Mark Chapter 12 Part 3

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Shalom and welcome to [foreign language 00:00:07], a Hebrew phrase, which means you shall love Israel. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes as our teacher, Dr. Baruch shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the senior lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel. Please visit us on the web at loveisrael.org. That’s one word, loveisrael.org. Now here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.

Speaker 2:

The Bible teaches us that as much as possible or as much as it depends upon you and me to live peaceably with all people. But we know sometimes that’s just not possible because people, they want conflict. They don’t want truth. They don’t want to submit to the things of God, but they want their way. And that’s for the most part, what we’ve seen. And the first two studies in the book of Mark and chapter 12. Over and over different groups of people have come before your Yeshua asking questions, but they’re not seeking truth. They’re not wanting to know who he is. From where has he come and what is he going to do? And what will be the results of his work? They’re not interested in those things. They want to entrap him. They want to discredit him. They want to shame him before the people. But in this section that we’re going to learn today, there’s a change.

Speaker 2:

Indeed. A man came a scribe and he truly wanted to know who Messiah is. What is it that he was teaching? So that he could respond to it in faith, according to the truth. With that said, take out your Bible and turn with me to the book of Mark and chapter 12. The book of Mark and chapter 12. We left off last week with verse 28. And there’s where we shall begin today. Now, as I said, there’s an individual, a scribe. And the first thing that we need to know about the scribes is that the scribes were a group that knew the scripture very well. And therefore, it’s not surprising that the question that this scribe asked them had to do with the word of God, the proper interpretation, and it was something foundational. So he asked Yeshua. So let’s see what he said.

Speaker 2:

Look again, at verse 28, “And one of the scribes came, having heard their debate,” this argument between Yeshua and the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the Herodians and the high priests. He was there and he heard it all. And he had saw something as we continue to read. It says, “Seen that well, he answered them, he asked as well Yeshua a question.” And the question, as I said, a very basic one, but one that has profound implications to it. Look again, verse 28 in the middle of that verse, here’s the question, “Which is the first of all commandments?” In other words, what is the greatest commandment and notice how Messiah responded. He answered in verse 29. And he says, “The first is, [foreign language 00:03:53].” Which simply means from Deuteronomy chapter six in verse four, hero Israel, the Lord, your God, the Lord is one.

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Now in Judaism… And remember everyone in this chapter is Jewish. They come from that biblical background and this versus scripture, and that answer would have been well known by all. It was understood as a statement of faith. That there’s one God that is namely the God of Israel. Now it’s a statement of faith. It is an acknowledgement that someone believes in the one true living God, the God of Israel, and there is no other. Now, if that’s the case, that statement, that belief comes with some implications, comes with responsibility to it. And what is that? Well, notice what he says, “Secondly, [foreign language 00:05:02].” Which means, “And you shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” Now, when Yeshua quoted this verse, the scripture, talking about the response of someone who believes in God. See it’s not enough just to say, I believe God exists.

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The demons, believe in God. But the question is how we respond to that belief. Are we going to respond in love? And love that word, love biblically speaking involves a commitment and involves a giving. It involves a passion for obedience. And therefore when he says this, and this is of course written in Greek. And by the way, Greek was a very influential language in Judaism at this period of time. This week I was in the City of David. Now the city of David, some of you hear that you may think of Bethlehem, but the proper way to understand that from an old Testament perspective, Bethlehem is in one sense, the City of David, where David was born. But the City of David from an old Testament perspective, within a Jewish context, it is the old Old City of Jerusalem. If you go to Jerusalem today and you go into, what’s called the Old City, it’s not the Old City.

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The Old City is down below in what’s called Ir David, the City of David. Now what’s important to know is this, when I was there, we saw a synagogue from the second temple period. And how did they know that this was the ruins of a synagogue? Because of an inscription. And guess what language that inscription was in? Greek. So in this passage, he quotes it in Greek from the Septuagint. And it actually adds an additional word. Because in order to capture the meaning of the Hebrew, they use two Greek words. So he says, here, look at verse 30 and I quote, “And you shall love the Lord, your God with all of your heart, with all your soul.” And that last word [foreign language 00:07:18], they translate it with, “all your knowledge and with all your strength”.

Speaker 2:

And then Messiah did something. Now realize this scribe, he only asks what was the greatest commandment. But Messiah is a teacher. He doesn’t want to give half-truths. He wants to get complete answers. And if we believe there is one God, we should not only love God, but we should demonstrate that love and how to do that. Well, the proper answer is, well, we’ve already discussed it. Earlier on in our study of Mark’s gospel, we see Messiah was teaching and he says those who have fed the hungry and given drink to the thirsty and clothe the poor and help the sick and visited those in prison, as you have done to the lease of my brethren, you have done what? You have done also to me. So there’s this connection between serving others, blessing others and loving the Lord, God. And that’s exactly what Messiah says here. After speaking about loving the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, what does he say?

Speaker 2:

Look at verse 31 and the second meaning the second commandment he says is, “Love your neighbor as yourself for this is the greatest of all, there is no other commandment.” That is no other one greater than this. Now notice the response of the scribe. He didn’t come there to entrap him. He didn’t come with any ulterior motives, other than learning truth, wanting to understand where Yeshua was coming from. And he responds, look at verse 32, and the scribe said to him, “Well, teacher for upon the truth you have said, that there is only one and there is no other. And to love the Lord, your God with all your heart.” And then he says something else he says, “With all your heart, all your understanding and with all your strength,” another variant in the Greek Septuagint for that same verse, he says, “to do that and love your neighbor as yourself. It is greater than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Speaker 2:

Now, this scribe understood something that simply going to the temple and purchasing a sacrifice and offering up to God, although there’s nothing wrong with that. And oftentimes that’s exactly what we’re commanded to do, but that mitzvah, that commandment does not take precedent over our responsibilities to God outside the temple. In fact, how we live outside the temple should reflect our heart condition. When we offer up those sacrifices and offering, and this scribe understood, it was not some religious act that God was seeking, but a spiritual commitment to God that manifests itself in the love of other people, blessing them, assisting them, helping them, loving them in other words. So, when Messiah heard this, notice his response. Now there’s a change. Throughout this whole passage, we have seen in the questions of those other individuals and emphasis upon this world.

Speaker 2:

And notice what Messiah said says, verse 34, “And Yeshua, he saw that this man had answered with wisdom. He said to him,” here it is, “you are not far from the kingdom of God.” Now the question is this; if you’re not far from the kingdom of God, what a wise person is going to want to know is, well, what do I lack? What is the key? How do I close that distance? How do I find the kingdom of God? And it tells us because he had answer wisely. That is not just in this passage, but throughout this chapter, throughout everywhere Messiah was. Whenever he was asked a question, he always answered wisely and his wisdom did not come from man, but came from the authority of God, which is revealed in the word of God. So, it says no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Speaker 2:

So, Messiah began to do something. At a response from this scribe, who was seeking truth, Messiah decided to give him truth, to close that gap, to reveal the key to entering into the kingdom. And what did he do? Well look if you would, to verse 35, “And Yeshua answered and spoke teaching in the temple.” Now the temple is synonymous with worship and where we’re going to see is this, Messiah is speaking and Yeshua, who is at the temple, is going to speak about the key into the kingdom of God. The key to worshiping God in spirit and truth. And notice something else. Once again, and this is so vital, see when we look at the new covenant, the [foreign language 00:12:59], we see a very different quality to these writings, the new Testament, the new covenant, compared to the rest binnacle writings of the Mishnah and the Gemara.

Speaker 2:

Why do I say that? Very simple. When you study the Gemara, what you’ll find is that oftentimes they quote individuals. One rabbi will quote another rabbi. That is one rabbi we refer to another. And all the truth that’s there, or the presumed truth, what they’re presenting that’s truth, all its source, it originates in the words of man, not so in the new covenant. When we look at the teachings of Messiah, he didn’t say rabbi such said, but rather he spoke with authority, because he always based his teaching upon the word of God. And that’s what a wise teacher does. So look again, let’s press on to verse 35. Messiah answered and said, “While he was teaching in the temple,” he says, “how is it that the scribes call the Messiah?”

Speaker 2:

Now there’s that word Christos in the Greek. And it doesn’t really appear that much. And these questions concerning him from the Sadducees or the Pharisees, you see, they didn’t have an emphasis upon Messiah. And when you look at the Talmud, for example, what Judaism sees as scripture, there’s not an emphasis on the Messiah. If you are wise and you want to truly live out that proclamation, that there is one God, the God of Israel, and you want to demonstrate your love for him, your commitment to him. Then at the foundation of your life, the passion of your existence is going to be Messiah. You are going to pursue him because Messiah is key to pleasing God, he’s key to redemption without redemption. You cannot know God, you cannot worship God, you cannot serve God and you cannot enter into the kingdom.

Speaker 2:

So, it’s not a surprise here that when Messiah says to this scribe, “You’re not far from the kingdom.” It’s not surprising that the first thing he begins to teach as upon Messiah, look again, verse 35. He asks a question. He says, “How is it that the scribes call Messiah the son of David?” Now the term son of David it’s well-known throughout the new covenant, many times Messiah is referred to as the son of David. And that term has a couple implications to us. First of all, it tells us that Messiah is Jewish hes’ of the lineage of the tribe of Judah. It also tells us that the Messiah is a fulfillment of the covenant promise that God made to David. And that covenant promise of David was built upon the covenant promise that God made to Abraham. So the term [foreign language 00:16:18], the son of David has great significance, but it should not be understood as referring to a literal son of David, that is in the flesh. And Messiah’s emphasizing this, why? Well, if the proper understanding of the Messiah is the son of God that he is Emmanuel God with us.

Speaker 2:

Well, the Messiah is God and not an air, a biological air of some human beings. Now let me stop for a moment, because I want to make sure that we all are on the same page of agreement. If you were to ask me, is Messiah a man? I would say, yes, he is. He’s fully man. But he’s also fully God, next thing we need to know about Messiah, and what people oftentimes ask me, is if I believe in the theological doctrine known as the Trinity, yes, I do that. There’s God, the father, God the son and God the Holy spirit. And in this passage, we’re going to see exactly referenced to the Trinity. Why? Well, once again, verse 35, he says, “How is it that the scribe say,” concerning Messiah, “that he is the son of David?” Verse 36, “For David himself has said,” in whom? “In the Holy spirit.”

Speaker 2:

So there’s the first reference, the Holy spirit is present in this, this conversation. And furthermore, he says, and he quotes what? Psalm 1:10, again, whenever Messiahs teach, if we want to know truth, if we want to base our faith upon on a sure foundation, we’re going to do so upon the word of God. So he quotes here from Psalm 1:10 and he says, “How is it that the Lord said to my Lord,” who’s speaking? Well, the author of this Psalm. Psalm 1:10 was written, [foreign language 00:18:22] Ir David, a Psalm of David. So David is saying that the Lord, that is God the father has said to my Lord, the Messiah or God the son. So we see speaking in the Holy spirit, the Lord, God the father said to my Lord, that is God the son, Messiah, “Sit on my right side until I place your enemies under your feet.”

Speaker 2:

Now that is that no one disagrees that this is a reference to the Messiah. And it’s about what it’s going to take to bring about the establishment of his kingdom. So, Messiah is there at the right hand of God, waiting for the right moment to take possession of this world. So, someone will ask me, well, wait a second, I understand that Messiah is the son of God, but isn’t he the biological heir of David? No, he is not. Now many people they understand that because Joseph was from the lineage of David. And Joseph, he was only the legal father of Messiah. And people will say, and be very careful, I’ve heard this so often people say, well, he was a biological descendant of David because Miriam or Mary was from the tribe of David. Was she? Can you offer me one scripture that substantiates that? I realized that there’s a church tradition that says that, but that church tradition comes from man.

Speaker 2:

It quotes some of the early church fathers, hundreds of years after Messiah. And it’s very dangerous. We can’t point our finger at traditional Judaism, the Judaism of the rabbis and say, it’s not good that you quote just other individuals. You should quote the scriptures and we not do the same thing. Biblically speaking, when we look at the word of God, we see that Miriam, that is Mary, who was a cousin of Ellie Shava. That is Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias, he was a priest. It is just as likely. And I would say more likely that she was from the lineage of who? The lineage of the priestly family. Does that matter? Legally, because Joseph was the legal father, according to a covenant relationship called marriage between Miriam and Joseph. He was the legal father and therefore Messiah was from legally the tribe of Judah, but not biologically.

Speaker 2:

Now, there’s many implications of that, but that’s not our purpose today. But look at this for a moment. He says, “How is it that, that the Lord says to my Lord, to Messiah sit here on my right hand until I placed all the enemies under your feet. And if David says this,” notice verse 37, “and thus, if David called him, meaning the Messiah Lord from where is he, his son?” Well, the point is this Messiah is what? Messiah transcends David. He transcends Abraham. If we want to be right theologically, we would have to say, there never was a time that Messiah did not exist. Messiah is not a creature. That is, he was not created. He is eternal. He is the eternal God. So verse 38, we read this, “And in his teaching, he says, look from the scribes,” that is, it’s an idiom, “beware of the scribes who desire to be walking around in long stoles and receiving the blessings that his greetings in the marketplace. For they desire the best seats in the synagogues and the best places of reclining at the dinners.”

Speaker 2:

So here’s what he’s saying here. These individuals, they simply wanted what? Exultation in this world. And that’s the difference. Those who are truly followers of Messiah, the emphasis is not going to be on this world, but on the kingdom. These individuals, they wanted to dress in a manner that caused other people to notice that they were so-called religious. They wanted the best seats, the place of great pride and pop all of that. But notice what he says about these individuals, verse 40, “And these are the ones who devoured the homes of the widows.” And in pretext, that is, and for the appearance before others, they make long prayers.

Speaker 2:

And what does he say about them? And here’s some sobering words he says, “For they shall receive greater,” and the best way to translate this word is, “condemnation”. There is condemnation for those who want to exalt themselves rather than lifting others up in the name of God. That’s what that first and second commandment that he talked about was all concerning. Move on to our last section, verse 41. Now there, we’re going to see a connection between one’s faith and their pocket book, how they utilize their finances. Verse 41, “And sitting before the treasury,” that is the treasury of the temple, “he perceived how the crowd was casting coins into the treasury. And many who were wealthy, they gave much.” Now that’s a nice thing, but it’s not just the amount. It is the attitude behind the giving. If you’re giving with the proper thoughts or no, for the proper reasons or not.

Speaker 2:

And it says in verse 42, “In the midst of this, and there came one widow, namely, a poor widow. And she cast in,” and don’t miss this, “two coins.” Now most will say two mites. Here’s what we need to glean from that. It is the smallest coin of the Jewish community. And she gave two. Now, why is that important? Well, number are indeed of significance in the scripture and two, usually refers to two different opinions. And in this, and we look interpreters in some of the ways that the sages did, two here refers to the ways of the world and the things of God. And what we see here is that she took both these two aspects, a wordly aspect, and a spiritual aspect, and she put them together and there’s the key. She placed them together and placed them in the treasury and notice what Messiah says.

Speaker 2:

Now they were worth one. And the next word, some Bibles say farthing or a quarter of a farthing. It’s simply the smallest value of a Roman coin. So, she gave very little, but notice what he says, verse 43, “And calling to his disciples.” Now it doesn’t say here that he called the twelve. It’s very significant that he called his disciples. I think that implies you and me, because he wants us to learn something from this passage, verse 43, “And calling his disciples, he said to them, truly, I say to you that this poor widow, she has given more of those who have cast of all those who have cast into the treasury, she has given more, why? For all [foreign language 00:26:39], how? Out of their abundance. But she [foreign language 00:26:44] out of her necessity for all she has, she has [foreign language 00:26:48]. That is from her, very what? It says from sure, very, very sustenance.

Speaker 2:

Now, what does that tell us about her? It tells us two mites, according to the scholars, would be enough for a small meal. Now, that was all she had. And she could either hold on to that money and feed herself for one day. Or she could give that with thoughts of what the reality of the kingdom of God. And she chose not to be satisfied for one day. She put the emphasis on eternity. And it’s only when someone understands God, understand the son of God, what he has done and the reality of the kingdom then, and only then will we behave like her. And we will capture the attention in a favorable way of our Messiah, Yeshua. Well, my time’s out until next week. May God richly bless you.

Speaker 1:

Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with someone else. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this station for the radio edition of loveisrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit us at our website, loveisrael.org. There you will find articles and several other lectures from our teacher, Dr. Baruch, these teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week. May the Lord bless you in our Messiah Yeshua. That is Jesus. As you walk with him, Shalom from Israel.

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