The Christ, The God-man (Mark 12:35-37)

The Christ, The God-man (Mark 12:35-37)

I.) Christ Incomplete

We will begin this morning by examining who the Jews believed their Messiah to be, for Jesus is questioning these men on the complete identity of the Christ as it is revealed in the Scripture. They were not anticipating God clothed in flesh. They were expecting a man endowed with power and authority who would vanquish their enemies and establish his earthly kingdom. They seriously misunderstood the work of the Christ, and their understanding of Messiah’s identity was incomplete.

II.) The Son of David

The religious leaders were correct that the Christ would be a Man from the line of David. God made a promise to him in 2 Samuel 7:12-16:

12 When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’”

They knew this promise found its initial fulfillment in David’s son Solomon, but it was understood among them that God was speaking about a future Son who would establish His everlasting kingdom. God ensured this would happen by saying in Psalm 89:3-4, “3 I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, I will establish your seed forever and build up your throne to all generations…”

In verses 34-37 He goes on to say,

34 My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. 35 Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 His descendants shall endure forever and his throne as the sun before Me. 37 It shall be established forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful.” 

Daniel 2:44 affirms the longevity of this kingdom,

44 …the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.”

Daniel 7:13-14 reveals to whom the kingdom will belong,

“I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. 14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.”

From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus claimed before these men to be this Son of Man, the Son of David, and proved Himself to be the Son of God. According to John 10:33 they wanted to kill Him, because He, being a Man made himself out to be God. That is what He did.

He did it through healing a paralytic in Mark 2:1-12:

1 When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?”Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, *said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” 12 And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone.”

He did it by healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath day in Mark 2:28-3:5:

38 …the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.1 He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.He *said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” And He *said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.”

He proved that the Son of David is not only a man. The Christ is the God-man, but Mark 3:6 says,

The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.”

III.) Jesus, David’s Son

The crowds continually called Him the Son of David:

1.) Matthew 9:27 recounts two blind men, “crying out, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’

2.) After healing a man demon possessed man in Matthew 12:22-24,“23 All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

3.) In Matthew 15:22 a Canaanite woman prostrated herself before Him crying out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David…”

4.) Blind Bartimaeus and another blind man are recorded in Matthew 20:30-31 as hearing that Jesus was passing by and crying out, “’30 …Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’ 31 The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’”

5.) In Mark 11:9-10, is recorded that this crowd then went on to usher Jesus into Jerusalem “9 shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!”

6.) Matthew 21:9 says they were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest…”

7.) Matthew 21:15 says, “But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant.”

The people often referred to Him as the Son of David. You know what Jesus never did? He never denied being the Son of David. You know what his enemies never refuted? His being of David’s lineage, and there is no need to question why they never openly refuted it. They could not deny it!

In John 7:40-42, there is discussion and division over whether Jesus is truly the Christ:

40 Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” 41 Others were saying, “This is the Christ.” Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”

They understand two truths about the Christ’s lineage and beginnings according to the Scripture: 1.) He must be of the line of David. 2.) He must come from Bethlehem, which is stated in Micah 5:2:

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.”

John goes on to explain what they determined to figure out in verse 52. They commission Nicodemus to “search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee.”

Now they are caught up with where Jesus is from and not where He was born. Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem because Joseph was of the house and family of David. Being of David’s lineage required Him to leave Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, and travel to the city of David, known as Bethlehem, to register for the census decreed by Caesar Augustus.[1] He later moved back to Nazareth, a town in Galilee.[2]

Notice the religious leaders are only concerned about figuring out if the Scripture says a prophet will come out of Galilee. They make no mention of figuring out if Jesus is a descendant of David. This tells us that by this point in Jesus’ ministry they have already determined that He is truly of the line of David.

There is no doubt that as soon as Jesus made Himself known as the Christ they sought to see if He is a blood relative of David. One of the easiest ways to disprove whether Jesus was the Son of David would be to look at His genealogy, and genealogical records were accessible to the public. It was most likely one of the first things they would have done.

Believing Joseph to be Jesus’ biological father they would have discovered that:

Joseph was born to Jacob, who was born to Matthan, who was born Eleazar, who was born to Eliud, who was born to Achim, who was born to Zadok, who was born to Azor, who was born to Eliakim, who was born to Abihud, who was born to Zerubbabel, who was born to Shealtiel, who was born to Jeconiah, who was born to Josiah, who was born to Amon, who was born to Manasseh, who was born to Hezekiah, who was born to Ahaz, who was born to Jotham, who was born to Uzziah, who was born to Joram, who was born to Jehoshaphat, who was born to Asa, who was born to Abijah, who was born to Rehoboam, who was born to Solomon, who was born to David the King.[3]

They would have quickly discovered that Jesus was of the family of David.

Now there is an interesting event we should consider in regards to a person in Joseph’s genealogy, and that is Jeconiah.[4] Remember that God had promised to David that a King would come through the lineage of Solomon whose kingdom would endure forever. Jeconiah is of that royal lineage, but He was so wicked that God cursed him in Jeremiah 22:30, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Write this man down childless, a man who will not prosper in his days; for no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.’” God tells him that no son of his will ever sit on the throne of David.

So here is the dilemma, how does God keep His promise to David and establish a King through the royal line of Solomon while maintaining His curse upon Jeconiah, who is a part of that royal line? He does it through Joseph. Through Joseph, Jesus has the legal right to the throne and since He is not the biological Son of Joseph, Jeconiah’s blood line never touches it. God keeps His promise while maintaining His curse.

You say, “Well Jesus then was not a blood relative of David. How then did God fulfill His promise?” Jesus has a legal right to the throne through His earthly father Joseph. Through Mary, He has the right to the throne by blood, for Mary was born to:

“…Eli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Hesli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David…”[5]

Jesus Christ is truly the Son of David![6] Both Joseph and Mary were told that the Son of David was not just a Man. He was to be called, “Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”[7] He was to be called, “Emmanuel, which translated means, God with us.”[8] As the Son of David, Jesus would save His people from their sins.[9]

IV.) Who Does David Declare Me to be?

In our text, Jesus confronts the Pharisees on the identity of the Christ. They believed the Messiah would be a powerful man, and only that. To them, He would be a descendent of David but not greater then him, for culturally no son was ever greater than their father.

Remember that Jesus has just put them to shame for the third time and Mark 12:34 says, “No one would venture to ask Him anymore questions.” Matthew 22:41-42 says, “Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: ‘What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?’ They said to Him, ‘The son of David.’”

Again, they rightly understood that the Christ would be a descendent of David. In Mark 12:35-37, Jesus then begins to speak to the people in the temple saying, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself said in the Holy Spirit, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet.”’ 37 David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; so in what sense is He his son?’”

He is not asking them, “Who do people say that I am?” They know what the people are saying about Him. He is not asking them, “Who do I say that I am? They know He claims to be the Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of David, and the Son of God. They know He is of David’s lineage. He asks them, “Who does David say that I am?”

He is expounding the first verse of Psalm 110, which was a popular Messianic Psalm describing the work of the Christ, the Son of David. He draws to their attention that they have overlooked something. David does not call the Christ his Son; He calls him His Lord, “The LORD said to my Lord.”

“Yehovah ne’um Adonay.” Jehovah said to Adonai. The “LORD” is speaking of the Supreme One. The Self-Existent and Eternal One.[10] Yahweh is speaking with the Son of David, and David calls the Christ “Lord,”which is the Hebrew word, Adonay. This name was used among the Jews as a proper name of God only. It was spoken in place of Yahweh out of a display of reverence for God. David calls his Son, who is the Christ, his God.

Jehovah tells Adonai to “sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet.” The right hand of God was understood as the place of power:

1.) Exodus 15:6, “Your right hand, O Lord, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.

2.) Psalm 20:6, “Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven
with the saving strength of His right hand.”

3.) Psalm 89:13, “You have a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted.

God tells the Christ, David’s Son, to sit at His right hand, symbolizing the Son of David as being equal with God in power and authority.

God will put the Christ’s enemies beneath His feet. They will become the Son of David’s footstool.[11] This conveys the fact that the Messiah will have victory over His enemies and execute them. Just as Joshua had Israel’s commanders put their feet on the necks of those they conquered, The Son of David will use the necks of His enemies as a footstool for His feet.[12]

V.) The Christ, The God-man

The only way for David’s Son to be His Lord, is for the Lord to become His Son. In order to save man from their sins God had to become one:

1.) Hebrews 2:14-17, “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16 For assuredly He does notgive help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

2.) Philippians 2:6-8, “(Jesus Christ) although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Jesus Christ was truly a Man:

1.) He increased in wisdom and stature.[13]

2.) He experienced hunger, thirst, and fatigue.[14]

3.) He felt compassion, grief, anger, amazement, joy, and love.[15]

The Son of David was truly Man, and the Son of David was truly God.

1.) He possessed the incommunicable attributes that are unique only to God and not shared with people: Eternality, Omniscience, Omnipresence, Omnipotence, Sovereignty, Glory.[16]

2.) He did only the things God could do: Lord over the Sabbath Day, Acts of Creation, Forgiving Sin, and Giving Life.[17]

Jesus Christ is truly God.

Colossians 2:9 says, “For In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.”

Hebrews 2:3, “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature…”

Colossians 1:15, “He is the image of the invisible God…”

John 1:18, “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”

In order for peace between God and man to be attainable there needs to be a mediator to reconcile both parties. This mediator needs to be able to fully represent God, and they need to be able to fully represent man. Jesus Christ is that Person.

1.) 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.”

2.) Galatians 4:4-5, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

He is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father but through Him.[18]

VI.) Every Tongue will Confess and Every Knee will Bow

Matthew 22:41-45 says,

41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: 42 “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, 44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet”’? 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” 

The implication is this, “You know who the people say that I am. You know Who I say that I AM. You know who My genealogy reveals Me to be. You know who my works prove Me to be. Do you see who David declares Me to be?”

Matthew 22:46 says, “No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.”

Why? Because David says by the inspiration of God that He is the God-man. David confirms the very thing Jesus has been proving from the beginning of His ministry. He is the One true God they were to love with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Mark says, “The great crowd enjoyed listening to Him.” Understand, that in two days this crowd will cry out for His crucifixion after these men instigate them to. By the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God they will nail Him to the cross at the hands of godless men where the greatest injustice will be committed as an innocent Man is crucified.[19] It will be through the injustice of man that the justice of God toward sin is satisfied on His Son who “bore our sins in His body on the cross.”[20]

Christ bore the penalty for our sin on His body, was forsaken by the Father for our sin, shed His blood to cover it, and died in our place because of it, but God raised Him back to life on the third day. This proved Jesus to be the Son of David, declared Him to be the Son of God, and testifies that sinners can be forgiven their sins and have access to God the Father by grace through faith in Christ.[21]

He lives never to die again, and because He lives we too shall live. Hebrews 10:12-14 says, “He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet.”

The Son of David came the first time to save, but when He returns He will not come as a Savior, but a judge. He will execute judgment on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the gospel.  There will be a time when every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess Jesus Christ as Lord.[22] The question is, will we bow in humble adoration, or will we be brought low because our necks have become a footstool for His feet?

[1] Luke 2:1-6

[2] Matthew 2:19-23

[3] Matthew 1:6-16

[4] Matthew 1:11-12

[5] Luke 3:23-31

[6] Matthew 1:1

[7] Luke 2:31-33

[8] Matthew 1:23

[9] Matthew 1:21

[10] Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; NT Number: 3068

[11] Luke 20:43

[12] Joshua 10:24-26

[13] Luke 2:52

[14] Matthew 4:1-2; 8:23-24; John 4:5-6

[15] Matthew 9:36;26:37; Mark 3:5; Luke 7:9; 10:21; John 11:5, 36; 15:9

[16] Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; Matthew 18:20; 28:20; John 1:3; 16:30; 17:5; 21:17; Philippians 3:21

[17] Mark 2:7,10; 3:1-6; John 1:3; 5:21; 11; Colossians 1:16

[18] John 14:6

[19] Acts 2:22-23

[20] 1 Peter 2:24

[21] Romans 1:3-4

[22] Philippians 2:9-11

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