Mark 12As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said,
“How do the scribes claim that the Christ is the son of David?
David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said:
The Lord said to my lord,
‘Sit at my right hand
until I place your enemies under your feet.’
David himself calls him ‘lord’;
so how is he his son?”
The great crowd heard this with delight.
Jesus did a great many things when he walked the earth. He performed countless miracles and provided insights into the kingdom of God. He also challenged people of his day to question conventional wisdom as it pertained to living out their faith. Jesus’ question to the crowds about the Christ was an attempt to get Jews of the time to broaden their expectation of who the Messiah will be and what his role shall be. There were those who believed the Messiah would be a great king or someone who possessed tremendous wealth and influence. Yet others believed that the Messiah would be a military leader who would rid the region of Roman occupation. Jesus says in today’s gospel, “David himself calls him ‘lord’; so how is he his son?” This is to say, if David refers to the Christ as Lord implying the divine, how can the Messiah have his origin from humanity and not from heaven? Jesus wants the people in the temple area to abandon their preconceived notions as to who the Messiah is. Jesus wants the people to stop limiting the role or the impact of the Christ by applying worldly expectations of power and wealth.
Jesus wants the people of his day as well as us today, to remain open to encountering the Christ as he is and not so much for who we want him to be. Christ is the fountain of all that is good. Christ modeled compassion for the poor and sick. Christ was always ready to offer forgiveness and mercy. Christ showed us perfect love and faithfulness to God the father. However, there may be some folks out there who feel Christ is only here to judge the sinners as bad and the righteous as good. And, indeed he may do just that. But what about Christ’s message about love and mercy and forgiveness? He spoke a lot about this. He called for us to follow his example. Ultimately, Jesus wants us to remain open to his calling and to not be afraid to follow him even if it brings us to places we never thought of while meeting people we’d never thought we’d encounter. All the while offering out love compassion.