Tuesday, June 26th. Mark 12:35-37

While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, 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; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.  Mark 12:35-37

 

So I sat down yesterday morning to listen to this intriguing passage and I realized that I was stumped.  Once again I ran smack dab into the realization that I will never know enough to feel confident that I know enough to do what I do on a daily basis.

 

What got me was the phrase, “David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared…”  As I read those words I realized that I know next to nothing about how the pre-Jesus Jewish world understood the concept of “spirit” not to mention “Holy Spirit.”

 

Clearly it is important.  You have to wait exactly one sentence in the Hebrew scriptures before you run into a reference about a “wind from God” hovering over the pre-creation chaos.  The Hebrew word there translated “wind” is “ruach.”  And ruach appears over 400 times in the Old Testament.

 

Wind is one meaning of ruach.  But ruach can also mean a person’s “inner thoughts,” “mind,” “character,” or “disposition.”  In our normal way of talking, perhaps the closest we could come to the meaning of ruach would be to use words that reach down to the essential heart and soul of who a person truly is.

 

So…when Jesus…or when Mark writing the story of Jesus…joins David and the Ruach of God together in the declaration from Psalm 110, this is something that runs far deeper than our usual understanding.

 

As Christians, we often think of the Holy Spirit as a new Christian invention.  God wasn’t “Holy Spirit” until showing up in the 2nd chapter of Acts.  At least that is what many of us learned in Sunday School as children.  That isn’t right (biblically or theologically) but it is a quick answer that seems to make some kind of sense.  It is the sort of answer that we give to children…partly to answer their question and partly to shut them up.

 

The tragedy is when we don’t grow beyond that.  We try to do adult life with a childish Sunday School faith and, while it might be painfully obvious to the wider world that that is exactly what we are doing, we ourselves don’t know the difference.

 

There are consequences to this.  We shrink reality to fit our box.  We close our minds to protect ourselves from exposure to what we don’t know.  We end up in the same place as the opponents of Jesus – unable to hear the truth standing right in our midst.

 

David has his place.  His day.  His role.  But something much greater than David – and yet organically and essentially linked to David via the Ruach of God – is now standing before the crowds.  His name is Jesus and he will heal the brokenness of our lives.

 

Let us pray:  Breathe on us, Breath of God.  Fill us with new life, new eyes, new ears.  Let us draw in life as we draw ever nearer to the truth that sets us free.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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3 Responses to “Tuesday, June 26th. Mark 12:35-37”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for this prayer. I need this to meditate on.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for this prayer today. I need this this week to meditate on.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    This is one more of the threads that tie NT and OT faiths together. As a person who grew up thinking the OT & NT were completely different, life continues to offer new lessons every day. Thanks

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