“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? 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’. David himself calls him ‘Lord’. How then can he be his son?’”.
Mk 12:35 – 37 NIV
Some teachers employ what is called the “Socratic method” of teaching. The teacher asks questions to get the students to think and reason things out for themselves.
Jesus was doing that here. He was referring to Psalm 110, written by King David. The generally accepted understanding was that the expected Messiah would be a descendant of David. But David calls the Messiah “My Lord”, thus ascribing greater status to the Messiah than he himself had. The people believed the Messiah was still to come. Jesus was saying, “The Coming One” was not only David’s son – he was David’s Lord. In other words, someone greater than David was on his way. David had liberated his people from oppressors, but he who was to come would liberate them from sin – a far more significant achievement than throwing off the oppression of the Romans would be.
For Christian believers, we treat King David as one of the kings of Israel, noting that he achieved a greater degree of sovereignty for the Israelite state than any other king. But he is a figure of history. He came and he went. Christ, the Lord of Lords, is supreme Lord whom we worship and adore for all eternity. He is supreme over all earthly kings and rulers and he is Saviour of all mankind, not only the Jewish people.
Lord Jesus, we worship and adore you, throned in splendour.