I AM MY OWN GRANDPA
Dr. Charles Franklin DeVane, Jr., Pastor
Lake Hamilton Baptist Church
Hot Springs, Arkansas
January 27, 2013
 And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?  David himself, in 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 is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
-- Mark 12:35-37, ESV
Let me ask you a paradoxical question. Can a man be his own grandfather? Ray Stevens said it can happen. A song he wrote, entitled “I Am My Own Grandpa,” goes like this:
Many, many years ago when I was twenty-three
I was married to a widow who was pretty as could be,
This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red,
My father fell in love with her and soon they too were wed.
This made my dad my son-in-law and really changed my life,
For my daughter was my mother, 'cause she was my father's wife,
And to complicate the matter, even though it brought me joy,
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.
My little baby then became a brother-in-law to dad,
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad,
For if he were my uncle, then that also made him brother,
Of the widow's grownup daughter, who was of course my step-mother.
Father's wife then had a son who kept them on the run,
And he became my grandchild, for he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother and it makes me blue,
Because although she is my wife, she's my grandmother too.
Now if my wife is my grandmother, then I'm her grandchild,
And every time I think of it, it nearly drives me wild,
'Cause now I have become the strangest 'case you ever saw,
As husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa!
This silly song illustrates a serious statement that Jesus made at the close of His earthly ministry. After being thoroughly questioned by the Pharisees, Herodians, Sadducees, and Scribes, Jesus proposed His own paradoxical question. “David himself calls him Lord. So, how is he his son?”
“David” is the king of Israeli kings. Along with Abraham and Moses, and often above them, he is the most revered of Old Testament saints. He was Israel’s greatest king, most successful soldier, and the prolific writer of many of the Psalms, one of which is quoted in this text (ref. Psalm 110:1).
“Lord,” and “son” are one in the same person. And herein lies the paradox. Ancestry and respect for elders were extremely important to the Jewish people. It would normally be unthinkable for a father to serve or bow down to his son. Yet Jesus declared that David declared that his ultimate “Lord,” King, and God was actually a “son” or descendant of David. How can this be? How can the same person be “Lord” and “son,” God and man? And what exactly was Jesus trying to teach us for today and forever?
Holy Scripture is Inspired and True
Jesus’ first point was that the “scribes,” those responsible for teaching the Scriptures to the people, had consistently failed to unravel one of the most important mysteries in the Old Testament. In doing so, Jesus makes an important commentary on the nature of Holy Scripture.
Jesus quoted Psalm 110:1, identified the human author, then asserted David was “in the Holy Spirit” when it was written. David was prone to err, and he did, famously. But when he was writing Psalms, which are part and parcel of the canon of the Bible, he did so with the direct guidance and divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who is God. Jesus’ ministry gave this same credibility to all of the Old Testament (the Law, the Writings, and the Prophets) and He personally commissioned all of the New Testament writers. Therefore, Jesus would certainly concur with Paul who wrote, “All Scripture is breathed out by God ...” (ref. 2 Timothy 3:16) and the Apostle Peter who wrote, “... no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (ref. 2 Peter 1:20-21).
The Bible is inspired; and, the Bible is true. Through many prophets God foretold that the Messiah, the Savior of God’s people, would indeed be a descendant of David (ref. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, and Amos; and, ref. the messianic celebration recorded in Mark 11:9-10). Jesus of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem to earthly parents Mary and Joseph, was a human descendant of the family line of King David.
Family and Faith Go Hand in Hand
This brings up another important point that Jesus indirectly made here and God makes constantly in His word. While gospel faith must be preached and personally accepted, it is best passed on from family to family. The most effective witness for Christ, bar none, is a godly father and mother who sincerely live and share the Christian faith with their children. Such children will usually accept Jesus Christ as Lord, and normally become parents themselves. The cycle continues, and must continue, until Christ comes again.
Some folks in David’s family did something right. Lord knows we can point out the flaws in David and Solomon and all the rest, but at the core of this family was faith in God. This faith survived from generation to generation until it was passed on to a sweet angel of a girl name Mary and a strong, sensitive man named Joseph. Where would we be without them?
I submit that poor parenting (or no parenting) is at the root of every major social evil that threatens our society today. And the poorest parent of all is one who denies that Jesus is Lord with their life and lips, thereby failing to give their God-given children any connection or direction to God in Christ. The hottest place in Hell ought to be reserved for parents who brought their children down with them. Conversely, one of the greatest joys in Heaven will be for moms and dads who get to fellowship with their children around the throne of God for ever and ever.
This may have been a rabbit, but it’s one that needs to be chased. Now, back to our main story and Jesus’ main point.
Jesus Christ, God and Man, is Lord of All
Jesus, as in all His messages and miracles, was pointing attention to Himself. This is not vanity nor pride when you are indeed the only perfect person and sovereign savior in whole universe that you made. He was showing up the scribes, to the delight of the crowd, for not being the biblical scholars they claimed to be. They failed to ask the right questions and supply the best answers. These questions and answers should be about Jesus. Who is He? Where did He come from? What to the Scriptures teach us about Him? What are we going to do with Him?
Jesus is a man, David’s son, the promised Messiah. He descended from David, He is destined to sit on the throne forever, and He will save God’s people from themselves, their enemies, and their sin. The scribes and most people missed this, because they misunderstood Scripture. Impatient and power hungry, they were expecting a Messiah to be a military conquerer who would overthrow all worldly powers and grant peace and prosperity to the people of God. They had the right idea, but the wrong timing. Before the Messiah would wear a crown, He would have to endure the cross. As it was for Jesus the Christ, so it is for every Christian, the cross comes before the crown.
Jesus is Almighty God, Jesus Christ is Lord. David prophetically called Him Lord. The Apostles preached Him as Lord. Only by repenting, believing, and following Jesus as Lord can a person be saved from the wrath to come upon this world. Perhaps the best question and answer in the Bible is found in Acts 16:30-31, “... What must I do to be saved? ... Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” See how the inspiration of the Bible, the importance of family, and the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ go together?
A popular chorus derived from biblical texts goes, “He is Lord, He is Lord, He is risen from the dead and He is Lord; Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Jesus Christ is Lord over the Bible, and personally supervised its every word. Jesus Christ is Lord over homes and households, loving them and longing for their salvation. Jesus Christ is Lord over all, the saved and the lost, Heaven and Hell, and every action and person on earth.
In reality, you cannot be your own grandpa. You cannot write your own Bible, you cannot be your own savior, you should not be your own lord. The Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, and Scribes belittled Jesus in this chapter. Jesus did not come to be belittled, He came to be believed. Believe in Him today.
Dr. Charles F. "Chuck" DeVane, Jr., is the Pastor of Lake Hamilton Baptist Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas. His weekly sermon article, "The Gospel Truth," has been published in newspapers in Arkansas and Georgia. Dr. DeVane is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has served in the pastorate for over 20 years. Contact Pastor Chuck at PastorChuck@lakehamiltonbaptistchurch.org