there is forgiveness of sin, reconciliation to God, and eternal life. There is no need to look for another. Jesus finished the work of redemption, providing for our salvation!)