Commentary on Mark 12:35-37
In the face of the confrontations he has been experiencing Jesus now lays claim to his true identity. It had long been the belief among the Jews that the Messiah would be a descendant of the family of David. (On the other hand, the Samaritans saw the Messiah coming through the prophetic line, cf. John 4.)
Jesus, we know from the genealogies the Gospel gives us, was of the family of David. But today he affirms he is more than just a descendant of David. He is in fact David’s Lord. Jesus quotes from Psalm 110 and we need to remember that David was believed to be the author of all the psalms, themselves words inspired by the Holy Spirit.
In Ps 110 David says:
“The Lord [God] said to my Lord [the Messiah]:
Sit at my right hand and I will put your enemies under your feet.”
Jesus, then, is saying two things to his opponents:
- Jesus, the descendant, is the Lord of his ancestor, King David, and he is the Messiah-King who will sit at the right hand of God. He is then also the Lord of those who are challenging him.
- God promises that he will crush all the enemies of the Messiah-King.
The argument used in this reading could hardly be used today, as we have a better understanding of the authorship of the psalms than people had in Jesus’ time.
Nevertheless, there are many other elements in the Christian Testament which lead us to the same conclusion: Jesus is Lord of all.
Does my life give testimony to that belief?