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Thursday, June 7, 2012

for Friday (June 8) Gospel: the Christ


Scripture: Mark 12:35-37 35 And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, "How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declared, `The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet.' 37 David himself calls him Lord; so how is he his son?" And the great throng heard him gladly.


Reflection
What kind of ruler does the world need today? Who can establish true peace and justice? When the people of Israel settled into the promised land, they wanted a king to unite and rule them like the other nations around them.

 Their first king, Saul, failed to establish a dynasty. But when David was annointed king God established a covenant with him and promised that his dynasty would last forever. Among the Jews the most common title for the Messiah (the Hebrew word for Christ or the Anointed One) was the Son of David.

The Jews looked forward to the long-expected Savior who would come from the line of David. Jesus was often addressed with that title, especially by the crowds (Mark 10:47ff, Matthew 9:27; 12:23). Why did Jesus question the Jews on the claim that their Messiah or Christ would be the son of David?

After all the New Testament makes clear that Jesus himself is a direct descendant from the line of David's throne (Romans 1:3, 2 Timothy 2:8, Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38). Jesus posed the question to make his hearers understand that the Messiah is more than the son of David.

Jesus makes his point in dramatic fashion by quoting from one of David's prophetic psalms, Psalm 110: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet. How can the son be the lord of his father? Jesus, who took upon himself our human nature for our sake, is not only the son of David, he is first and foremost the Son of God eternally begotten of the Father.

The Messiah King whom God promised to send would not only come from David's line, but would be greater than any earthy ruler who came before or would come after. Jesus claimed a sovereignty that only God can claim – a sovereignty that extends not only to the ends of the earth but to the heavens as well.

 But the way Jesus would establish his kingdom was far different from any of the expectations of the tiny nation of Israel. Jesus came to rule hearts and minds, not lands and entitlements. He came to free people from the worst tyranny possible – slavery to sin, Satan, and a world ruled by greed and lust for power and wealth.

Paul the Apostle states that no one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). It is the role of the Holy Spirit to make the Lord Jesus present and known in our lives. We can accept the Lord Jesus or reject him, love him or ignore him. He will not force his rule upon us. But the consequences of our choice will not only shape our present life but our destiny as well. What does it mean to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord?

The word lord means ruler or king – the one who is owed fealty and submission. The Lord and Master of our lives is the person or thing we give our lives over to and submit to in a full way. We can be ruled by many things – our possessions, the love of money, our unruly passions, alcohol, drugs, and other forms of addictions.

Only one Lord and Master can truly set us free to love and serve others selflessly and to be loved as God intended from the beginning. When we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord we invite him to be the king of our heart, master of our home, our thoughts, our relationships, and everything we do.

 Is the Lord Jesus the true king and master of your heart and do you give him free reign in every area of your life?

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