The Gospel of Mark – Part 43
Questions and Observations- Part 2 – Mark 12:35-44
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – July 19th, 2020
- We are still in the Temple Mount with Jesus, His disciples, and the crowds. Jesus successfully answered the questions of the religious leaders who were trying to trick and trap Him. He answered so well that “no one dared to ask him any more questions” (Mark 12:34-35 ESV).
- Jesus continued to teach at the temple, and we hear Him ask a question of His own that was asked to bring clarification about the real identity of the Christ, who was the son of David. Jesus also made observations about the religious leaders and those who gave money at the temple. From these questions and observations, we can rest assured about the eternal origin of Jesus, the trappings of religious leadership and the value God places on our giving.
Question about the son of David
Mark 12:35-37 ESV
And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ 37 David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
- Is the Christ just the “Son of David” or is He more than just the Son of David? Now it is true that the Christ was to be a “Son of David” because it was foretold that this was to be the case in multiple Old Testament Scriptures (Isa. 9:2-7, 11:1-9; Jer. 23:5-6, 30:9; 33:15,17,22; Ezek. 34:23-24, 37:24; Hos 3:5; Amos 9:11). And Jesus was indeed born from the line of David (Matt. 1:1-17; Luke 3:21-38).
- However, Jesus was more than just a “mere man.” His origin was not just “flesh and blood” but He was “born of God.” This was described to His mother Mary when the Angel of the Lord explained to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God” (Luke 1:35-36 ESV).
- Now Jesus at this point did not outright say that He was the Christ because people needed to come to their own conclusion about His true identity based on scripture and the evidence from His life. But in bringing this passage up from Psalm 110, He opened the door and set the stage that the Christ was way more than just a mere man or a descendant of David.
- Again, it is true that the Christ was to be a descendant of David, but He is much more than just his descendant. Jesus goes on to prove it using scripture. He quoted a passage from Psalm 110 which was written by David “in the Holy Spirit” – which gives further proof for the divine origin and inspiration of Scripture. David wrote, “The Lord said to my Lord.” So, David was saying that even though he was king, he himself had a King that was greater than he. So, the Christ, who was a physical descendant of David was far greater than David. David’s son was David’s King– how could that be?
- It only could be this way in that the Christ, even though He was a physical son of David, had an origin that was greater and earlier than David himself. So, the Christ was indeed the son of David, but He was far greater than the Son of David, because David called Him “Lord” and was under Him.
- Jesus was more than a “mere man” as some had said (How Jesus Became God – book) – He indeed has divine origin which was both foretold in scripture and fulfilled in His birth. Jesus is no “mere man” but is truly God in the flesh. John the Apostle lays this out so beautifully in the opening of his Gospel.
John 1:1-4, 14 ESV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men . . .14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- You should never question the origin of Jesus. He is and forever has been and forever will be God. In Him is life and He is the light of men. He is the word, that created all things that became flesh and dwelt among us, He is glorious and full of both grace and truth.
- Jesus continued to teach in the temple and in His teaching, He also made an observation about some of the religious leaders and gave the people a warning about them.
Observation about religious leaders
Mark 12:38-40 ESV
And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces 39 and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 40 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
- There were a number of religious leaders during their day and also during our day that we are to be wary of. The good news is that not all religious leaders are this way, but there are some who are and they, in turn, give Christianity and the church a bad name and turn people away from the church and God. These people will indeed receive a greater condemnation.
- Their motivation is not to know God, follow after Him, become like Him, truly worship or serve Him and His purposes of being a steward of His Kingdom and an expression of His will to teach His word to others and shepherd them. No, these leaders are not about bringing Glory to God, but they want to bring glory to themselves. They do not act like servants of the most High, but they want recognition of being servants of the most high.
- Their motivation is not to do real work, but only recognition. They love being “honored” as a “man of God” – they want to make sure that people know who they are, and they expected VIP treatment. They are really looking to “devour widows’ houses” – take advantage of people for their own benefit. Their religious service is a show, it is not done so out of sincere love of God or for people. We should all beware of religious leaders like this.
- God does not take this betrayal and perversion lightly, and these people will receive a “greater condemnation.” This is a sobering warning indeed, and people like me must take this warning. We all must be aware of people like this.
- Paul had to defend himself against the “super apostles” that some in the church decided to follow. He said if he was going to boast, he does so along the lines of what he had sacrificed and what he had suffered (2 Cor. 11). He said that, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness” (2 Cor 11:30 ESV). These are the leaders that you want to listen to and follow, people who will speak the truth to you according to the scriptures and people who live the truth in front of you according to the scriptures (none of us do it perfectly – but it should be a constant pursuit in the fear of the Lord).
- Leaders should always be servants, first to the Lord and second to the people. Taking advantage of a position for your own selfish gain is grievous to the Lord, and it is especially true when it comes to His house, His word, His reputation, and His people.
- While Jesus was in the temple teaching, He was observing what was happening in His house. He commented on what He saw when it came to giving offerings.
Observation about the Widow’s Offering
Mark 12:41-44 ESV
And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
- As citizens of the Kingdom and recognition of the King, we have a responsibility to serve God by following Him. One of the ways we do so is with our money and giving as part of our worship (Mal. 3:10; Matt. 23:23), and people were doing so. Now the rich came and put in large sums of money and then a poor widow came and put in a penny.
- Who had given more? It was the poor widow. Why? Because she had given “everything she had, all she had to live on.” She had given out of her poverty; she had sacrificed way more than the rich people. Even though they gave more numerically, she gave more sacrificially. It is not the number that God measures, but the heart . . . and the heart is measured by the sacrifice. One thousand is more than one penny, but in God’s kingdom one penny can be more than one thousand. Our giving is not measured by the size of our pocketbook. Our giving is measured in the size of our heart.
- Knowing the standard that God uses, measure yourself by the measure He uses. Some of the most generous givers are not the rich, but the poor. Don’t be discouraged about what you have to give if it is a little, and don’t be deceived if you have a lot to give. Give according to your means and give according to your heart. Know that what God measures is your heart. Your heart is way more important than your money, and often our heart is revealed by what we do with our money.
- Jesus answers truly and wisely according to the word and power of God. He knows these and all things perfectly. He is the one who is the true measure of all things and He will measure all things accordingly, not only what we do but the motives of why we do it. Both the mighty and the lowly, both the rich and the poor, both the teacher and the student.
Col 1:15-20 ESV
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
- Listen to Him, learn from Him, be found in Him. The only way we can have peace with God, peace within ourselves, and peace with each other and in this world is in Him and through Him because He had made peace for us taking our offence upon himself. Recognize who He is and give yourself fully to Him.