2 Tm 3:10-17
Mk 12: 35-37
This morning’s gospel reading is short but it may sound a little confusing on first hearing. Many Jews expected the coming Messiah to be a son of David, a descendant of David.
Jesus suggests that the title, ‘Son of David’, is not adequate for God’s Messiah, for himself, Jesus. In the manner of a discussion among Rabbis, Jesus argues his case on the basis of a verse of Scripture, a verse from the Psalms.
It was generally understood in the time of Jesus that King David was the author of the psalms. In one psalm, the person praying, understood to be David, refers to the coming anointed one, the coming Messiah, as ‘my Lord’. Jesus argues that if David refers to the coming Messiah as ‘my Lord’, then the Messiah cannot simply be David’s Son.
He is clearly David’s Lord. Jesus is really saying that there is much more to him than people imagine. Yes, he is a son of David, a Jew from the line of David. Yet, Jesus’ full identity is not exhausted by the title Son of David. We are being reminded that there is always more to Jesus than we imagine. Our ways of thinking and speaking about Jesus will always fall short of his full identity.
He is always more mysterious, more wonderful than we can possibly conceive. Saint Paul speaks of ‘the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge’. It is because Jesus in the love of God in human form that he is beyond any title we could give him. Our thoughts and words never do justice to him, and that is ultimately very consoling. Amen.
Fr. John Peter