The Power of Scriptures

Mark 12: 35-37
2 Tm 3: 10-17 / Ps 119: 157, 160-161, 165-166, 168

David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, proclaimed, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet.’
(Mark 12:36)

In my devotion, never tire
To love Your precepts and decrees,
Lord, this is but my sole desire,
So that my faith in You’ll increase.

As Jesus was teaching in the temple, He said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declared, `The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet.’ David himself calls Him Lord; so how can He be his son?” The great crowd heard this with delight. (Mark 12:35-37)

Reflection

The temple authorities, the Pharisees, the Herodians, the Sadducees and the teachers of the law (scribes) were all at a loss every time they engaged Jesus in a discussion on Scriptures. The whole chapter 12 of Mark’s Gospel bears out this tension between our Lord and the Jewish leaders. Why couldn’t these men, who were supposed to be learned, see that Jesus was the master of Scriptures not only because He was a great teacher, but more so because He was the Messiah and Lord Whom the Scriptures were referring to from the earliest times?

Jesus mentioned the Holy Spirit as the One Who gave King David the inspiration to prophesy about Him, citing Psalm 110. And true enough, those who opposed Jesus were “put under His feet”, shamed by their lack of wisdom and knowledge compared to Him. The scribes taught that the Messiah was the son of David (He would follow in the line of King David). But this was only correct insofar as the human genealogy of Jesus was concerned. Jesus quoted King David to put His audience (especially the Jewish authorities) in the right perspective that He was truly the Lord of King David. Among all of Israel’s leaders, King David was the closest to God’s heart. He was not only a great and fearless leader, but his faith in God was unequivocal. His writings were prophetic, constantly inspired by the Holy Spirit, and he became a great writer of the Book of Psalms. These inspired writings were sacred to all the Jews, and even Jesus referred to them on several occasions to prove His divinity and kingship.

The Gospels reveal how intimately Jesus was familiar with Scriptures. In today’s passage of Mark, our Lord cited a familiar psalm of King David to open the eyes of the Jews about a reality that the Jewish scholars of the time failed to comprehend. Jesus wants us to grow in the Holy Spirit by meditating regularly on this precious gift of God’s Word. Let us set aside time every day to read our Bible, asking the Holy Spirit to show us how certain passages relate to our daily life. Let the Word of God live in our heart by committing favorite verses to memory. Not only will this improve our memory, but will help us recall God’s wisdom for the right occasion.

In today’s first reading, St. Paul tells us that “sacred Scriptures are capable of giving (us) wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God, and is useful for teaching … for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim.3:15-17).

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill my heart with passion for the Word of God, so that I may fully understand the messages of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and appreciate the boundless love of our Father in heaven. Amen.

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