From this passage of Scripture we learn the followers of Jesus will believe in the inspiration of Scripture and that Jesus is both fully God and fully man.
God gave you the gospel of Mark to help you understand who Jesus is and what it means to follow Him. The gospel of Mark starts out with a call to follow Him.
- In Mark 1, Jesus approached two brothers, Peter and Andrew who were professional fishermen. They were casting their nets into the water. Jesus called out to them saying, “’Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!’ And they left their nets at once and followed him” (Mark 1:17-18, NLT).
- Then we are told in verse 19 that Jesus came across two more brothers, James and John who were repairing their nets. Mark tells us that Jesus “called them at once, and they also followed him” (Mark 1:19-20, NLT).
- In Mark 2, Jesus came across a tax collector named Levi working at his tax booth. Jesus approached him and said, “Follow me and be my disciple.” Mark tells us that “Levi got up and followed him” (Mark 2:14-15, NLT).
- By the time you get to Mark 8, Jesus has started raising the bar in what it means to be a follower of His. Jesus says, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34, NLT).
- By the time we get to Mark 13, Jesus will explain that following Him will not be easy. He was talking to His disciples when He said, “You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me” and then Jesus adds “And everyone will hate you because you are my followers” (Mark 13:9, 13 NLT).
If you have been journeying with us through this series on Mark then Jesus has been talking to you about who He is and what it means to follow Him. Today, Jesus wants you to understand exactly who it is you are following. You are following God incarnate. You are following Jesus who is fully man and fully God. Jesus is the God-man. He is both human and God at the same time. This makes Him both the Son of Man and the Son of God. The Bible describes this as a mystery.
The devil will do everything He can to keep you from understanding and accepting Jesus as God in the flesh. If he can get you to believe that Jesus is only a good man, but not the God-man then He can get you to believe a lot of things that are not true about Jesus and keep you from seeing Him as Lord and Savior. The devil will do everything he can to minimize the majesty and glory and power and deity of Jesus in your mind. He wants you to downplay Jesus as much as possible. The more you down play Jesus the less you will look up to Him!
Today, we are going to see three things: two about Jesus and one about the Bible. Each has something to do with being a follower of Jesus.
Later, as Jesus was teaching the people in the Temple, he asked, “Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is the son of David? For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’ Since David himself called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with great delight. (NLT)
Three things about being a follower of Jesus.
Followers of Jesus believe the Bible is inspired by God
First of all, followers of Jesus believe the Bible is inspired by God. One of the first things you are going to have to deal with, as a follower of Jesus, is your view of the Bible. Is it from God or is it not? Is it all inspired by God or is it not? Does it have divine authority over your life? A follower of Jesus is going to accept the Bible as God’s word. You are going to have to accept all of it as God’s Word or none of it at all.
The devil wants you to reject it completely. If he can’t do that then he wants you to doubt it. If he can’t get you to doubt it then he wants you to be selective about it. You choosing what’s from God and what’s not, knowing that you will ignore the things in the Bible you don’t like or understand. This will keep you in the dark and defeated.
The devil knows the Bible is the sword of the Spirit and he does not want you to know how to use it to experience victory in your life. The devil has come to steal, kill, and destroy your faith, trust, and commitment to God and His word.
Jesus says in verse 36, For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit…. Jesus is affirming and confirming that the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Jesus is referring to what we call The Doctrine of Inspiration. This refers to the process by which God oversaw the composition of Scripture through its authors in such a way that they recorded its message exactly the way God wanted it recorded, without error or omission. Inspiration guarantees that God’s Word has come to us without contamination. This means you can trust what the Bible says. You may not understand it all, but you can believe it all.
Paul would write about this later in 2 Timothy 3:16 saying, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (NLT). Jesus believed God’s Word. If you are going to follow Him, you will need to believe it too.
Followers of Jesus believe Jesus is fully human
Number two, followers of Jesus believe Jesus is fully human. He was a real person. I know that sounds simple, but it is significant. In verse 35 Jesus asked, Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is the son of David?
Before we dissect this, you need to understand the heart of the question. This is not a trap question by Jesus for the religious leaders. This is not a revenge question to get back at the trap questions they gave Him. This question is a loving invitation by Jesus to encourage them to embrace Him as the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Savior promised and prophesied about in the Old Testament.
Despite all the resentment and hatred directed at Him by those leaders over the past few months and especially the last few days, Jesus remained a compassionate evangelist. Jesus took no pleasure in the death of sinners (Ezek. 18:23; 33:11). The thought of their eternity moved Him to great sorrow and tears (Luke 19:41-44).
Jesus had not written these people off. He knew that some of them were close to becoming followers and disciples. They needed more time and more information. In reality, there were some members of the Sanhedrin, the scribes, Pharisees, and priests who had not completely rejected the idea of Jesus being the Messiah. There were some who were seriously considering it. In fact, at least two members of the Sanhedrin, Joseph of Arimathea (Mark 15:43) and Nicodemus (John 3:1), became followers of Jesus (John 19:38; Matt. 27:57). By the time you get to Acts 6:7, after the resurrection of Jesus, we are told that “God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted” (NLT).
Realize some people need more time and more information. Planting the seeds of the gospel by answering questions and asking questions of those who are doubters is always a good thing.
The Lord’s question to these religious leaders was one final evangelistic appeal to those who might have been open to the gospel. Jesus’ question was an offering of salvation.
Stay with me. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all tell us something about this event. Matthew tells us that Jesus began this conversation by asking the Pharisees, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They replied, “He is the son of David” (Matthew 22:41-42). Mark picks up the conversation at this point by turning to His disciples and the crowd that were listening and asked, Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is the son of David? This question is asking something that we don’t see because we don’t live in the first century. We don’t talk about teachers of religious law and we don’t talk about a Messiah and we don’t use the phrase son of David. We don’t fully understand the context of this question. Once you start digging into this here is what you discover. Jesus is asking, Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is [ONLY] the son of David? Jesus is wanting them to not only agree that the Messiah would be the son of David, a human person but that He would also be divine, the Son of God. That’s where Jesus is wanting to take them with this question. Jesus is wanting them to consider the Messiah to be fully man and fully God.
The religious leaders answer of the Messiah being the son of David is correct (Matt. 22:32). The Old Testament clearly taught that would be the case (see 2 Sam. 7:12-14, Psalm 89:3-4, 35-37; Amos 9:11; Mic. 5:2). The Messiah would be a descendant of David. The problem is they believed the Messiah would only be a descendant of David. He would be nothing more than a powerful military and political leader, who would deliver Israel from their enemies and establish the promised kingdom.
At this point, many people believed Jesus to be that Messiah. They believed Jesus to be the Son of David. They believed Jesus was the earthly and military leader who would bring peace to Israel, the Messiah.
- Matthew 9:27 says “two blind men followed [Jesus] shouting, ‘Son of David, have mercy on us!’” (NLT; see also 20:30-31).
- After the Lord healed a blind and mute man, Matthew 12 says, “The crowd was amazed and asked, ‘Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?’” (v.23).
- In Matthew 15, we are told about a mother who had a demon possessed daughter came up to Jesus pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David!” (v. 22, NLT).
- When Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem in His triumphal entry the crowds shouted, “Praise God for the Son of David!” (Matt. 21:9, NLT).
To these people Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. He was the Son of David.[i] They believed Jesus had come to deliver them and bring peace. The problem was they only saw Jesus as a man, a human. They saw Him as the Son of David, not the Son of God… at least not yet.
There are a lot of people like that today. They agree and believe that Jesus existed. They believe that He lived, He loved people, He pointed people to God, He had a good message about treating people right and serving and blessing others. For some of them, they even will add that Jesus did miracles. They believe that Jesus was crucified and that He died. They believe that Jesus is real and that He existed, but they don’t believe that He was God in the flesh. That He resurrected from the grave and He is Lord of lords and King of kings.
It’s good to believe that Jesus is fully human and that He existed and did a lot of great and wonderful things. But there is more to Jesus, much more, that as His followers we need to believe and understand.
Followers of Jesus believe Jesus is fully God
Number three, followers of Jesus believe He is fully God. As Christians we believe that Jesus is God incarnate. He is God in the flesh. God came to us in the form of Jesus. This is a mystery. God the Father came to us as God the Son and this all happened by the power of God the Spirit. Jesus addresses this in verse 36 when He said, For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’ 37 Since David himself called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with great delight.
The Pharisees believed that the Messiah would be the son of David. The Messiah would be human. He would be a great man with unmatched power and he would do incredible things. That part of their understanding of the Messiah was correct, but significantly incomplete. They were not expecting nor did they believe that the Messiah would also be fully God. They were expecting a great-man, but not a God-man.
To help them see and understand this, Jesus quotes from Psalm 110. This Psalm is called a Messianic Psalm. It is a Psalm that points to the Messiah. The Pharisees agreed and accepted Psalm 110 as a Messianic Psalm. There are a lot of prophecies about the coming Messiah in that Psalm. We now know it pointed to Jesus as the Messiah. Peter quoted from it. Paul quoted from it. The writer of Hebrews quotes from it. Jesus quotes from it today. Psalm 110 is significant when it comes to Messianic prophecies.
Jesus quotes Psalm 110:1 saying, The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.” Pay close attention to this. David wrote Psalm 110 under the inspiration of God. The Pharisees believed that. They agreed this Psalm was about the coming messiah. In this Psalm, David calls the Messiah “my Lord.” The question Jesus wants them to deal with is, How can the messiah be both a physical descendant of David and David’s Lord at the same time? The answer is the messiah is both man and God at the same time.
The Pharisees already believed that Jesus was a son of David because Mary and Joseph, Jesus earthly parents, were both descendants from David. There was no disputing that. There were plenty of evidence for that. There were records that tranced that lineage to David.
What they were unwilling to accept was that the Messiah had to be God also and that Jesus was the God-man who was the Messiah. Jesus has already given them piles of evidence that He is God.
- Jesus demonstrated various attributes of God, like God’s omnipotence (His power) and God’s omniscience (His knowledge).
- Jesus heals a man with leprosy (Mark 1:40-45)
- Jesus heals a paralyzed man and forgave His sins (Mark 2:1-12)
- Jesus heals a man with a deformed hand (Mark 3:1-6)
- Jesus calmed a raging storm with just the command of His words (Mark 4:35-41)
- Jesus demonstrated His authority over the demonic world by delivering a man full of a legion of demons (Mark 5:1-20)
- Jesus raised a little girl back from the dead (Mark 5:35-43)
- Jesus provides food for thousands by miraculously multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish into a feast (Mark 6:30-44)
- Jesus walks on water (Mark 6:45-56)
- Jesus heals a deaf man (Mark 7:31-37)
- Jesus heals a blind man (Mark 8:22-26)
- Jesus heals a demon-possessed boy (Mark 9:14-29)
- He not only demonstrated His God powers and authority, but He also demonstrated His God-like wisdom by answering all their questions in amazing fashion. He taught with God-like authority. He could read the hearts and minds of people.
- Over and over and over again, Jesus was giving them evidence that He was God. The last verse in the Gospel of John says, “Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25).
Jesus is saying, “Is it possible that not only is the messiah you are expecting to be human, but that he is also to be God? Is it possible that when you look at all the evidence, that I’m that Messiah? I’m the God-Man. I’m the Son of David and the Son of God.”
As followers of Jesus we don’t follow a man. We follow the God-Man. We follow the Lord Jesus Christ. We follow the perfect Lamb of God. We follow the Alpha and Omega. We follow the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Jesus was God spelling Himself out in language humanity could understand. Jesus was God and man in one person that God and man might be happy together. He was able to represent both and bring both together. Jesus is God for man and man for God.
Jesus is the human face on the kingdom of God. He makes it concretely accessible.
- The gospel of Mark starts out with and emphasizes throughout the call to follow Jesus. How would you describe a follower of Jesus who has never heard of or seen a follower of Jesus?
- What is your reaction to the statement, “The more you down play Jesus the less you will look up to Him!”
- As a follower of Jesus, why is it important to believe in the inspiration of Scripture? What is the inspiration of Scripture? How do you know the Bible is inspired by God? What’s the result of not believing in the inspiration of Scripture?
- The title “son of David” referred to Jesus’ humanity. Why is it important that Jesus not only be God, but that He be human? Why do some people believe Jesus was only human? What would be your response to them?
- Jesus explained that the Messiah would be both human and God? How is that possible? Do you believe Jesus is both fully man and fully God? Explain your answer. Why does Jesus need to be not only human, but also God?
[i] The genealogies of Jesus offer irrefutable proof that He was a descendant of David. Both His earthly father, Joseph (Matt. 1:1-17), and His mother, Mary (Luke 3:23-38), were direct descendants of David thus Jesus was also. His Davidic descent claim could be easily verified or falsified. The genealogical records were carefully preserved in the temple and were no doubt examined by the Sanhedrin. If the Lord had not been descended from David, His claim would have been proven false. That none of His opponents ever challenged Christ’s Davidic ancestry offers convincing proof of its validity.