Mark 12:35-40: On the front foot.

“35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, ‘Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 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.’” 37 David himself calls him “Lord”. How then can he be his son?’ The large crowd listened to him with delight. 38 As he taught, Jesus said, ‘Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the market-places,39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.’” NIV UK

Jesus had stood at the crease for some time. He had faced violent fast bowling, fended off bouncers, and dealt with tricky spin. He had stoutly defended His wicket. But now He went onto the front foot. He had a question of His own. The point He wanted to make was that the Messiah was not just David’s ‘’son’’ (35). He was also David’s ‘’Lord’’ (36, 37). Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1 to show that David referred to the Messiah as ‘’Lord’’.

He then went on to give a warning about the ‘clergy’ of His day – the kind of people who had been bowling questions at Him (38-40). Religious leaders are supposed to seek God’s glory, but they can so easily be all about their own glory. Pride is a huge temptation for any leader, Christian or not (Matthew 23:5-7). They paraded their spirituality, made people think they were better than they actually were. So they manipulated the poor people into feeling they had to give to them. Men who prayed so much surely could be trusted? They seemed like sheep to their followers, but their only interest was in eating other sheep! (Matthew 7:15)

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you humbled yourself to come among us. You made yourself of no reputation and served. Please help our leaders to walk humbly with their God.