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March 20

Mark 12:35-37

35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he asked, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself says by the Holy Spirit: The Lord declared 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?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight. — Mark 12:35-37

Jesus Christ, David’s Lord

by Will Peeples
Brentwood Campus

Immediately prior to this passage, Jesus identifies for the scribes the greatest commandment: to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. This command and the next (to love others as ourselves) are familiar to us all, and can be said to encompass all other commandments. But that statement begs a question—can we execute those commands without recognizing Christ as our Lord?

In verses 35 to 37, Christ raises that point in the context of David, the great king of Israel described as “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). Challenging the scribes’ description of the Messiah as merely the physical descendant of David, Christ points out that David himself described Christ as his Lord (see Psalm 110). This challenged the understanding that the Messiah would be a human conqueror to liberate the Jewish people. Rather, David—the great king and a paragon of Jewish faith—considered the Messiah to be much more than that, in fact God himself.

It seems obvious to many of us (myself included) that we recognize Christ as our Lord. But on closer self-inspection, am I doing so in a way that leads to fulfillment of the greatest two commandments? Or do I call Jesus my Lord, but only submit to His control certain aspects of my life, certain relationships, certain challenging situations? It will look different for each person, but we must daily recognize who Jesus is in our lives. Without submitting to Christ as Lord, we can’t love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and we certainly can’t expect to love others as ourselves. But I believe the opposite is just as true—if I can hold Christ in His proper position as Lord of all of my life, I can fulfill the commandments He taught were most important.

Praxis

  1. When you think about who Jesus is, what role comes to mind most often—friend, confidant, advisor? Do you recognize on a regular basis that Christ is Lord of all, including all aspects of your life?
  2. As you think about Christ as Lord of all, how does that inform your response to His “greatest commandment(s)” in Mark 12?
  3. What in your current season/circumstance is prohibiting Christ from serving as Lord of your life? What practical steps can you take to turn that over to your Lord?