What does Mark 12:37 mean?
ESV: David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
NIV: David himself calls him 'Lord.' How then can he be his son?' The large crowd listened to him with delight.
NASB: David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; so in what sense is He his son?' And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him.
CSB: David himself calls him 'Lord'; how then can he be his son? " And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.
NLT: Since David himself called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?' The large crowd listened to him with great delight.
KJV: David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.
Verse Commentary:
Just as the spiritual priesthood of Melchizedek supersedes that of Abraham's descendants (Hebrews 7), David understands that God's spiritual kingdom has supremacy over Israel. This is what Jesus has been trying to teach the disciples for the last three years. He has not come to rescue Israel from foreign threat—yet (Jeremiah 30). First, He must fight the spiritual battle for the souls of humanity.

It's unclear how much the crowds fully understand. Jesus has been debating the Jewish religious and civil leaders all day, by turns frustrating and impressing them with His wisdom. The Pharisees understand that many consider Jesus to be the Messiah but, like the disciples, do not understand who the Messiah really is and what He has come to do. Many think He has just come to free Israel from Roman rule, a thought which terrifies the Herodians and Sadducees who stand to lose their influence and authority. The Pharisees and scribes understand from their many altercations that if Jesus comes to ruling position, He will eradicate the manmade traditions by which they lord over the people.

In this last week, Jesus obliquely poked at the religious teachers in a way that left no doubt that He was claiming to be God and the Son of God. Here, He uses David's own prophecy to show that the Messiah, David's "son," has authority over David, himself. The Messiah isn't just the earthly son of a king, come to reestablish that kingdom.

The text is unclear as to why Jesus adds this teaching, but the crowd's reaction hints at a possibility. Jesus has challenged the authority the Herodians and Pharisees (Mark 12:13), the Sadducees (Mark 12:18), and the scribes (Mark 12:28). Now, the religious leaders have nothing to say (Mark 12:34; Matthew 22:46). The people, however, are delighted by the show, and ready to hear a more thorough condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23).
Verse Context:
Mark 12:35–37 occurs after Jesus' detractors have surrendered their challenges, but Jesus continues teaching. Here, He explains the Messiah must be much more than merely David's son. Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:48) and the crowd at the triumphal entry (Mark 11:10) have already identified Jesus as the Son of David. In the parable of the tenants (Mark 12:1–12), Jesus suggests that He is the Son of the one who has authority. During one of the trials before the crucifixion, Jesus will formally acknowledge that He is ''the Christ, the Son of the Blessed'' (Mark 14:61–62). Jesus' explanation about the Messiah is also found in Matthew 22:41–46 and Luke 20:41–44.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter contains lessons taught by Jesus in various circumstances. He explains the eventual destruction of traditional Judaism, the relationship between secular and sacred obligations, the nature of the resurrection, and the most important of God's commandments. Jesus also expounds on Messianic statements in the Old Testament. Jesus also condemns the glory-seeking shallowness of the scribes, and extolls the virtues of sincere, faith-based giving.
Chapter Context:
Days before, Jesus has entered Jerusalem, hailed as a hero by the people (Mark 11:1–11). While teaching in the temple courtyard, Jesus shows superior understanding of Scripture over the chief priests, scribes, and elders (Mark 12:27–33), the Pharisees and Herodians (Mark 12:13), the Sadducees (Mark 12:18), and the scribes again (Mark 12:35, 38). Sadly, even in the instance where a scribe does understand Scripture, that is no guarantee he will follow it to its logical conclusion: Jesus (Mark 12:28–34). In contrast, a humble widow exemplifies the faithfulness and piety the leaders lack (Mark 12:41–44). Jesus leaves the temple for the last time to teach the disciples on the Mount of Olives (Mark 13). In Mark 14, He prepares for the crucifixion.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 3/1/2024 10:21:50 PM
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