REFLECTION FOR TODAY
June 4, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
As 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.’” Mk. 12:35-36
Jesus was always out teaching and instructing the people. He silenced his adversaries through a scripture text that had many interpretations and by its mystery pointed beyond it word. The understanding of the Jews at the time of Jesus about the Messiah was different.
For them, the Messiah would come from the line of David. Most of the people thought that the Messiah would simply be a nationalistic leader who would lead the Jewish nation out of the oppression of the Romans. By this, they reduced the Messiah to a descendent of David who would set them free in a more political way.
Jesus in our gospel reference today gives clarity to the common understanding of the Messiah among the Jews as the “son of David.” The Messiah would not only descend in human form from David’s ancestral line, but He was also David’s “Lord.” Jesus shows this by pointing to Psalm 110 in which David refers to the Messiah as his Lord. And though this subtle distinction may not at first seem to be that important to us today, Jesus clearly makes an intentional effort to teach this.
One key lesson we should take from this passage is that we must work diligently to have a correct image of Jesus. Though today we may not see our Lord as a nationalistic leader who came to set us free from political oppression, we can often form other erroneous images of Him. Sometimes we may reduce Jesus to just “a provider in need or liberator or a source of our material satisfaction”.
Jesus is more than these. The idea that the Messiah was also the “Lord” of King David was new for the Jews at the time of Jesus. What is new about who Jesus is for us today? That the Messiah is “Lord of David” points to the divinity of the Messiah and His eternal nature. Jesus gives this subtle clarification and “The great crowd heard this with delight.” As Christians, we should work to delight in a clear and correct understanding of Who Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God, and Son of Man.
Who is Jesus for you? Jesus is your friend, a wise teacher, an inspiring personality, a kind soul, a merciful leader, and a model for us all. But He is much more than that. To pick only one image of Who Jesus is and give that one image excessive focus in our lives is an error like the error that many of the Jews had at the time Jesus taught them.
Reflect, today, upon the image you have of Jesus. Look for ways that you may unintentionally limit His greatness and glory in your mind and heart. Try to expand that image of our Lord that you have and be open to all that He desires to reveal to You about Himself. The more you do so, the more you, too, will be filled with “delight” as the Person of our Lord is more clearly revealed to you.
Glorious Lord, You are so far beyond our understanding and comprehension, yet You invite us to come to You so that we may know You more fully. Give me the grace I need, dear Lord, to shed the erroneous and limited images of You that I have, to come to know You as You are. Jesus, I trust in You.