Jesus: David’s Son and David’s Lord (Mark Sermon 68)
November 19, 2023 | Andy Davis
The Doctrine of the Trinity, Deity of Christ, Prophecy
Christ, son of David and the Son of God is the meticulous, precise Bible interpreter and also the meticulous, precise Savior.
- SERMON TRANSCRIPT -
I. A Precise God Speaks a Precise Word
Turn in your Bibles to Mark 12. We're looking this morning at verses 35-37. Anyone who knows me knows I have an esteem for church history. I love church history. One of my favorite people to study are the Puritans who were English Christians in the 16th, 17th century. They were remarkable people who accomplished far more than most ever do because they knew the God they believed in, and they sought to orchestrate every aspect of their lives in conformity with what they read in Scripture. They were meticulous and precise in the way that they lived. They were precise in their doctrine, very careful in their doctrine. They were precise in their public worship. They were precise in their Sabbath observances, in their family lives, in their private prayers, in their secular employments, in their politics. They tied everything to the perfect truths they saw in the Word of God. One Puritan pastor, Richard Rogers, ministered in Essex and was told by a wealthy nobleman in his parish, "Mr. Rogers, I like you and your company, your group very well, but I find that you are too precise." Rogers replied, "Oh, sir, I serve a precise God.” We serve a precise God, and evidence of the precision of God surrounds us every moment in the universe that we live in. We see in His meticulous, in His careful creation, evidence of His precision. Advances in science over recent centuries have shown how just precise the universe really is.
I was reading a book recently by Eric Metaxas called Is Atheism Dead? He argues that recent advances in science have made atheism more and more unreasonable. In it, Metaxas talks about arch-atheist evolutionist and enemy of the gospel, Richard Dawkins, who is relentless in his hatred of Christianity. He goes all over the world to ridicule and to debunk Christianity, but in an unguarded moment was asked, "Of all of the arguments for the existence of God, which do you find most difficult to overcome?" He said, "That's easy. The evidence of a finely tuned universe, that the universe has physical constants that are so precise, if they deviated even a tiny, tiny amount, life would be impossible. Actually, existence would be impossible, and there's a stacking up of these that makes it difficult to refute the evidence of a precise God who made them all."
Classic example of this is what's called the “Goldilocks” planet that we live on. You remember the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, how this wanderer comes into a cabin and finds some porridge, and the first bowl is too hot and the second bowl is too cold, the third bowl is just right. The same thing happens with the chair and with the bed and all that. Earth is like that, it’s the Goldilocks planet. The distance from the sun, Venus is too close, so it's too hot, Mars is too far, so it's too cold. The earth is just right. Also the gravitational force of the earth, the power of gravity is just right to retain the gases in the atmosphere necessary for life. The atmosphere itself is just right. When it comes to oxygen, 21% of the air you breathe is oxygen, 78% is nitrogen. If there were more oxygen, things would be igniting all the time around us, burning, combusting. If they were too little, we would have trouble staying alive.
So it is with water. Water is weird. I know we're used to it, but it's just a weird substance. It's got some amazing attributes. For example, simply the fact that the solid form of it floats in the liquid form, ice floats. Because of that, then ice floats to the top in lakes and ponds and rivers and doesn't descend to the bottom where the sunlight could never reach it. And eventually, it would quench out life because of an ice age. So it is with the genetic code of every cell in your body, the DNA, the string of proteins. They are so meticulous and precise that if anything were deviated at all, life would be impossible. These are examples of a precise God and His precision in creations around us all the time.
This precise God also had a precise plan for human history and for our existence. All the days ordained for each one of us were written in God's book before one of them came to be. That's true not just of us individually, but it's true of the entire flow of human history. God ordained a precise sequence of nations and empires, kingdoms and smaller nations to rise and fall in exactly the way He ordained. In Acts 17:26, it says, "From one man, He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth." He determined the time set for them in the exact places where they should live. That's a precise God orchestrating all of human history.
"This precise God also had a precise plan for human history and for our existence. All the days ordained for each one of us were written in God's book before one of them came to be. That's true not just of us individually, but it's true of the entire flow of human history."
At the center of that precise plan by this precise God was a plan for the salvation of sinners like you and me from every tribe and language and people and nation. Peter in preaching on his great Pentecost sermon said this in Acts 2:23, "This Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God. And this one you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men." That's a precise plan concerning Jesus, that He would be born, as Galatians tells us, in the fullness of time at just the right time in history, and according to this plan, He was killed. This precise plan was predicted in a precise book. This is the precise book, the Bible, and in it is a set of precise prophecies meticulously laid out in the Hebrew language, in Hebrew letters in the Old Testament.
This morning we're going to see the precise son of God, Jesus making a surprising observation and drawing a stunning conclusion from one verse in scripture, a psalm, actually based on one word in that psalm actually based on one letter, the ending letter of that one word. Everything comes down to that one letter. That's the precision of Jesus and the argument He's going to make today.
Jesus spoke about the precision of scripture and His esteem for it in the Sermon of the Mount in Matthew 5:17 and 1, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a pen stroke will pass from the law until all is accomplished." KJV has “jot and tittle”. But it's just an iota, which is a Greek letter. But Jesus was actually referring, I believe, to the Hebrew letter, the yod. You can see in Psalm 119 the shape and some of the English translation, the shape of the various letters. It's hard to see the relative size, but the yod is the smallest Hebrew letter. It looks like an apostrophe, like the apostrophe as like the possessive that we use, apostrophe. It's like a little apostrophe. It's pronounced ye, like a Y sound. That's what a yod is. The pen stroke refers to the way that the letters are shaped, like the finishing of a letter, what some printers will call a serif. On the end of a letter, it gives a shape of a letter. Jesus is saying, "Until heaven and earth pass away, not a single yod will disappear and not a single pen stroke will disappear from the law until everything that God ordained in the scriptures is fulfilled." Actually, He said that His own words would outlast heaven and earth. "Heaven and earth will pass away. My words will never pass away."
This meticulous Scripture gave rise to a very meticulous Jewish culture. The Jews were very precise over the written word of God. They knew that there were 613 commands in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. 613 commands. They knew that 248 of them were positive and 365 were negative. Doesn't it make you wonder what they did with their time? They're there walking through and categorizing that, that’s what they did.
The Scribes also counted letters in each of the books that they copied. They meticulously counted the letters. They knew the middle letter of each book and they knew, indeed, the middle letter of the Pentateuch. I bet you're wondering what it is. It's a vav, which is a W in the Hebrew word for belly in Leviticus 11:42. That's the middle Hebrew letter, and they would count forward and count back, and if they didn't arrive at that vav, they knew something was wrong somewhere. That was the precision.
Jesus applies this kind of meticulous precision to prophecy in Psalm 110. In Psalm 110 in verse 1, His entire argument comes down to a single letter in the Hebrew. Actually, it is the letter yod, the one I mentioned earlier, the little ye sound, the little apostrophe. With that closing letter in the way the Hebrew words are formed, the word adon, which means Lord, is turned, possessive, adoni, my Lord. The whole thing comes down to that. How is it that David, writing that, called Messiah, His son, my Lord? It all comes down to one letter. That's the precision here.
What is the goal? What is Jesus' goal? The goal is the same goal that there is in Scripture. He's not trying to ensnare or trap people or prove His intelligence or His meticulous nature; none of the above. He wants to save sinners. It's salvation; that's His goal. For that is the purpose of scripture. 2 Timothy 3:15 says, “The holy scriptures are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.”
II. The Central Question: Who Is Jesus?
The whole thing comes down to the identity of Jesus. Who is Jesus? That is the focal point of this conversation. Jesus brings it up. It is the final week of Jesus' life. It is the Wednesday of Holy Week. Jesus' enemies are coming at Him in waves trying to trip Him up. They want to condemn Him to death. They're coming at Him concerning His sense of His own identity. That is essential also to our own salvation. All four Gospels, I believe, are written for the same purpose as the Gospel of John. John 20:31 says, "These are written." You can put that on all four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. "These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God," or perhaps God the Son, "and that by believing that, you may have life," that is eternal life, "in His name."
It all comes down to the identity of Jesus. Jesus' enemies are openly challenging Him concerning His identity and His authority. Back in the previous chapter, Mark 11:27, 28, while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priest, the teachers of the law, the elders came to Him. "By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you authority to do this?" They're asking Him His authority to cleanse the temple or to teach. Who do you think you are?
This brings us right to Jewish conceptions of the Messiah, the Christ. Throughout history in Jesus' day, even up to our own time, Jewish people have conceived of the Messiah as purely human and only human. He would be a ruler, powerful, mighty in battle, able to defeat Israel, Gentile foes and conquer their lands, bringing in a worldwide Jewish empire of immense power and worldly wealth. That was what He would be. Then, having conquered all the Gentile foes of Israel, He would sit on a throne in righteousness and justice in Jerusalem and rule to the ends of the earth. But it was purely a human conception. He would be militarily powerful and He would bring in worldly wealth to the Jewish nation. Mighty, yes, powerful in battle, absolutely, wise in rulership, of course, but human only.
Their fundamental answer, which they give in the text, and we'll walk through that in a moment, is the Christ, the Messiah, is the son of David, which in their mind basically meant another David. What David was, that's what the son of David will be. Maybe better, maybe more powerful, maybe wiser, but still just a human king. That's all. That's how they conceived of it, another David. Certainly not a savior of souls before a wrath-filled holy judge. They didn't think they needed that. As the book of Roman says, they sought to establish their own righteousness by the law. They didn't think they needed any help. They didn't conceive of the Christ, the Messiah being a savior from sin. They didn't think they needed it. They certainly didn't conceive of the Jewish Messiah being a savior for Gentiles so that there would be, in the end, one new people, Jew and Gentile together in one beautiful, worldwide kingdom. They didn't conceive of any of that.
The Jewish leaders are there, and they hate Jesus. They're opposed to Him. They're fighting Him. The Scribes, Pharisees, elders, chief priests, teachers of the law, they all banded together in overt hatred of Jesus. Why is that? Jesus had assaulted their concept of religion, He had assaulted their conception of their own righteousness, He openly challenged their interpretations of the laws of Moses, especially on Sabbath regulations He exposed their hypocrisy. He called them lost. He called them blind leading the blind. He said their righteousness was like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but inside full of corruption, so they hated Him with a passion.
Furthermore, He had openly exposed their financial greed, how the whole religious system that they ran there at the temple made them a den of thieves. They were jealous of His popularity with the crowds. The crowds were wildly in love with Jesus, and they were jealous of that, so they hated Him. They especially despised His claims to be divine. He said, "Before Abraham was born, I am." They picked up stones to stone Him. When they're questioning Him healing on the Sabbath, Jesus said, "My Father is always working to this very day, and I too am working." They hated Him all the more because He made Himself equal with God, claiming to be God. They considered His claims to be God to be open blasphemy, and they wanted to kill Him.
They come on this final week of His life, the Wednesday of Holy Week, with a series of questions, one after the other, wave upon wave. The Pharisees banded together with the Herodians to ask their most devious and dangerous question about taxation. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? They figured they had Him either way. If He said, "No, we shouldn't pay taxes to Caesar," then Caesar will hear of it and, through Pontius Pilate, put Him to death. But if He says we should pay taxes, then they will look on Him as a collaborator, like a tax collector, and they'll hate Him. He'll lose the patriotic Jews. They figure they have Him either way. But Jesus, with His supernatural wisdom and knowledge, gave an answer they couldn't deal with, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God’s.
Then the Sadducees banded together, they who deny the resurrection. They come with that ridiculous test case about seven brothers married to one woman, et cetera, and thus proving they thought by the law of Moses that resurrection is impossible. Jesus exposed their error. You're in error because you don't know the Scriptures or the power of God, and proved the resurrection.
Then some other Pharisees get together to ask them which law or which commandment is the greatest? The problem was the one they chose you ask actually wanted to know the answer. He actually yearned to know the truth. They have a much more favorable exchange in Mark's Gospel than you see in the other Gospels. Jesus told the man, "You're not far from the kingdom of God,” because the man genuinely wanted to know the answer and wanted to live it out.
But now the time has come for Jesus to turn the tables. "You're asking me a series of questions. I have a question for you." He brings up this question. He's not doing it to try to trap them, He's not doing it to try to trick them or to show His superiority, He wants to save them, He came to seek and to save the lost. God has no pleasure in damning souls to hell. Ezekiel says very plainly in Ezekiel 18:23, “'Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?’ declares the sovereign Lord, ‘Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?’" That is the spirit of Jesus. "I don't enjoy condemning people to hell. I would love for you to turn from your wicked ways and live and find salvation." That's His motive. This is exactly why that same week He wept over Jerusalem, as depicted in Luke 19, “As Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, ‘If even you had only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes.’" Jesus is giving all of them one last invitation to believe in Him as He really is.
III. Jesus Makes His Case From Scripture: Psalm 110
So He makes His case from the Scriptures, constantly pointing to scripture as its proof of His identity and His mission. In this case, it's Psalm 110. If we combine Matthew's account from Mark's, we get the whole flow. There's a little more detail in Matthew, so I'll be leaning on both, but you could just listen or follow along in Mark. In Matthew, Jesus raises the question. Matthew 22:41, 42, “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, ‘What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is He?’" They, in Matthew's account, give the answer, an easy answer. “‘Son of David,’ they replied.” That's how it begins in Matthew. In Mark, it reads this way, “While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, He asked them, ‘How is it that the teachers of the law say that Christ is the son of David? 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.’ David himself calls Him Lord. How then can He be his son?” That's the whole account in Mark.
You get the reactions a little different in Matthew than in Mark. In Matthew 22: 46, it says,"No one could say a word in reply. And from that day on, no one dared to ask any more questions." He's silenced his enemies in Matthew 22:46. They don't know what to say.
It's extremely significant that these Jewish experts in the law didn't have an answer to Jesus' question, therefore there isn't one other than the right one. Over the centuries, the Jews have had a chance to look at this question and answer it. There is no answer other than that which points directly to the deity of Christ. But unfortunately, as Paul talked about in Corinthians, the veil covers their faces when they read these scriptures and they can't see the truth, but there's no answer. They have no answer.
Mark focuses on the delight of the crowd. Look at verse 37, “The large crowd listened to him with delight.” They're like, "Wow. I never saw that before." Can I just tell you in general, the Bible says more than you think it does. I'm going to give you just a principle for the rest of your life. There's more in the Bible than you think there is, so just keep studying it. There's always more to learn.They were amazed. They're like, man, "I never saw that. I've been reading Psalm 110 my whole life, and I never asked that question."
What's going on? Jesus raises a question. Does Jesus answer the issue? No, He doesn't. He raises the question. How can David, speaking by the Spirit, call his own son his Lord? We're putting it simply. How can David's son be David's Lord? Do you have an answer? What's going on there? This is what Greg Koukl would call in his book, Tactics, putting a rock in someone's shoe. What does that mean? Ask them a question they can't answer. Something that jars them, something that keeps them up at night. If you were to die tonight and you were to stand before God and He were to ask, "Why should I let you into heaven?" What would you say? That's the Evangelism Explosion question. That's a rock in someone's shoe. Are you ready to die? Sometimes we feel like as evangelists, we need to kind of clinch the deal. We need to seal the deal. Sometimes all you need to do is put a rock in someone's shoe. In this case, it's this question, how can David's son be David's Lord?
The Jews obviously were partially right. The Messiah, the Christ is the son of David. If you go back to, 2 Samuel 7, David has a desire to build a temple for God. He thought the Tabernacle's temporary tent wasn’t sufficent, it was time to build a temple. He wants to build one. Nathan, the prophet, comes with the word of God saying, "You are not the one to build the house for me. But a son coming from your own body will build a house for me." 2 Samuel 7, 12-14, "When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body. And I will establish His kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my name. And I will establish a throne of His kingdom forever. I will be His father and He will be my son." It's called the Davidic Covenant.
We know the immediate fulfillment is David's biological son, Solomon, who built the actual physical temple. But we know that the words go bigger than this because the real, final, permanent temple of God in which God dwells by His Spirit is the church of the living God that He builds with living stones through evangelism missions. Jesus is the one who's going to build the eternal and final dwelling place for God. We know that there’s immediate fulfillment and long-term fulfillment.
But there is this Son of David theme right from 2 Samuel 7. It just continues on throughout many, many passages in the Old Testament, picking up on this. For example, Psalm 89, 3-4, "You said, I have made a covenant with my chosen one. I have sworn to David, my servant. I will establish your line forever, and I'll make your throne firm throughout all generations." Or probably the most famous, the most well-known is Isaiah 9: 6-7, "For to us, a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace, there will be no end." Listen. "He will reign on David's throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness. From that time on and forever, the zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this." Isaiah 9 is a powerful prediction of an eternal kingdom of David. In Jeremiah 23: 5-6, “'The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up to David a righteous branch, a king who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.'" This is centuries after David had died, but, "I'm going to raise up to David a branch, a king who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” “In his days, Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which He will be called the Lord, our righteousness." That's so beautiful, the Lord is our righteousness. That's His name. That's a gospel. Jesus is our righteousness, Jeremiah 23.
Or again, Ezekiel 37: 24-26, "My servant, David, will be king over them. And they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. They will live in the land I gave to my servant, Jacob, the land where your father's lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David, my servant, will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them. It will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers and I'll put my sanctuary among them forever."
Again, this is centuries after David had died. It means the Son of David will reign on a throne in David's name forever. They weren't wrong. The Gospels prove it as well. The very first fact told us in the New Testament, it's the simplest, shortest genealogy. If you have a desire to memorize a genealogy, may I commend Matthew 1:1, it’s a very good abbreviated genealogy. "The record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." My friends, that's the first fact the New Testament tells us about Jesus. He is, in fact, the Son of David.
Then Matthew gives a comprehensive genealogy to prove that Jesus was biologically descended from David through Joseph, His earthly father, Joseph. Luke has a different genealogy, but again, most scholars believe that's Mary's genealogy, also a descendant through David. Again and again in the Gospel, Jesus is called Son of David. He doesn't reject it, He accepts it like the two blind men in Matthew 9:27, “As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, calling out, ‘Have mercy on a son of David.’" Or that Canaanite woman, she cried out, "Lord, son of David, have mercy on me. My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession,” son of David. Blind Bartimaeus, Mark 10:47, when he heard it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me."
Even just recently, at his the triumphal entry, they're all shouting, "Blessed is the one who comes in David's name. Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father, David, Hosanna and the highest." David, David. David, and He accepts it. He is, in fact, the son of David. The Messiah, the Christ, was truly the son of David.
IV. What You Must Believe To Be Saved
But friends, this is the point. That's inadequate, that’s not enough. You have to think greater thoughts than that to be saved. First of all, over the centuries, David had lots of descendants. There were lots of descendants of David. Joseph was called by the angel, son of David. Joseph isn't our savior, but he is a son of David, and the angel calls Him, son of David. That's not enough. Jesus wants to expand your conception of Himself. If I can just tell you, I believe that will go on for all eternity. Your conception of Jesus will keep growing and growing and growing and growing forever and ever. Jesus will never run out of new ways to show you His glory. But He's pushing at us now by the Scripture and by the Spirit to expand your conception of the greatness of Christ. All of us underestimate Jesus, so He's going to Psalm 110 to reason. He wants to challenge them, He wants to push at them.
Let's look at His key exegetical assumptions, the keys to Jesus' argument, and let's walk through it. Key number one is the Davidic authorship of Psalm 110, it’s key to everything. If David didn't write Psalm 110, we're finished. But Jesus asserts it. "How is it then that David, speaking by the spirit, calls him Lord? For he says, "The Lord says to my Lord, if then David calls Him Lord, how can He be His son?"" This is the key to the argument. David wrote Psalm 110. If David did not write Psalm 110, the whole argument falls apart. If Psalm 110 was written some centuries later by some pious Jews, there would be no problem with those pious Jews writing about the Messiah being called “my Lord”. It's no problem. The author of that psalm would have no problem, and it's not an issue. But if it's David, now we have an issue here. Jesus clearly asserted that David was the author of the Psalm, and therefore he wrote the words, “my Lord.”
Key number two, David wrote the Psalm under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This is key to everything we do here at First Baptist Durham, the inspirational authority of the Bible. We believe every single word in this is written, was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and therefore is free from error. Jesus openly ascribes the statement to the Holy Spirit through David. How is it that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls Him Lord? That guards David when he was writing Psalm 110 from error. He didn't make a mistake. It was really the Spirit that wanted him to say, "My Lord.” The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a stool for your feet."
Assumption number three, the fact that Psalm 110 was Messianic, that it's talking about the Christ, the Messiah. Jesus asked, "What do you think about the Christ, the Messiah? Whose son is He?" The one you're all waiting for, the expectant savior that's going to come, the Davidic son. What do you think about it? We're talking about the Christ. How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls Him the Christ Lord, and then they quote Psalm 110? The Jews didn't stop them there and say, "Oh, whoa, wait. That's not even talking about the Christ." They knew it was. It was a messianic psalm. If so, the psalm itself doesn't make much sense. Who's he talking about? “The Lord said to my Lord” what? "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." If that's not the Messiah, then there's some other great personage that we would want to know about. Who are we talking about here?
A couple of verses later, the Lord has sworn and will not change His mind. "You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek”. The author to Hebrews just works on that for a whole chapter. Who are we talking about? If that's not the Christ, who is it? Someone who sits at the right hand of God whose enemies God crushes, and he is a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. Who is this? It's Messianic. This is the Messiah. That's key to the argument.
Assumption number four, the fact that under the laws of Moses, a son is never greater than his father, especially when it comes to kings and princes. In the 10 commandments, sons are commanded to honor their fathers. Furthermore, a king sitting on a throne, his son, we would call in English a prince. Is there a difference between being the king and being a prince? There's a big difference. Suppose the prince wants to be king. We'll read about it with the rebellion of Absalom. He has to kill his father to do it. Even when at the end of David's life Adonijah wants to usurp and grab, and he makes Solomon his heir, David's not going to be calling Solomon “my Lord.” That isn't happening. Actually, it's the other way around. They say, "My Lord," to him even though he is on his deathbed. Then interesting, like you're all supposed to say to a king, "Oh king, live forever." If you want to be King Solomon, you're hoping that doesn't happen. But at any rate, the fact is you're never going to have the father calling the son, “my Lord.” They knew that. That's the final assumption David calls him “my Lord.” That's the little squiggle, the little yod after the word adon, adoni, “My Lord.” It all comes down to that one pen stroke.
If then David calls Him Lord, how can He be His son? That's an interesting question. How can David's biological son be also David's eternal Lord? There's only one answer to that, and that is the mystery, the Christian mystery of the incarnation; that Jesus is both fully human and fully God. Like John the Baptist, David himself could say, "He who comes after me is greater than me because he preceded me." David's son preceded Him. Jesus is, therefore, unique of all human beings that ever lived in that He chose to enter the world, He chose to be born. He told Pontius Pilate that, "For this reason, I was born. And for this, I entered the world to testify to the truth.” Like John the Baptist said, "He who comes after me is greater than me because He was before me." Chronologically, He was born after me, Jesus was born after John the Baptist, six months after, but He preceded him. John knew that because He's a son of God, He's incarnate. He existed before He was human. This is an infinite mystery, the incarnation.
1 Timothy 3:16 says this, "Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great. He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the spirit, was seen by angels, was preached on among the nations, was believed on in the world and was taken up in glory." But look at what in the verse almighty God invites David's son to do. "The Lord said to my Lord..." What did he say? "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." This is quoted eight times in the New Testament. That's how significant this verse is, “Sit at my right hand.” Jesus is exalted. After His death on the cross and after His resurrection, He passed through the atmosphere, He passed through the sky, He passed through the heavenly realms until at last Ephesians 1 tells us He was seated at God's right hand, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and given every title that can be given, not only in the present age, but also in the one to come. God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way. That's what “sit at my right hand” means. That's what He's invited to do. David's son, His biological son, is invited by Almighty God to share His glory and His sovereign throne.
It's also a threat, isn't it? Don't be one of Jesus' enemies because the verse says, "God says to Jesus, ‘You sit at my right hand and I will crush your enemies.’" If you are Jesus' enemy," the text says, "God is going to destroy you." Psalm 2 makes that plain. If you fight against the Lord and His Messiah, He will destroy you. God will put His sovereign power against you. He'll make all of His enemies a footstool for your feet. This is the most sublime and infinitely complex mystery of Christian theology. Jesus is fully God and fully man, biologically descended from David but Almighty God in the flesh. And before Him, every knee will bow, every tongue will swear that Jesus is Lord, that means God, to the glory of God, the Father. That includes David right now, who I believe is absent from the body and present with the Lord. What do you think he's doing up there? Is he not on his face worshiping his greater son, worshiping the glory of Jesus? That's what's going on. Jesus is the radiance of God's glory. He is the exact representation of His essential being. Anyone who has seen Him has seen the Father. In his death, all the attributes, the perfections of God were put on display for all eternity. The justice of God, the love of God, the power of God, the wisdom of God, these attributes are on display in the death of Jesus. That's who Jesus is. If you believe in him, someday you will see His glory with your own eyes. You will see Him face-to-face. You will see Him exalted and radiant and glorious. And you, yourself, will share in His glory because you will shine like the sun in the kingdom of your Father. Yes, son of David, but He's infinitely more than that, He is the son of God.
"This is the most sublime and infinitely complex mystery of Christian theology. Jesus is fully God and fully man, biologically descended from David but Almighty God in the flesh."
You have to believe this. You have to believe this to be saved. If you confess with your mouth- what? -Jesus is Lord. What does that mean? It means Jesus is God. That's what it means. And believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Or if you can make Thomas' confession. Thomas said very plainly when he saw the evidence of Jesus' resurrection from the dead, "My Lord and my God." That's what David means under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. "The Lord said to my Lord and my God, sit at my right hand." That's what he's saying. Can you make that confession? Can you look at the incarnate Jesus, read about him in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, look at that personage and say to Him from your heart, "My Lord and my God." If you can do that, you'll be saved. Your sins will be forgiven.
I began talking about a precise God, meticulous God. The God who made this universe and all the physical constants and all that. That's interesting to some people, to other people not because they’re not into science. I get it. But know this: This precise God, someday you're going to stand before Him and give an account for your life. You're going to be assembled together with all the nations and you're going to give an account for everything you've ever done in the body.
It says in Revelation 20:12, "I saw the dead great and small standing before the throne and books were open. Another book was open, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. And Jesus himself said, ‘I tell you, you'll have to give an account in the day of judgment for every careless word you have spoken.’" That's the precise God you're going to stand in front of.
I remember I was sharing the gospel with a coworker once, and I quoted that verse talking about Judgment Day. He said, "I don't remember everything I've said." I said, "That's fine. God's written it down, He remembers." And his eyes got big. That is the precise God that we serve. He remembers everything you've ever done, and you have to give Him an account. No one can survive that without Jesus. It's impossible to survive Judgment Day without faith in Jesus Christ. Imagine on the other hand what it's like to have Jesus own you as one of His own and say, "My righteousness is her righteousness, his righteousness. My name is around him or her. This is one of my sheep. I'm extending. Welcome to this person. Come into the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world by your Father." That's what you need.
This is a tender warning. "Sit at my right hand," the text says, "until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." Don't be Jesus' enemy. Flee to Christ, and He will be not just your friend but your brother, He will be the lover of your soul, He will be your Lord and your God.
We have opportunity to witness this week. I would suggest find someone and put a rock in their shoe. Ask them a question that they can't shake. I was on an airplane, and woe to people who sit next to Andy Davis on an airplane. Who knows where that conversation's going to go? But I remember we had reached a certain point and I felt like there was nothing more I needed to do in the conversation. The person wasn't ready to come to Christ. I actually said this to this person, who's a businessman. I said, "I'm going to pray that tonight you'll be unable to sleep because of the things we've talked about." And I think that's good. Sometimes all God wants you to do is put a question in someone's mind that they can't shake that they need to think about.
Close with me in prayer. Father, we thank you for the opportunity we've had today to study your word, to walk through Jesus' incredible question that He asked His enemies. Lord, I pray that we would not be your enemies, I pray, I thank you that in Christ we are adopted, we are loved. We're part of your bride. We are delighted. But we know that we don't deserve any of those things; it's only by your grace. Father, this week as we assemble with family and friends, as we have the chance to be together, help us, oh Lord, to just give thanks to you, knowing that we don't deserve any of the blessings we have, but ultimately to give thanks for Jesus, our savior of whom we can say by the working of the spirit in our hearts, my Lord and my God. In your name we pray. Amen.