“And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? 36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. 37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.” Mark 12:35-37
The scribes would profess and teach that the “Messiah” was the “Son of David”, but they were not acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah. What was their problem? In the Psalms David calls the Messiah, “Lord” (Ps. 110:1). The Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees [religious leaders] were rejecting Jesus as the Christ [Messiah]. Therefore, Jesus is putting forth a lesson they must hear and learn. If the Messiah is the Son of David, and Jesus is the fulfillment of the coming of Messiah, then He must also be Lord and God in flesh.
Jesus is not disagreeing with the premise that the Messiah is the “Son of David”, but He is strengthening it. In Psalm 110 verse 1 David is acknowledging the Messiah as Lord. “The LORD [Father God] said unto my Lord [Messiah/Christ]…”. In this passage Jesus is declaring the Messiah’s deity, and thus, His own deity.
The religious leaders did not believe the Messiah would be anything more than just a man, and that was the reason for Jesus’ question. If David is recognizing the Messiah as Lord, then He is more than “just a man”; more than “just the son of David”; He is the incarnate [in the flesh] God.
-Tim A. Blankenship