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  • Writer's pictureDr. Roger D Duke

"Let the Word Speak (To You)" Are You Listening?

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Let the Word Speak

“David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; so in what sense is He his son?” (Mark 12:35–37).

Jesus faced off with Israel’s religious leaders and teachers who had twisted the Scriptures to fit their narrative. They wanted God’s Word to accommodate them rather than change them. To the Sadducees, who thought there was no resurrection of the dead, while revering the books of Moses above the rest of the Old Testament, Jesus exposed their faulty interpretation and misuse of the Word. “But regarding the fact that the dead rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Israel, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living, you are greatly mistaken” (vv. 26–27). One of the scribes responded to Jesus correctly when saying that loving the Lord God and one’s neighbor as himself, “is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Jesus told him in his answer that he was not far from the kingdom of God (vv. 33–34). He wasn’t there but close. These were the biblical authorities in that day. They thought that they had a grip on God’s kingdom. But Jesus showed them otherwise.

No one can enter God’s kingdom apart from the King of the kingdom. He took the teaching of the scribes, “that the Christ [Messiah] is the son of David,” calling them to take their teaching to its logical conclusion. They had failed to admit Jesus to be David’s Son, which the multitudes proclaimed in the triumphal entry (11:9–10). Further, they failed to take heed to the prophetic word of David in Psalm 110:1, which Jesus quoted to them with the question of how this word can be true. He said David spoke “in the Holy Spirit, ‘The Lord said to My Lord, sit at My right hand, until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet.’” With Trinitarian language, speaking by the Holy Spirit, Yahweh made declaration of His Son, the Lord Jesus, whom David declares to be his Lord. Unless God has revealed Himself in triunity, One God in three distinct persons, then the scribes would be forced to say that David blasphemed God. “David calls Him ‘Lord,’” Jesus points out in the biblical text. Then He drives home the conclusion that calls for their faith and submission to the revelation of God in His Word. “So in what sense is He (Jesus) his (David’s) Son?” David spoke of the preexistent Son of God, Jesus Christ. He wasn’t looking for this Lord to come into being, but rather for Him to be born in David’s lineage by the act of incarnation. The preexistent One became a human as David’s greater Son. David grasped, at least in some measure, this necessity of understanding God as Trinity. The religious leaders talking with Jesus were stumped. This exposition of Scripture didn’t fit neatly into their package of teaching and belief system. But it was clear, and demanded by the revelation of God, a radical shift in their theology and practice. Would they hold onto their belief system that fit the narrative they had sought to impose upon Scripture? Or would they yield their entire theological framework to the revelation of God manifested with finality in Jesus Christ, David’s Son?

In reality, we face the same crossroad. Will we believe what God has spoken in His Word concerning His Son or will we attempt to twist the words of God to fit our agenda? Many do the latter. It shows up not only in false religions and cults but also in people that show up each Sunday in Christian churches, but who have shaped and carved out their own theological system by clever interpretations, to fit their tastes, desires, and preferences. Instead, God has spoken with finality in His Son. If we attempt something else, we’re missing the entire teaching of God’s Word. Let’s hear the Son and trust in Him. Let the Word of God speak and follow.

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