Who Is On The Throne?

Who Is On The Throne?: Mark 12:35-37
Pastor John Nicholas
Sunday February 7, 2021

The previous weeks’ passages end with Jesus saying to the right-thinking scribe that he is not far from God’s kingdom.  That this man had openly and was rightly beginning to perceive what Jesus was saying.  He understood that it was a life of self-sacrifice, a heart issue at hand. He was not just offering sacrifices that would suffice.  It was not the blood of bulls and goats that God was seeking.

What God was doing in the Old Testament and now with the culmination of the work of the God-Man, Jesus was breaking the chains of idolatry that were running rampant.

In other words, the people loved everything else but God.  Hence the greatest commandment was to love God with everything and then love your neighbor.  You are to love your neighbor as God loves.  That while we were still sinners and while we were still enemies of God, Christ died for us.  That is what it looks like to love your neighbors; self-sacrificial love for your enemies.

When the scribe started to perceive this, with openness to what Jesus was saying, he was getting close to the kingdom of God.  John 2:24-25 tells us that Jesus knows the heart and mind of all men.

John 2:24-25 (NASB)

24 But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, because He knew all people,

25 and because He did not need anyone to testify about mankind, for He Himself knew what was in mankind.

And it is essential to review this and remember it as we move into the next set of verses.  Jesus is no longer being questioned; we will find out from Matthew’s gospel that they will ask Him no more questions.  He is the one asking questions.  And these questions will open up the understanding of those who have ears to hear.

Let’s first read Psalm 110 before we get into the heart of the issue.  Psalm 110 is a royal psalm, the enthronement of a king.  In this case, it is specifically a Messianic psalm about the coming Messiah, the anointed one.  The savior.  The one God spoke of in Genesis 3:15.

Psalm 110 (NASB)

The Lord Gives Dominion to the King.

A Psalm of David.

1 The Lord says to my Lord:

“Sit at My right hand

Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

2 The Lord will stretch out Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,

“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”

3 Your people will volunteer freely on the day of Your power;

In holy splendor, from the womb of the dawn,

Your youth are to You as the dew.

4 The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind,

“You are a priest forever

According to the order of Melchizedek.”

5 The Lord is at Your right hand;

He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.

6 He will judge among the nations,

He will fill them with corpses,

He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.

7 He will drink from the brook by the wayside;

Therefore He will lift up His head.

Genesis 3:15 (NASB)

15 And I will make enemies

Of you and the woman,

And of your offspring and her Descendant;

He shall bruise you on the head,

And you shall bruise Him on the heel.”


35 And Jesus responded and began saying, as He taught in the temple area, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?

Jesus’ opening question is one about the soundness and accuracy of the teaching of the scribes.  We know from Matthew that the Pharisees are there.  Perhaps this is a shot fired at a particular blind spot in their thought about the anointed one.

Before we continue, we should clarify some verbiage Messiah means anointed one in Hebrew; Christos means anointed one in Greek.  Christ then is a transliteration of Christos.

Now we come back to Jesus’ question, and it is a question about Christology.  A question about David’s heir.  This question, by Jesus, is one that is challenging what they are teaching.  The issue is nationalistic teaching about the Messiah coming from the scribes.

They were teaching that the Messiah would be a conquering king like David; a king who would save the nation of Israel from their oppressors; a king that would come and restore Israel.  And now, in this age, it is evident that they saw the Messiah as the one that saves them from the bondage of Rome.   Therefore, in their view, they only viewed the Messiah as a man, that he would be a conquering king like David.  But as we will see, the prophecy about the Christ points to much more than a man.  The scribes were correct in part of their interpretation. Still, they had missed the entirety of the description of the Messiah.   They had limited themselves.  In fact, a close look at the scripture would tell them the truth.  Don’t miss this; the Messiah is indeed David’s heir, but there is so much more.

The verses we first need to look at are found in 2 Sam 7:12-17.  Listen to what the Lord says about the heir to David’s throne:

2 Samuel 7:12-17 (NASB)

12 When your days are finished and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come from you, and I will establish his kingdom.

13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he does wrong, I will discipline him with a rod of men and with strokes of sons of mankind,

15 but My favor shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from you.

16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’”

17 In accordance with all these words and all of this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

  • He will build a house in the Lord’s name
  • He will establish a throne and a kingdom forever
  • God will be His Father
  • He will be the Father’s Son
  • He will be punished for the man’s inequity
  • His house and His kingdom will endure forever

The preceding is a description of the one who is the heir in the line of David.  When we listen to the words used here, we find that the kingdom and the heir’s throne is one that will endure forever.  A mere man can’t accomplish this role.  Therefore, the scribes have missed something crucial about the Messiah.  What we find is a Messiah that is much greater than what they believed.

If we take the time to look at some more scripture, we will find additional aspects of the Messiah.  There isn’t enough time to look at all the scripture in depth.  However, you can find the references in my manuscript online.  (Isaiah 9:2-7Isaiah 11:1-9Jeremiah 23:5-6Jeremiah 30:9Jeremiah 33:151722Ezekiel 34:23-24Ezekiel 37:24Hosea 3:5):

Isaiah 9:2-7 (NASB)

2 The people who walk in darkness

Will see a great light;

Those who live in a dark land,

The light will shine on them.

3 You will multiply the nation,

You will increase their joy;

They will rejoice in Your presence

As with the joy of harvest,

As people rejoice when they divide the spoils.

4 For You will break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,

The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.

5 For every boot of the marching warrior in the roar of battle,

And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.

6 For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace

On the throne of David and over his kingdom,

To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness

From then on and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord of armies will accomplish this.

Isaiah 11:1-9 (NASB)

Righteous Reign of the Branch

1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,

And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.

2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,

The spirit of wisdom and understanding,

The spirit of counsel and strength,

The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

3 And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,

And He will not judge by what His eyes see,

Nor make decisions by what His ears hear;

4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor,

And decide with fairness for the humble of the earth;

And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,

And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.

5 Also righteousness will be the belt around His hips,

And faithfulness the belt around His waist.

6 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,

And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,

And the calf and the young lion and the fattened steer will be together;

And a little boy will lead them.

7 Also the cow and the bear will graze,

Their young will lie down together,

And the lion will eat straw like the ox.

8 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,

And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.

9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,

For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord

As the waters cover the sea.

Jeremiah 23:5-6 (NASB)

5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord,

“When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch;

And He will reign as king and]act wisely

And do justice and righteousness in the land.

6 In His days Judah will be saved,

And Israel will live securely;

And this is His name by which He will be called,

‘The Lord Our Righteousness.’

Jeremiah 30:9 (NASB)

9 But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

Jeremiah 33:151722 (NASB)

15 In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch of David sprout; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.

17 For this is what the Lord says: ‘David shall not lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;

22 As the heavenly lights cannot be counted, and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of My servant David and the Levites who serve Me.’”

Ezekiel 34:23-24 (NASB)

23 “Then I will appoint over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.

24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them; I the Lord have spoken.

Ezekiel 37:24 (NASB)

The Davidic Kingdom

24 “And My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances, and keep My statutes and follow them.

Hosea 3:5 (NASB)

5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.

  • Wonderful counselor
  • Mighty God
  • Eternal Father
  • Prince of Peace
  • A shoot of the branch of Jesse
  • His roots will bear fruit
  • The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him
  • He will have the spirit of wisdom and understanding
  • The spirit of counsel and strength
  • The spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord
  • He will not judge by what his eyes see, or his ears hear
  • He will judge by righteousness
  • He will decide with fairness
  • The rod of his mouth will strike the earth
  • His breath will slay the wicked
  • Righteousness and faithfulness will be like belts to him
  • He will bring peace
  • He will be a righteous branch from David
  • He will reign as a wise king
  • He will do justice and righteousness in the land
  • He will be called the Lord our righteousness
  • He will raise them up
  • He shall execute justice and righteousness on earth
  • He will always sit on the throne of the house of Israel
  • He will be the one true shepherd
  • He will be a prince
  • He will be a king overall, and they will follow Him
  • And those that follow him will follow his ordinances
  • He is good
    • And there is no one who is good except God

These descriptions seem to point to someone more than a man.  Looking at these descriptions, we find many that describe God.

Jesus is quoting from Psalm 110.  He has it in his crosshairs. He is focusing on that royal psalm.  The shoot of the branch of Jesse is standing before them.  The one who is the completion of the list above and so much more.  Standing there and teaching them about who the Christ is, who He is.

And let’s remember the man to whom He said was close to the Kingdom of God is probably still standing there.  Listening to Jesus’ question.  Probably intently listening for the Pharisee’s response.  Fully tuned into the words of Jesus.  His world is in the process of being turned upside down.


36 David himself said in the Holy Spirit,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,

“Sit at My right hand,

Until I put Your enemies under Your feet.”’

This is right out of Psalm 110.  The focus of Jesus.  The focus of His criticism of the teaching of the scribes.  They are only catching part of who the Messiah is, not the fullness of the savior.  Not a temporary savior bound by the lifespan of a man, but an eternal savior.

Turning to the words of the Psalm, David himself says this the LORD says to my Lord.  What is he talking about?  The scribes know the psalm.  Jesus is pointing out to them the faultiness of ascribing just manhood to this Messiah.  By the Holy Spirt – don’t miss this, David himself says that the Messiah is more than just a man and it is found in David’s words.

The first reference to Lord in psalm 110 is translated as Yahweh in Hebrew, God the Father. It is represented in your English bibles, more than likely, in all caps.  The second Lord is translated as Adonai in Hebrew.  It is expressed in your bibles with a capital L and small letters.  When David says this, he is talking about God and David’s heir.  Now we must proceed with caution.  Slow-moving.  Blinkers on.  So that we catch this.  David is saying that God is speaking to David’s heir and that David’s heir is greater than David.  These are fascinating words by David, via the Holy Spirit, because the son is not seen as more significant than the Father.  Yet here, David is clearly indicating just that thing.  And this is where Jesus is leveraging the question and the subsequent inductive teaching.

How can the Messiah be David’s son and be greater than David if he is just a man?  Jesus is pointing out the plain language of the scripture that says just this. Don’t you know who the Messiah is?  He is standing right before you.

Now before we jump into the last verse, notice how judgment is part of the reference.  And because of this judgment that the enemies of the Lord will be trodden under the feet of the Messiah.  We can’t miss this either. There is no middle ground.   There are those who practice idolatry and deny Christ, and there are those who follow Christ.  There is nothing else.  No midway or fence is sitting that avoids judgment.  Revelation 14:17-20 paints a clear picture of this judgment; that those who are of the earth will be trodden in the winepress of the wrath of the Lamb.  That Christ’s enemies will be no more.  That their destination is eternal damnation.

Revelation 14:17-20 (NASB)

17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle.

18 Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.”

19 So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.

20 And the wine press was trampled outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of 1,600 stadia.

This where we call all to repent and to be born again.  You must be born again not of this earth but of Christ.  That we are buried in His death and made alive in His resurrection.


37 David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; so in what sense is He his son?” And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him.

The great unanswered question.  How can the Messiah be both Lord and son?  Using induction, not telling them the answer, he is leading them to infer it themselves.  To the large crowd around him, this was great.  He has put the scribes in their place.  Jesus has taught with authority, with greater knowledge, than those that have been leading them.  Jesus is shepherding the flock through a difficult passage that points to the only hope that is found in the Messiah, that is found in Him.

How can he be Lord and Son?  Only if He is both man and God.  The Messiah is so much greater than they thought.  Not a man king who would conquer the Romans.  But a God-Man that would defeat the strong man, Satan.  One would hope that this is what the crowd is hearing and that this is why they are listening gladly.  Not just because the teachers were flummoxed but because there is a true savior.  We don’t know.

But what we do know is that Jesus checks all the boxes.  He has the lineage.  We only need to look at the beginning of Matthew to see that.  Jesus family tree on display.  He is from the line of David on both His Joseph and Mary’s sides.  Think of the many mentions in scripture about Jesus being the son of David.

Matthew 9:27 tells us that the blind men recognized Him as such.  And the crowds in Matthew 12:23. And let’s not forget the triumphal entry in Mark 11:9-10.  So they see Him as an heir.  But do they see the whole picture?

Matthew 9:27 (NASB)

27 As Jesus went on from there, two men who were blind followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

Matthew 12:23 (NASB)

3 And all the crowds were amazed and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?”

Mark 11:9-10 (NASB)

9 And those who went in front and those who followed were shouting:


Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;

10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David;

Hosanna in the highest!”

Do they consider the sinless life?

Do they think about the miracles and how they demonstrate the power of God?

Jesus is 100% God and 100% Man.

He lives the full life as a Man, beset by all the temptation of man but without any sin.  He lives that life that no man but He could live.  Jesus lived a life of active full obedience.  Just days away from the cross.  The cross is looming just ahead.  Teaching them who the Messiah was.  That the anointed one was Him.  The one which only is worthy of worship.

This is the Messiah to whom David spoke by the Holy Spirit in Psalm 110.  This is the Christ who will be the judge.  This is Jesus who will sit at the right hand of the Father in a short time and who will intercede for all believers.

And in just a couple of days, this is the Christ whom the crowds will turn on.  This is the one who will be rejected in favor of Barabbas, a murderer.  This is the Jesus, who will be scourged and punched and spit on and nailed to a cross.  Who will be stood up amongst criminals.  The sinless one, treated as a base sinner.  He will be stood on that cross like a sinner but without being one.  The sins of the elect are imputed to Him.  Jesus is the propitiary substitutionary atonement.  He is outside the temple, outside the city, cursed and nailed to a tree.

He is the LORD, the heir to the everlasting throne.  The prince of peace.  The only true judge.  The one on whom your sins and my sins rest, on that blood-stained cross.

This was asked of the scribes, Pharisees, to those standing there that they might recognize the Messiah, the Christ.

Who do you say the Messiah is?

Is He the one who is from the seed of a woman?

Is He the one who crushes Satan?

Is He from the root of Jesse?

Is He the heir of David’s throne?

Is He the one who will reign forever?

Is He the one whose enemies will be a footstool for His feet?

Is He the one who will be forsaken by men?

Is He the one who will be crushed for our iniquities?

Is He the one who is led like a lamb to the slaughter?

Is He the one who was scourged?

Is He the one who was nailed to the cross?

If He the one who knew no sin that became sin for us?

Is He the one who rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father?

Is He the one who binds the strong man and rescues His people?

These are the questions we all must answer


You see we are unique in God’s creation

We are never-dying souls that will be going to a never-ending eternity

Our eternal lives depend on our answer

To know things about Jesus is not enough

To think that He was a good teacher is not enough

We need to know Jesus as Lord; this is key, that if we do not know Him as Lord, we are the enemies that will be trodden underfoot.

We will be the ones in the winepress of the wrath of the Lord

And how we spend that never-ending eternity depends on who we confess Jesus to be

You can be close and miss Jesus

Through Christ, God has demonstrated His great mercy for sinners

Because there is no amount of ‘good works’ that you or I could do to pay the debt that our sin has accumulated

Jesus on the other hand, has paid that debt

And those of us who know Jesus

Who know Him as Lord

Who know the joy of salvation

Who know that He is enthroned right at the right hand of the Father

Interceding for all believers

For He is the fulfilment of Psalm 110

And we know that because He is on the Throne that there is no despair for us

We know that He is our Hope

Our Savior

For those who believe in Christ can never truly be Hurt because He is on His throne.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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