JUNE 4. Ord Time. B. Wk 9. Fri. Mk. 12. 35-37
At that time while teaching in the Temple, Jesus said, ‘How can the scribes maintain that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, moved by the Holy Spirit, said:
The Lord said to my Lord:
‘Sit at my right hand
and I will put your enemies
under your feet’.
David himself calls him Lord, in what way then can he be his son?’ And the great majority of the people heard this with delight.
God promised King David that he would have a descendant who would remain forever. (2 Samual.7.12…) which was obviously a reference to the Messiah, and it was interpreted this way by Jewish tradition, which gave the Messiah the title ‘Son of David’.
In Jesus’ time this messianic title was understood in a very nationalistic sense; - the Jews were expecting an earthly King; - a descendant of David, who would free them from the Rule of the Romans.
In today’s Gospel Jesus is teaching the Pharisees that the Messiah has a higher origin; - he is not only the “Son of David” as his nature and source is more exalted than that; - for he is truly “The Son of God!”
This transcends his human origins and links it directly to God the Father, the creator of the world, the universe, and everything in them.
The reference to Psalm 110 which Jesus uses, points out that the Messiah is God; - which is the reason David calls him “Lord!”
Which is also why he is seated at the right hand of Gd, as he is equal in Power, Majesty and Glory. (Acts 33-36 and 1 Cor. 6. 25)
In this reading Jesus is also teaching us that Scripture is divinely inspired; - something demonstrated when he says David was inspired by the Holy Spirit in writing Psalm 110; - a message that remains important to this day, which is why we look to the Church to assist us in understanding Sacred Scripture. (I referred to the Navarre commentary in writing these notes!)
The Jews found it difficult to interpret the beginning of this Psalm and the words “The Lord said to my Lord” so he was making it clear to them that the second ‘Lord’ is the Messiah with whom Jesus implicitly identifies himself.
The mysteriously transcendental character of the Messiah is indicated by the Paradox of his being the Son, the descendant of David, and yet David calls him “Lord!”
Over the course of the Gospels Jesus had gradually revealed who he was, and many began to understand. St Peter acknowledged him as ‘Son of God’; - the blind man called him “Son of David”. Here Jesus says these titles are correct, but incomplete! He is above all “Son of God!”
Gospel Acclamation Jn14:23
All who love me will keep my words,
and my Father will love them and we will come to them.