Mark 12:35-44 – Jesus the Son of David and the Lord of David

The Jews had always acknowledged, and this is important. The Jews had, historically, always acknowledged that Psalm 110 was a messianic Psalm. That had never been debated in ancient times. And by the way, it is the most often quoted Psalm by the New Testament writers. It is quoted more than any other Psalm. It is quoted by Peter in Acts 2, by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, a couple of times by the writer of Hebrews. In all three gospels this Psalm is attributed to David by Jesus. So when it says “My Lord,” it is David identifying the Messiah as his Lord. Our Lord’s use of this Psalm, then, is significant, it is a messianic Psalm.

So strong was this Psalm in Jewish tradition as to its messianic identity, that in the early church the Jews had a problem with it because Christians started applying that Psalm to Christ, as the New Testament writers do. The Jews then, for hundreds of years, abandoned the messianic view, they changed their interpretation of Psalm 110, and some of the rabbis applied it to Abraham and some applied it to Melchizedek and some later even applied it to Judas Maccabees. Others applied it to other rulers or even some priests.

And some rabbis, in fits of manipulation, rearranged the Hebrew to create acrostics to give it other meanings. Anything to get Jesus out of that Psalm. It is a messianic Psalm. They acknowledge it as a messianic Psalm. It is oft quoted in the New Testament. Many parts of that Psalm are connected to the work and the person of Christ. And what did Yahweh say to David’s Lord? “Sit at My right hand till I put Your enemies under Your feet.”

David, who wrote the Psalm, is saying that God Himself, the Yahweh of Israel, creator of the universe, God, a very God, the one true God has designated a position for Messiah – listen – at His own right hand. Sit at My right hand. God gives to Messiah the place at His right hand. God identifies the Messiah as Lord, taking a place at the right hand of God makes Him co-equal in rank and co-equal in authority and virtually declares His deity. Literally, present imperative, “Take Your permanent seat.” Yahweh’s right hand is His power. Many Old Testament passages assign the power of God to the right hand of God. To be placed permanently at the right hand of God is to be placed in the position of power and authority to the max.

That is why Philippians 2 says that He was exalted, given a name above every name and that is the name Lord. And at that name, everyone is to bow. That is why in Ephesians 1 it says He is the Lord over all things, over all things who has then been given to the church as the church’s head. His enemies become His footstool. His enemies become His footstool. There’s further explanation of that in Psalm 2, which is a messianic Psalm, verse 9 – well, verse 8, “We’ll give You nations as Your inheritance, the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and shatter them like earthenware.” You’re going to crush Your enemies.
So what we see here is a picture of the one who will take the throne beside God and take the rule and crush God’s enemies. He is a son of David by Old Testament testimony, but He is also David’s Lord. This is the God-Man, this is the incomprehensible, infinite mystery of the person of Jesus Christ, David’s Son, and David’s Lord, born a man in the line of David and yet He is the Lord of David. No Middle Eastern father would ever call a son of his Lord. This is completely and utterly unique. He is David’s Son and He is David’s Lord.

John MacArthur

Read Mark 12:35-44. Notice how Jesus uses this Old Testament prophecy to point to himself. How is it significant that Jesus fulfills this prophecy? What practical difference does it make in your life that he proves himself to the Lord who shares in the power and authority of the Father?

A Christian’s Daily Prayer by Sovereign Grace

Posted on: February 28, 2019 - 10:00PM

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