We see in Mark 12, that the Lord was first questioned by the Pharisees in verses 13-14, by the Sadducees in verses 18-23, and by the scribes in verse 28.  Let’s briefly consider the role of the scribe in the Bible.  The word ‘scribe’ actually means ‘a writer or secretary’.  Yet, we can see from the mention of them in scripture, that they were more than just those who meticulously made copies of the scriptures.  When King Herod sought the Christ child, he looked to the chief priests and scribes.  Matthew 2:4 says, “And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.”  We read of the Lord in Matthew 7:29, “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”  This shows us that the scribes were teachers, though they certainly did not teach with authority as Christ did.  We then read in Matthew 23:2 that, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.”  Sitting in the seat of Moses indicates authority to teach the law.  So, we see the scribes were leaders, teachers, and had authority to interpret God’s Word.  A scribe could also be a part of a sect, such as a Pharisee or a Sadducee.

To answer your good question, let’s now read Mark 12:35-37, “And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.”  Here, Christ was not denying that He was the son of David, but he was asking how the scribes could teach that He was merely the Son of David when David had called Him his Lord.

I believe it will be helpful for us to consider Matthew’s account of this incident.  Matthew 22:41-46 says, “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.”  In His question, the Lord asked specifically of the Christ’s genealogy…of whose lineage He was part of.  There was no question among the scribes and Pharisees that the Messiah (Christ) would be the Son of David.  This truth is found in Isaiah 11:1, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”  The ‘stem of Jesse’ is David, the son of Jesse.  (Read also John 7:42.)

These men saw the Christ as merely a descendent of David and therefore could not understand how that David would bow to Him and acknowledge Him as Lord.  It’s in Psalm 110:1 that we read, “A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”  It was after these Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes had questioned Him, trying “to catch him in his words” (Mark 12:13), that the Lord asked them this question that none of them could answer.  These men had KNOWLEDGE of God’s Word, but had no UNDERSTANDING of God’s Word.  The Lord’s question exposed that, but thankfully, “the common people heard Him gladly.”

How do we reconcile these two truths?  How could Christ be the Son of David, yet David called Him Lord?  We read in Revelation 22:16, “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”  Christ, as God the creator, made David and so was the root of David.  Christ, as man, being in the lineage of David was his offspring.  This is a wonderful truth that shows the divinity and humanity of our blessed savior.  Let me close this devotion by asking you a most important question, “WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST?”  (189.1)