Our services have officially started! In addition, the video and audio recordings of our sermons are available below. The following sermon was prepared by Ps Lucas Stoltz this week for your edification and uplifting.
Mark 12:35-37, The Value of Understanding the Gospel Truth:
- In our previous text, we saw Jesus say to the Scribe, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Which was an end to all the questions presented to Him on that Wednesday. However, the day was not over.
- Let’s read together. Now, this portion of Scripture tells us that there is some accuracy about their knowledge concerning Jesus. However, it also reveals their lack of knowledge concerning Jesus.
- Let me explain the difference. Let’s say that your doctor tells you to get an MRI. You phone the medical aid to see if it is covered. The consultant tells you it is. Confident in your coverage, you get the MRI done at a certain hospital, and a few days later you receive a bill for R10000.
- Obviously you call them to clear the issue, only to find out that the procedure is covered, but only by a list of approved hospitals of which the one you went to was not.
- The original information you received was accurate (the MRI is covered) but it was not adequate (it is only covered at a certain hospitals). Therefore, from this morning’s text we’ll learn that there is more than just knowing who Jesus is, we need to understand and experience His Gospel Truth:
1. The Historical Background:
- Text – 12:35-37
- Explanation – in reference to our text, Christ means Messiah. Now the Jews held the view that Messiah would be a man and no more than a man. The Messiah was to be an earthly ruler, a man of immense power and influence and impact and might. He would rise to conquer all of Israel’s enemies and He would then accomplish the fulfilment of all the promises that were given to Abraham, passed on to Abraham’s children and repeated and expanded in the promises that were given David of a coming King and kingdom.
- Therefore, they did not necessarily see the Messiah as a Saviour of individual souls. They saw Messiah as the Saviour of His people, the Jews. They did not, nor do they now view Messiah as God in human flesh. He is in the minds of Jews, a man and that was the reality that brought them into a direct collision with Jesus because Jesus claimed to be more than a man.
- Illustration – Now the Jews believed that the Messiah would not only be a man, but that He would be a man descended from David, that He would be a man not only descended from David, but somewhat David like, in that like David He would defeat Israel’s foes and bring about a glorious kingdom.
- They didn’t believe that Jesus was the fulfilment of that Messianic hope. They are not convinced that He is the Messiah. And they really had to fight to hold on to that belief because He had to get past the explosion of miracles that He did which could only be described as those being done by the power of God.
- Even if they believed He was merely a man, they would have had to admit that the power of God came through Him, but they fought hard to sustain their conviction that He is not the Messiah.
- That’s the reason for all their questioning on that given Wednesday. Now Jesus takes the initiative. This is the last word that Jesus has to say to these leaders, and it will once again demonstrate that He is, the Messiah, who is a man but not merely a man, but who is also Lord.
- Application – So truly, our passage presents a final testimony from Jesus about His identity. And He does so with a question, unlike any they had presented to Jesus. They asked questions to set traps. Jesus asks the question with a positive purpose, with a saving objective, to reach out one final time.
- And here’s the question, verse 35, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?” Jesus is asking, “Why is that your answer?” why is the Messiah only the Son of David? Is there nothing more to it?
- Conclusion – Well, if that is the case, they do not fully understand who the Messiah is. They are saying that the Christ is only a man, a gifted man, a great leader, a military man, a man of might, influence, and power. And that was all to be true but that wasn’t the complete answer.
- When Jesus asked the disciple the same question, Peter said, “‘You’re the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” That’s the full answer to the question. Whose son is He? He is David’s Son and He is God’s Son.
- Bridge – Now, this is just the context. This only brings us to the beginning of our text, it bring us to…
2. The Gospel Truth:
- Text – 12:36-37
- Explanation – To answer the first question properly, Jesus asked a second one. And in doing so, He provided both an accurate and adequate view of the Messiah. You see, if you want to be able to understand and experience the Gospel truly, you need to go to the Scriptures.
- One reason folks miss the point is because those leading them are missing it as well. Jesus goes directly to God’s Word by quoting Psalm 110:1. Jesus said, “David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared.”
- In other words, Jesus affirmed the accuracy of what the Old Testament taught. It is truth we need to know and believe. Sadly, it would seem that the scribes did not. And, neither did the majority of those whom they taught.
- Illustration – But what does Jesus show from the Scriptures? Mark 12:36–37. Jesus made the point that Messiah was David’s “Lord.” David, the author Psalm 110, acknowledged this. In other words, David accurately acknowledged that his son was also his Lord. This was both accurate and adequate knowledge.
- Jesus was not questioning that the Messiah was David’s son. But He is showing us that the scribes were correct to point out this reality, but it wasn’t enough. At best they were saying Jesus was a super-human, a super-David who would come to rule God’s people including defeating the enemies of God’s people.
- Application – They were not entirely wrong about this. But their teaching, even though it was accurate, was also inadequate. And when it comes to the identity of Jesus and our response to this, there is an eternal difference between accurate knowledge and adequate knowledge. And because these teachers themselves did not grasp the full true, they were misleading the masses.
- Conclusion – Now something we saw early in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus was reluctant for the masses to be informed that He was Messiah, not because it was inaccurate, but because their understanding was inadequate. Their understanding of Jesus as the Messiah was limited. They may have been accurately taught that God would send the Messiah, but sadly, they were inaccurately taught about what he would come to do.
- The scribes presented a Saviour that was far too small. It’s like today’s prosperity Gospel, as it offers too little. It does not offer the Savour who will deliver us from our biggest problem: sin and the wrath of God.
- Bridge – Many prosperity preachers proclaim some accurate truth about Jesus, but at the same time, their proclamation was inadequate. Which brings us to the final transition this morning,
3. The Value of Understanding the Gospel:
- Text – 12:35-37
- Explanation – David himself calls the Messiah Lord, but how did he say it? Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. THe idea is that when David called the Messiah Lord, he was speaking by inspiration from the Holy Spirit. So David, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, calls Messiah Christ his descendant, his son to come.
- And the importance of Jesus referring to this Psalm, is that the Jews had always acknowledged Psalm 110 as a messianic Psalm. It is also the most quoted Psalm by the New Testament writers – and it is David identifying the Messiah as his Lord.
- Illustration – So strong was this Psalm in Jewish tradition as to its messianic identity, that in the early church the Jews had a problem with it because Christians started applying that Psalm to Jesus Christ, as the New Testament writers do.
- The Jews then went and changed their interpretation of Psalm 110, and some of the rabbis applied it to Abraham. They disconnected it from the person of Christ.
- Application – However, the truth is that David says the one true God has designated a position for Messiah – at His own right hand. He tells us that God identifies the Messiah as Lord, taking a place at the right hand of God making Him co-equal in rank and in authority.
- That is why Philippians 2 says that He was exalted, given a name above every name and that is the name Lord. And at that name, everyone is to bow. That is why in Ephesians 1 it says He is the Lord over all things, over all things who has then been given to the church as the church’s head.
- Conclusion – Jesus, even as a man, had the attributes of omniscience, meaning He knew everything, even what was going on in the minds of men. Jesus was holy, true, wise, sovereign, loving, eternal, and glorious. He possessed all the attributes of God, put them all on display.
- He took the titles of God: rock, stone, Saviour, Redeemer, Holy One, Lord of Hosts, King, First and Last, Light, Law-giver, all Old Testament titles for God that Jesus attributed to Himself.
- Bridge – And once the crowd grasped this, Mark says, “they heard him gladly.” There seems to be a sense of corporate relief in that the crowd was given adequate information regarding Jesus. I mean, having been misled by the scribes for so long, the people were glad to hear the full story.
- And this response is the nature of the gospel. See, it doesn’t necessarily make our life easy, but the Gospel is freeing. It frees us! For the Gospel says come as you are, not as you want to be, not when you arrived at a place of acceptance by society, not when you feel ready – but to come now, to come freely, and to come as you are; a sinner in need of grace.
- That’s the Gospel, and once you understand this, it changes the value of the Gospel doesn’t it? For if the Gospel doesn’t make sense to you, it won’t mean anything to you.
- But once you hear these truths, that Jesus is God, the only Saviour who can rescue us from the sting of death – you will surely count it as the most valuable treasure you can ever own.
- So practically in application, you might have accurate about the creation account, you might know all there is to the virgin birth of Jesus, perhaps even the resurrection – as we recently studied it. But if you do not adequately embrace who Jesus is as the Messiah, know amount of knowledge about Him can save you.
- For example, do you know Jesus as the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Saviour of the world? That would be accurate. Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? As this would be adequate for salvation.
- So what’s required for an accuracy of Jesus that is also adequate? To trust the Jesus of the Scriptures! Don’t follow or trust in a type of Jesus that is not taught in God’s Word. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, came into this world to serve – to save, being born from a virgin, living a sinless life to be the perfect sacrifice, He was crucified to take on the wrath of God for all who would believe on Him.
- More so, He was resurrected to prove His power and overcome death, and is now seated at the right hand of God, interceding for all of us who have called on Him for salvation, who trust in Him alone!