Greater than His Father
On our trips to the Holy Land, I’ve discovered that the Israeli guides not only know their archaeology and history well, but also their Bibles. Late at night in the hotel, after making sure all of our guests were settled, we would try to stump one another with Bible trivia from both the Old and New Testaments.
Jesus, on the other hand, after successfully answering every test question his opponents could throw at him, decided to give the scribes a riddle that was hardly trivial. The solution to this puzzle gets right at the heart of the Messiah’s identity.
“No one dared to question Jesus anymore, so while continuing to teach in the temple courts, he replied with a question of his own, ‘How do the legal experts on the Law say that the Messiah is the Son of David? David himself inspired by the Holy Spirit says, ‘The LORD said to my Lord. Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.’ Since David himself calls the Messiah Lord how then can he be David’s son?’
The large crowd was listening to Jesus teach gladly.” Mark 12:35-37
If we have any doubts about whether or not Jesus believed in the divine inspiration of the Psalms, they should be laid to rest by how Jesus introduced his quote of Psalm 110:1. He states that King David wrote this Psalm and did so under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The riddle is that David used the term “Lord” to refer to his son, the Messiah. Sons are supposed to show deference and respect to their fathers, not vice versa. But when your son is actually God’s Son, the Messiah who will rule the nations, all of us, with David, need to call him Lord.
In Caesarea Philippi, Peter confessed that Jesus was the Messiah. Now for the first time in public Jesus reveals that he will be installed at the power position at God’s right hand.
That last week in Jerusalem someone far greater than David was teaching the people. The crowds in the temple heard him gladly, but the religious leaders were trying to figure out how to arrest him and turn him over to the Romans to be crucified. Today each of us still have to decide whether we will receive him gladly or reject him as a blaspheming imposter. The riddle of how Jesus could be David’s son and yet be far greater than David is one riddle we all need to solve.
LORD, thanks that you promise one day that you will put your foot down on all your enemies. Thanks that even today you are installed at your Father’s right hand, so I can rest in the fact that you are guiding history towards the right conclusion. Humble me under your divine authority today and use me to help others solve the riddle of your identity.
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