“The great crowd heard this with delight.” (Mark 12:37)
Suppose you’re an expert on a particular subject, something you have studied and taught for years. But your students just don’t seem to get it. How do you make them understand? You could dazzle—and intimidate—them with your superior knowledge. But instead, you choose to reason with them on their level. You help them to grasp it for themselves.
This is what Jesus does in today’s Gospel reading. He wants to clarify the people’s understanding of the Messiah. He could simply tell them who he is, but he reasons with them from God’s word instead. Yes, the Messiah is a “son of David,” from David’s royal line. But he is not just another king. If David himself calls him “Lord,” then this Messiah must be something special. Jesus doesn’t answer the question directly, he plants a seed instead.
God often does the same thing with us when we read Scripture. He could easily explain it all to us. He could even appear to us and teach us directly. But he respects us too much to do that. He wants us to learn, to grow, and to experience the joy of discovery—something that wouldn’t happen if he were to engineer some kind of heavenly data transfer directly into our brains. He wants to have a relationship with us, not just give us the right information.
Think about this one line from today’s Gospel: “The Lord said to my lord, sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies under your feet” (Mark 12:36). Through these words, Jesus is telling us that he is the Lord at the right hand of the Father. But he is also speaking to each of us individually: “I am the Lord. I can overcome whatever ‘enemies’ you may be facing right now. I am your Messiah. I am with you.”
So don’t worry about getting all the answers right today. Just listen to him, and let him plant seeds of faith and trust in your heart.
“Lord, reveal to me the words within your word! I want to understand Scripture not just with my head but with my heart as well.”