MARK - CHAPTER 12 - Jesus Christ, Son of David, and son of God
MARK – CHAPTER 12
Jesus Christ, Son of David, and Son of God
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
March 21, 2023, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
It is the week of the feast of the Passover. Jesus is teaching and preaching the gospel to the people in the temple. Chapter 11 concluded with the chief priest and scribes confronting Jesus challenging his authority. “Under whose authority do you do these things?”
The Parable of the Wicked Vine dressers is another clear statement of Jesus’ authority. His authority is even higher than that of the prophets. A prophet was a servant of God, whereas He Himself is God’s Son. The parable is a warning to those to whom he is speaking, who were plotting His death. The parable clearly outlines the heinousness of their proposed crime, and of the dreadfulness of its inevitable sequel.
Mark 12: 1-9: Jesus began to speak to them in parables: A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a place for the wine vat and built a tower. He leased it to vine dressers. They took the servant, beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Again, he sent them another servant, and at him they threw stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. Again, he sent another, and they killed him; and many others, beating some and killing some. Therefore, still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, “they will respect my son.” But those vine dressers said among themselves, “this is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.” So, they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard. “Therefore, what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine dressers, and give the vineyard to others.”
The chief priest and scribes would immediately recall to their memory Isaiah’s parable of the vineyard recorded in Isaiah 5: 1-7: Let me sing to my well-beloved, a song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard … (3) he dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst. He also made a wine press n it; So, He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes … (4) What more could have been done to My vineyard… (5) I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned, and break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will lay it waste … (7) for the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel. The men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.
This is clearly referring to the relationship of Almighty God to the nation of Israel. The landlord is described as having rented the vineyard to some farmers (representing here the Jewish leaders), in return for an agreed proportion of the vineyard’s produce. The servants (prophets) were abused wounded and some were even killed. On sending them his son, he, too, was killed. The consequence of this was the coming of the landlord with government authorization to destroy the vine dressers and give the vineyard to others. This is a clear prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Jesus reminded His audience, at that point of the statement contained in Psalm 118: 22-23:
Mark 12:10-11: Have you not even read this Scripture: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
Jesus is exposing them with their intent to kill him. In just a few days the Jewish leaders would reject Him decisively and finally. He would subsequently be exalted, nevertheless, to the most honored place of all.
Despite Jesus’ warning to the Jewish religious leaders, they continue their campaign against Him. Some of the Herodians who had come down from Galilee to celebrate the Passover, joined with some of the Pharisees in asking Jesus a question out of hypocrisy, not to discover the truth, but to catch him in his words.
The Herodians were members of a sect of Hellenistic Jews which were supporters of the policies and government of the Herodian family. They were a political rather than a religious party.
All the religious leaders are ganging up against Jesus.
Mark 12: 13-17: They sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?” But Jesus, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.” So, they bought it. He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at Him.
This is described by S. S. Short as a poll tax. Caesar required a tax on each individual Jew. This particular tax was exceptionally unpopular, being the token of the Jews’ subject status. In Matthew’s gospel, he quotes Jesus as calling them hypocrites. It was a trick question. If Jesus validated the poll-tax, the Jewish people would turn against him. If he denounced it, that would give the Jews the accusation they needed for the Romans to arrest him. What Jesus added, “give to God the things that are God’s wisely removes Caesar’s authority off all that God owns.
The last question was aimed to place Jesus in political difficulty, this next one is to place him in theological difficulty.
Now, on the same day, here come the aristocratic Sadducees. What about the Resurrection? What glorious words, “He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.”
Mark 12: 18-27: Then some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him. They asked Him, saying: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, and leaves his wife behind, and leaves no children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now, there were seven brothers. The first took a wife; and dying, he left no offspring. The second took her, and he died; nor did he leave any offspring; and the third likewise. So, the seven had her and left no offspring. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had her as wife.” Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore, mistaken; because you do not know the Scriptures, nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead; they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You, therefore are greatly mistaken.
Their contention is that the resurrection is incompatible with the law of levirate marriage (Dt. 25: 5-10). They loosely quoted the scripture. Jesus denied their knowledge of the Scripture. He states in heaven there is neither marriage nor given in marriage, but we are like angels in heaven. For just as the angels are immortal and do not marry, nor do human beings in their resurrected state.
The Sadducees do not believe in angels. So, Jesus is correcting them on multiple levels. Jesus then uses scripture, (Exodus 3:6) to prove the resurrection is a fact. God spoke to Moses saying, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, who according to the flesh were no longer alive at the time of Moses. “I Am” is in the present tense. Jesus rebuked the Sadducees again for being greatly mistaken. They did not know the “power of God” which would affect the resurrection. Within a few days, the proof of the resurrection will be seen when Jesus is raised alive. Even saints who were dead in their graves were raised with the same resurrection power. They were seen walking the streets of Jerusalem.
“He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.”
Next: The Scribes. Christian, do not doubt when you are placed in ministry, you will have to face down all of these religious spirits and they will ask you almost the same identical questions.
WHICH IS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT OF ALL?
Mark 12: 28-31: Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered, the first of all the commandments is, “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. The second like it, is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.
This question appears to be presented with no hostility, and it appears Jesus received the question as sincere, without intention of entrapment.
Mark 12:32-34: The scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.’ When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “you are not far from the Kingdom of God.” After that, no one dared question Him.
That the Scribe would have the revelation that loving God and your neighbor is more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices is pretty amazing. Jesus had not yet died to become the Passover sacrifice. We are not told this Scribe received Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, but I like to believe he became a Christian.
THE SON OF DAVID
Jesus now challenges his audience with a question.
Mark 12:35-37: Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, how is it the Scribes say that Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Spirit, the LORD said to my Lord, “sit at my right hand, till I make you enemies your footstool.” Therefore, David himself call Him “LORD”; how is He then his Son?” the common people heard Him gladly.
Jesus is decreeing with every parable and teaching that He is the Messiah. The Messianic title, “Son of David” accurate though it was, did not convey the whole truth regarding the Messiah’s person. David, himself, prophesied of the Messiah, not as “my son,” but “my LORD.” This is clear that the Messiah not only possesses a human nature (as David’s son), but a divine nature too. Jesus is implying clearly that as the son of David, he is also the Son of God.
Mark 12: 38-40: Then Jesus said to them in His teaching, beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.
We have a lot of this going around: “best seats in synagogues, and the best places at feasts.” Flowing robes were characteristically worn by men of learning. In public situations, they expected deference to be paid to them. From needy widows they extracted unreasonable sums of money. The reason they will be punished more severely than others is because their evil practices are carried out under the guise of religion.
Having spoken of avarice of the scribes, Jesus speaks now about a woman who surrendered for the work of God everything she had.
THE WIDOW’S TWO MITES
Mark 12:41-44: Now, Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. Many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said to them, Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.
When all one has is two mites, the best place to put it is in the hands of the LORD. If you need thousands of dollars to pay your bills, and you only have $200.00 in the bank, the best you can do is give all you have to the LORD and trust Him to supply your needs according to His riches in glory. I can promise you this woman never wanted for another thing the rest of her life. The secret to the blessing of the economy of God is not to hold tight when we are in need, but to give more. If we are in need, and we begin to hoard, then our need will become greater. If we are in need and give freely, then we will have abundance in all things for we are seeking the Kingdom of God instead of mammon.
The Lord spoke to me many years ago that I had given the Widow’s mite. I don’t know when I did it, but I know I have learned this principle of giving. When in need, give freely and there will never be lack. This is spiritual warfare against the spirit of poverty.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church, 10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX
Scripture from N.K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary, S. S. Short. Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of Dr. Short.