The First 15

Saturday April 11, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield


Mark 12:28-37

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:

“‘The Lord said 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?”

The large crowd listened to him with delight.


Many of the Psalms speak about the Messiah coming through the line of David. Matthew, at the beginning of his Gospel, calls Jesus the “son of David” and proceeds to show us through his genealogy how Jesus is in the line of David. Blind Bartimaeus has already identified Jesus as the “son of David” a few chapters earlier. In 2 Samuel 7, we see God’s eternal promise through the line of David promising that his house will reign forever. It was widely expected that the Messiah would not only come through the line of David but would also be the kind of king and warrior David was.

If it’s true that the Messiah is to be born in the line of David, how are we supposed to make sense of Psalm 110 that Jesus quotes here and delights the crowd? The Gospels all clearly teach Jesus comes from the Father. But it’ll take the church a few hundred years to explicitly articulate the theological explanation of the full humanity and full divinity of Jesus in a formal way as a response to the spread of many false gospels. It’s clear in Jesus’ own self-understanding how the Messiah, which is himself, is not only the son of David but the Lord of David. Speaking through the Holy Spirit, David hears the Lord (Father) say to my Lord (Son), “Sit at my right hand…” Like at Jesus’ baptism, we can see another example in scripture of the Holy Trinity recognized in these verses.

Jesus can be called David’s son because he is fully human, born of the virgin Mary. He is also the Word who was in the beginning, one with and fully God. So he is also David’s Lord. The people and crowds expecting the Messiah to come were not expecting the Lord of David. They were not expecting God to come incarnate. And they definitely could not fathom that David’s Lord would die to liberate us from sin and death.

The question the disciples and the world are left with today is: did he? Saturday is when fear and doubt and sorrow take hold and we wonder…Is it all true? Did it really happen? Are God’s promises a firm foundation we can stand on? Has the light gone out or is this the darkness before the dawn? Hours must pass before the hope of any answers come. It’s important that we honor those hours in our own lives and the people God calls us to love and serve and not rush through and trample each other with unwelcome words even if those words are good. Sometimes God calls us to sit through, pray, and wait patiently through these hours with others just like he does with us…until tomorrow comes.

As you awake Easter morning, but before you celebrate with us at 9:30 or 11am, consider beginning your day with this song: All Hail King Jesus

Prayer for Today

Holy God, we rejoice in your presence today. May today be marked with thanksgiving and praise. We surrender our whole hearts to you. We offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to you. Make us holy and pleasing to your sight. Move us by your Spirit to encourage and serve others. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us, for we are sinners. Lead us closer to your heart. Amen

The First 15

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