Jesus is the Word of God

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If you have your bibles let me invite you to open with me to Mark 12:35-37.
Jesus has just been put through the ringer with the religious elite in the temple.
He has been challenged and questioned by the Pharisees, the Herodians, the Sadducees, and the Scribes.
Each group sought to trap him in his words in hopes of condemning him, humiliating him, and discrediting him.
but with every question and with every challenge, Jesus only proved his own wisdom and authority.
In fact, Jesus’ last interaction with the Scribes left everyone speechless. Look at what Mark says in verse 34.
Mark 12:34 ESV
34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
No one dared to ask Jesus any more questions…
but that did not mean that Jesus was done talking in the temple.
Now that he had brilliantly maneuvered all of their attacks…
Jesus went on the attack.
Verse 35 says that Jesus began teaching in the temple.
He had proved himself wiser then every religious authority in the temple and apparently he had an audience now wanting to hear more.
So now Jesus has the floor… and Jesus wants to ask a question of his own.
Lets read and then pray for understanding.
Mark 12:35–37 ESV
35 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.
Lets Pray
It’s Jesus’ turn to ask the questions…
And Jesus makes one particular passage of Scripture the focus of his question.
But, the first thing I want you to notice is how Jesus references the Scripture.
Mark 12:36 (ESV)
David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared,
Jesus aims to discuss Psalm 110.
But before he quotes the Psalm… Jesus affirms this truth…
That David wrote the Psalm according to the work of the God’s Spirit.
Jesus is not quoting this Psalm to challenge it… he is quoting it to bring clarity to Its meaning.

Truth #1 Jesus Affirmed God’s Inspiration of the Bible

If you are new to St. Rose Community Church, this is a great Sunday to attend because this point is foundational to who we are and everything we do.
We believe with our whole hearts that there is a Sovereign God ruling over all the universe and that this God is not a silent God.
He speaks.
Creation is a result of divine design spoken into existence.
Words were God’s idea.
Language was God’s idea.
Letters, and grammar, and punctuation, and Literature were God’s idea.
God chose to communicate to a fallen and sinful humanity through words.
God spoke to chosen individuals throughout history.
He spoke to them… and he led them to write down his words.
by the power of His Spirit, God’s people wrote down words on stones, and on parchments, and on papyrus.
And those words would contain meaning.
They would reveal God’s plan, his purposes, and his character.
The Bible is a collection of those words written by the physical hand of men, but inspired by the unfathomable mind of God.
Written words on a page, were God’s plan and it is a Good plan.
God inspired a book For our good And for his glory.
Men who were audibly commissioned by the resurrected Jesus confirm this truth In their own writings.
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
2 Peter 1:19–21 ESV
19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Maybe you are here and you are skeptical of this claim.
How do we really know what Peter is saying here is true?
How do we know the Scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit?
The answer to that question can be complex but let me answer most simply..
I believe the Bible to be inspired because Jesus believed the Old Testament to be inspired, and Jesus gave authority to his apostles to speak on his behalf..resulting in the New Testament.
Why do I believe the Bible… because I believe the testimony of Jesus..
Well why do I believe what Jesus says…
Because Jesus really, truly, historically, worked miracles recorded in the historical documents of the New Testament, he was really killed, and he really rose from the dead on the third day.
Well why do you believe that?
The eyewitness testimony of all his followers were consistent with one another and they all preached his resurrection even through being persecuted to the point of their own death.
I don’t just blindly believe in the truth of Christianity.
I see the legitimacy of its historical claims…
The story of the Bible makes sense of the story of our world better then any other worldview or religion in the history of the world…
but more than that… the same Holy Spirit that inspired David to write God’s Word… that Holy Spirit has worked a miracle in me to see the beauty of the Bible and to see the truth in what has been written.
I can’t unsee the truth I’ve seen in the Scriptures.
My believing is not a blind believing with no rational reason… but my believing is not a result of merely my reasoning.
my believing was and is still a miracle of God’s work in my life.
If you do not believe, I do encourage you to study to find answers…, but I also encourage you to pray for the miracle of faith.
At the very least…, i urge you to pick up this book and read it for yourself… and maybe ask someone to help you understand its claims.
Truth #1 Jesus Affirmed God’s Inspiration of the Bible
And if there is any chance that this book truly is inspired by an eternal God… you would be a fool to not read it for your self And seek to understand it.
But…, Just because the Bible is miraculously inspired by God and written with human hands… it does not mean that we do not have to think hard and study carefully to discern what the Scriptures mean..
God used human agents to write his words.
He used their knowledge of languages,
He used their experiences,
and he even used their penmanship to write these books…
and now God aims to use our reading, our thinking, our praying, and our careful study and meditation to help us actually understand.
We have to utilize all the natural gifts God has given us so as to reap the supernatural benefits of understanding God’s revelation to us.
There is a false dichotomy that is common in many Christian circles that separates spiritual things from physical and tangible things.
We want to think that the Spirit only operates in feelings, and mystery, and intangible impressions of mysterious thought… but thats a false dichotomy.
The Spirit uses tangible physical means to accomplish God’s work in us and through us.
He uses our study, and our thinking, and our praying.
He uses church members and their thinking, and study, and praying, and speaking.
if we want to lean into the work of the Spirit, we don’t clear our minds, we fill our minds, we don’t avoid deep study, we dive into it in prayerful reliance on the Spirit.
That’s exactly what Jesus wants his hearers to do in this context.
Jesus wants to bring this one passage before his hearers for deeper consideration
Jesus wants them to ask questions of a familiar text.
Mark 12:35–37 ESV
35 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.
That section may still be very confusing to you and thats ok…, but lets think through it.
This is the question Jesus is asking.
“How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?”
To understand the question you need to have some background.
It was commonly agreed upon in Judaism by this time that God was going to send a “Christ”
Another word for ”Christ” is the word ”Messiah”
More literally those two words simply mean anointed one or chosen one.
It was believed that the Christ would be the one to fulfill the promises of the Old Testament Scriptures.
The Christ would be the one to establish God’s unending Kingdom on Earth.
The Christ would be the promised son of King David who, according to God’s promise, this king would never be dethroned.
This promise can be found first in 2 Samuel 7 but it appears over and over again throughout the Old Testament.
Lets just listen to some important passages:
These passages caused the Jews to long for a future son of David to come as the Christ King over God’s eternal kingdom.
First, God made this promise to King David in 2 Samuel 7:12.
2 Samuel 7:12 ESV
12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.
2 Samuel 7:16 ESV
16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’ ”
Later Isaiah would write these words under the inspiration of God’s Spirit.
Isaiah 9:6–7 ESV
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Again, Isaiah writes this.
Isaiah 11:1–10 ESV
1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. 2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. 6 The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. 7 The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. 9 They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. 10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
Again, the prophet Ezekiel recorded the words of God.
Ezekiel 34:22–31 ESV
22 I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken. 25 “I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. 27 And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, nor shall the beasts of the land devour them. They shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid. 29 And I will provide for them renowned plantations so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the reproach of the nations. 30 And they shall know that I am the Lord their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord God. 31 And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.”
This is the Christ that everyone was waiting for.
They were waiting for a Son of David to take the throne and usher in a new world without all the pain, without all the suffering, and without all the brokenness.
But their remained mystery around this future Son of David. How could he establish an unending kingdom where even creation itself is no longer hostile?
Jesus wants to challenge their understanding of who this Son of David will be.
So he asks a questions about a specific Psalm that David Himself wrote… Psalm 110.
Psalm 110 is unique.
It is quoted or alluded to in the New Testament more than any other Old Testament passage.
It is quoted in Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, and the book of Hebrews.
It is likely quoted this often because of this moment of Jesus teaching on the text.
For a long time the Jews had been confused by the phrase, “the Lord says to my Lord”
King David was writing this Psalm.
David references the LORD all caps meaning God…
But then he references a second Lord.
God is speaking to someone else who was also David’s Lord.
But who in the world would be David’s Lord?
David was the KING.
David was the anointed King of Israel.
There is no one above him in rank, yet David was looking forward to someone who would be greater then him.
In this culture, greater honor was always given to the older, not the younger… so it would be odd for David to refer to any other Kingly figure as Lord, especially if it was going to be one of his sons.
So the question was, “who is the Lord“ in this writing that David is referring to?
Who would David esteem so highly so as to call him Lord ?
this mystery Lord was going to be invited to sit at the right hand of God.
The right hand was symbolic for the seat of power, authority, and representation.
Only those who could speak and act for the King are invited to sit at the right hand.
And here we have Yahweh the one true God inviting someone to sit at his right hand Who David calls his lord
Again… whoever this mystery Lord is… He would have all power and authority over every created thing.
But not only that… God promises to make all the enemies of this Lord his footstool.
So every rebel, every competing kingdom would eventually be in subjection to this mystery Lord.
No offspring of David ever accomplished this promise…
No offspring of David ever looked like this...
So scholars debated this mystery Lord to no avail for centuries.
And now after thwarting every one of his enemies in theological dialogue in the temple of God…. Jesus wants to add to the discussion.
Mark 12:35–37 ESV
35 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.
Jesus asks the question… because Jesus is the answer to the question.
Jesus was born an offspring of David according to human lineage… but Jesus’ lineage was more than a human one.
Jesus’ birth was a divine one.
Jesus birth was a miracle birth.
Jesus was not only son of David… Jesus was also son of God.
Hear the angelic announcement upon his birth.
Luke 1:32–33 ESV
32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
The one who saw this most clearly thus far in the gospel of Mark was actually a blind man as Jesus traveled to the city of Jerusalem.
Mark 10:46–48 ESV
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
There is an irony here that the blind man in Jericho sees Jesus more clearly then the Scribes and the Pharisees in the temple.
The Jewish elite of the temple read their Bibles…
They knew that the promised one was going to be a Son of David…
But they didn’t understand how the promised one was going to be much more than just a son of David.
Jesus, the promised Messiah, Christ, and King of the world, is the only one who David could speak of as Lord.
Now we could make a lot of theological points about Jesus from this text.
We can talk about his humanity and his divinity wrapped up into one miracle person.
We can talk about his Lordship over all things, over all history, over all people.
We Can talk about the day that is coming where every enemy of God will be put under his feet.
But what I want to pause and consider is what Jesus claimed about himself in relation to the Holy Spirit Inspired Scriptures.

Truth #2 Jesus Claimed to be the Interpretive Key of the Bible

The Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees, all read the Bible… but they all rejected Jesus…
and by rejecting Jesus they rejected the key that unlocked the meaning of inspired texts written over the course of hundreds of years.
Jesus understood the Bible to be written in such a way that everything in the Old Testament was preparing the way for Jesus’ coming, life, death, and resurrection For the sins of the world.
When a couple disciples were bewildered at the news of an empty tomb…, Jesus walked with them on the road to Emmaus and shared these words.
Luke 24:24–27 ESV
24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Consider Jesus’ words to his disciples after his resurrection.
Luke 24:44–48 ESV
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
Jesus is the Interpretive Key to the Bible.
The simplest way to seek understanding of a Biblical text is to ask what connection the text has with the story of Jesus….
How is this text preparing me to understand why Jesus came… or how is this text urging me to live in light of Jesus’ coming.
He is the center of the story.
He is the manifestation of the glory of God,
the accomplisher of our salvation,
He is everything the Old Testament pointed to.
He’s the new and better Adam who chose righteousness
His resurrection is the answer to the curse of death.
He’s the new and better Able slaughtered by his brother, but whose blood speaks a better word of salvation, forgiveness, and resurrection.
He’s the blessing to all the families of the earth promised to Abraham.
He’s the new and better Joseph betrayed by his family, but he takes the throne and brings healing and forgiveness to the land.
He’s the new and better Moses who stands in the gap between us and God.
He is the Passover lamb, who sheds his blood so that we might escape the wrath of God.
He is the new and better Joshua who leads us in victory over God’s enemies… sin and death and into the promised land Of eternal life.
Like the Temple itself, he embodies the presence of God on Earth as it is in heaven.
He’s the good shepherd of his people, who lays down his life for his sheep.
He’s the better high priest, who has no sin of his own to atone for.
He is the better sacrifice, without blemish or spot that only needs to be offered once and for all.
He is the new and better Hosea who has purchased his wayward bride not with silver and gold but with his own blood.
He is the new and better Jonah who goes down into the belly of the Earth for three days and rises again to declare repentance and forgiveness to all the nations.
he is The perfect prophet Who speaks the word of God And is the word of God.
He is the King of all Kings Who will sit on an eternal throne.
He is the Ancient of Days, who will come again on the clouds.
He is David’s Lord who will one day make all his enemies his footstool.
Everything points to Jesus.
And one day Jesus will bring the story to completion.
And thats the final truth I want us to consider this morning.

Truth #3 Jesus Will Complete the Bible’s Story

One day, Psalm 110, will become a full and final reality.
In Psalm 110, David is looking forward to the completion of the story through the promised anointed one…,but look at how that final scene of the story is described.
Psalm 110 ESV
A Psalm of David. The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.
What do we learn about the coming Lord and the end of the story from this Psalm?
Jesus will be enthroned over all the Earth.
All his people will offer themselves freely to him.
All his people will be dressed in holiness
All his people will cover the land like dew in the morning sun, glistening in glory and beauty.
He will be our eternal priest king who brings us back into the presence of God.
All his enemies will be destroyed by him.
And there will be a time of total Peace.
The fighting will be over and we will be able to drink by the brook and lift up our head in a sigh of relief… because the story of Jesus’ triumph over sin, death, and the devil himself is over.
The Bible is one big story about a good world created by a good God..
About sin corrupting and destroying that world.
And about Jesus who entered into that world to die for his people and overcome his enemies.
Are you a part of that story?
I want to leave you with two takeaways:

Takeaway #1 Learn the Bible’s Story

The Bible is a miraculous collection of writings spanning thousands of years,
including 66 books written by 35 authors in several different genres all harmoniously united to tell one story.
Christians throughout history have literally been burnt at the stake for translating its words for the common people to hear and understand.
In the 1500’s the Roman Catholic Church in England outlawed any translation of the Bible into English.
They did not want the common man being able to read the Bible.
They were afraid that if people could read the Bible for themselves, then the people would see for themselves that the authority structure of the Catholic church and much of its teaching was no where to be found in the Scriptures.
William Tyndale was executed by strangling after an absolutely miserable 18 months in a freezing cold prison cell because he would not relent in his singular mission to translate and provide the word of God to the people of England in English.
And he is not the only one.…
Just listen to these real names of real people who died trying to get the Bible into the hands of the people of England in 1531 and 1532
John frith - burnt at the stake
Richard Bayfield - Burnt at the stake
John Tewkesbury - Whipped and had his brow squeezed with ropes until blood came out of his eyes, racked until he was lame, and then burned at the stake.
James Bainham Burnt at the stake
Thomas Bilney
Thomas Dusgate
John Bent
Thomas Harding
Andrew Hewet
Elizabeth Barton
These people believed that the word of God was more precious then gold so much so that they died trying to get it into your hands.
The Bible has shaped whole societies…,
and its claims about itself are eternally significant if true.
I urge you to give your life to learning the Bible’s story...
But more than that… I urge you to give your life to finding your place in the story it tells.
There is something unique about humanity… we find joy in great stories.
We are intrigued by the characters, and the conflict between good and evil, and the hope of restoring what has been broken.
There is something very natural in the wonder in my son Owen’s eyes as we read about Aslan the great Lion who will defeat the wicked white witch.
I think this is because we were made to participate in the biggest story.
I think all stories are just shadows of the greatest story that God is bringing to completion in Jesus.
And I believe we have been invited to play a role.

Takeaway #2 Find your Place in the Bible’s Story

The fact that Jesus is the interpretive key to the whole Bible should humble us.
As much as we try to make ourselves… we are not the main character.
We are not the starring role…
Jesus is..
When we read the Bible we pray… “show us Christ”....
When we evangelize we declare “come behold the wondrous mystery” that I have seen in the story of the Bible.
Jesus is the star of the Big story…, and he is the star of our story.
Jesus saved us.
Jesus gave us eternal life.
Jesus has called us to his mission.
Jesus gets all the glory.
but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any role To play…
I want to close with one last scripture just so you can see Peter work this concept out logically.
Notice as I read Peter acknowledging the incredible plan of God… and then how that plan motivates him into action, into joining God’s plan via obedience.
1 Peter 1:10–15 ESV
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
Lets pray that we will respond in faith to the message of the inspired Scriptures.
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