After answering several hostile questions from Israel’s religious leaders, Jesus responded with a question of His own: “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?” Alistair Begg considers how Jesus’ challenge from Psalm 110 is biblical, theological, and vital. Jesus regarded David’s words as inspired by the Holy Spirit, urging His hearers to see the Messiah as the Son of David—but also as someone more.
I invite you to turn with me to the Gospel of Mark, to 12:35:
“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 … calls him Lord. So how is he his son?’ And the great throng heard him gladly.”
A brief prayer:
Make the Book live to me, O Lord,
Show me Yourself within Your Word,
Show me myself and show me my Savior,
And make the Book live to me.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Well, Mark tells us that the questions that have been addressed to Jesus have now stopped. It’s back in 11:27 that we have recorded for us the initial challenge that has come from his opponents, and since then, they have been trying unsuccessfully to catch him out. And we have in these last studies observed the way in which they have confronted Jesus with what, in each instance, I think they thought to be an unanswerable question, only to discover that Jesus was more than able to answer it.
In the last encounter, which we looked at last time—what we might refer to as a friendlier challenge—we discover that Jesus not only addressed the question that the man asked but he also made clear the man’s condition. And you will perhaps recall that we ended there last time with the phrase “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” The man was religious, he was humble, he was clearly interested in matters of significance, and yet he was still not within the kingdom of God. And we noted then both the warning and the exhortation that that contains.
Now, it’s not as if these questions have just petered out over time, but it seems as though they’ve really come to a decisive end. And we might imagine that these individuals have finally looked at one another and said, “You know, we’re done. I don’t think there’s really any point in us continuing.” And you will notice that there are no exceptions to this. At the end of verse 34: “After that no one dared … ask him any … questions.” It’s not as if there were a few people who still had a lingering desire for a question or two. No, the whole thing has come to an end. We’re done with questions; we thought that this would be a more successful venture than it has been.
So Mark tells us that the class has no more questions for the teacher, but then he immediately tells us that the teacher has a question for the class. And there in verse 35, Jesus now, addressing this great throng described there in verse 37… He has had as his base of operations for some time now the Court of the Gentiles in the temple precincts, and the crowds have been listening carefully—presumably, in certain cases, standing on the sidelines as these encounters have taken place between religious orthodoxy, as it were, and this uncredentialed rabbi from Nazareth. And how they must have delighted to discover that the scribes, who were not necessarily their favorites, had their nose put out of joint on more than one occasion. And Jesus is about to warn the people concerning these scribes, in verse 38 and following. But before he does so, he poses a question for which no answer is forthcoming. It’s important, I think, to realize that: that there is a sense in which this question is entirely rhetorical. We look in vain for it to be resolved within the few verses that we’ve just read.
It’s a difficult question; I want to acknowledge that freely, in case some of you might miss the point. But we’re not going to camp on the challenge that it represents. Instead, what I’d like us to do is to consider the fact that it is, first of all, a biblical question, and then that it is a theological question, and then that it is a vital question. Biblical, theological, and vital.
First of all, then, noticing the nature of it being a biblical question. What makes it biblical? Well, it’s about the Bible. Jesus is quoting from the Old Testament. If you want to turn there, it’s page 509, if that’s helpful to you. It’s Psalm 110, if you don’t need the page numbers. We’re not going to read it all, but this psalm, along with the psalm that was read earlier, is clearly messianic. In other words, it is a psalm that points forward to the Messiah who was to come. And Jesus is here quoting from Psalm 110:1: “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” And I leave you with the rest of the psalm to read at your leisure later on.
Interestingly, this psalm is more frequently quoted and referred to than any other psalm in the entire Bible. In fact, it may be the most quoted Old Testament passage; I’m not sure. And in quoting this, we should not miss what is obvious. First of all, that Jesus is quoting the Bible. He’s quoting the Old Testament. Some of us might have the notion that “Why would Jesus use the Bible? I mean, why, he wouldn’t really need to use the Bible, would he?” But yes! And what is important for us to recognize is that Jesus knew the Old Testament, and that Jesus believed the Old Testament, and that Jesus understood that the Old Testament was inspired—was inspired. That it was breathed out by God. That the reason that the Old Testament existed was because God chose to reveal it. And you will notice that he uses that very terminology: “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? David himself”—and here’s the phrase, in between two commas—“David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared…” Or, if you like, “by the Holy Spirit declared…” So that as David wrote, as David spoke, his words were God’s words.
Now, let me just give you two cross-references, one in the Old and one in the New, and you can proceed from there on your own. Second Samuel 23:1:
Now these are the last words of David:
The oracle of David, the son of Jesse,
the oracle of the man who was raised on high,
that is, this great king of Israel,
the anointed of the God of Jacob,
the sweet psalmist of Israel.
Okay? We’ve got it now. And here we go to verse 2:
“The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me;
his word is on my tongue.”
So David’s awareness of what he is doing includes his awareness of the work of God in inspiring him.
Now, when we reference the notion of inspiration, we’re not talking about the kind of inspiration that is represented in the work of Chopin, or Beethoven, or Lennon and McCartney—that they were inspired in some way to be able to do what they did. What we’re referencing here is the fact that the Bible is breathed out by God—that in the same way that if I stood here in complete silence before you for any period of time at all, it would be impossible for you to know what was going on in my mind; the only way that you can know what is going on in my mind is if I verbalize things. Words are the building blocks of communication. Words—individual words—are the key to sentences, sentences are the key to paragraphs, and so on. And so the Bible is God’s Word to us, spoken out.
The New Testament reference is Acts chapter 1, as Peter speaks concerning what has been going on in the past. Acts 1:15: “In those days Peter stood up among the brothers. … ‘Brothers,’” he says, verse 16, “‘the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand.’” How did the Holy Spirit speak beforehand? Answer: “‘By the mouth of David.’” Now, he’s not saying that the only way in which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand was by the mouth of David, but he’s saying that the words that David wrote, all that we have of the Davidic record, is there as a result of God raising up David and David becoming the very mouthpiece of God.
Now, what makes this a biblical question is that the scribes shared this view of Scripture. The scribes believed that the Scriptures were the Word of God. The scribes believed that the Old Testament Scriptures pointed, referenced, the Messiah who was to come.
Let me just parenthetically point out to you what the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture is not. The doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture is not that God used individuals the way that we might use a typewriter, or the way that we might use a Dictaphone, or, in old-fashioned words, a stenographer. That actually is a Muslim view of Scripture. The Muslim view of the authorship of the Qur’an is that Allah, through the angel Gabriel, dictated in Arabic to Muhammad. Muhammad then took down the dictation and wrote the Qur’an. That’s their doctrine of Scripture—that all that Muhammad had to have was two good ears and a pen.
That is not what the Scriptures teach. The Scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit spoke his words through the human authors in such a way that their words were simultaneously his words. That is something vastly harder to comprehend and vastly more significant than the idea that people like David, and Paul in the New Testament, and the Gospel writers, they all just sat in a room somewhere waiting for it to hit them. Clearly, that isn’t what happened.
For example—and now I’m off on a diatribe, but anyway, I’ll just stay, and then I’ll come back—but if you take, for example, the beginning of Luke’s Gospel, you realize how vastly different that is. Because research into the history of things and the doctrine of inspiration that God breathed it out are not set in opposition to one another; they are set in apposition to one another. And that’s why Luke says, “What I’ve done in writing this Gospel for you, O Theophilus, is do a lot of research.” Somebody said, “Well, why would he have to do research? All he has to have is two good ears and a pen, and God dictates it and he writes it down.” No! Luke, given his personality, given his historical context, given the influences upon him, and given the resources available to him, took up his pen and wrote the Gospel. And as he put his Gospel out, simultaneously the words that he wrote were the very words that God himself inspired. Now, you may go on from there on your own and think these things out, but they are of importance.
Back to our passage. It is because, as I say, that the scribes believed that the Messiah would come from the family of David that Jesus is able to pose this question. If they didn’t believe that, he couldn’t then ask about meaning, because you will notice that it is a question about meaning: “How can the scribes say the Christ is the son of David, given that…?” Comes back to it in verse 37: “David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” “How do you put these two things together?” he says. This is apparently in the realm of potential contradiction. What father calls his son lord? In the scheme of things, it should be the other way around. So what is going on here?
Now, we’ve already had this “son of David” referenced, haven’t we, in the story of blind Bartimaeus? It’s a few weeks back now, but they were leaving Jericho, they’re on the outskirts of Jericho, and a blind man arrests the crowd as they go, shouting—Mark tells us that when he heard… I better check that this is true. I know what I’m trying to say is true, but… I can’t even find Bartimaeus all of a sudden! Here, I got him now. That’s the change in Bibles, ’cause it’s so locked in your mind. When I did chapter 10, it was photographed in there, and now it moved. It didn’t move out of chapter 10; it just moved on the page. It’s down at the bottom of the page now.
“And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth”—“when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth,” when he heard that it was the man who had grown up in the carpenter’s workshop, when he heard that it was the son of Mary and Joseph—“when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out …, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’” He could have cried out, “Jesus of Nazareth, have mercy on me!” but he cries out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And the people try to silence him, and he comes back at it again.
What is he doing when he uses the phraseology “Son of David”? He is using the most common phrase for messiahship. He is shouting out, “Jesus, you’re the Messiah! You can heal me.” What an embarrassment to the people who were the proponents of Jesus, who couldn’t get the picture clear in their own minds. And here is a blind man who can see better than the sighted people can see. He is able to name him in this way. And so the phraseology “Son of David” is built into the very heart of this biblical discussion.
Now, the fact that Jesus throughout the Gospel of Mark urges his followers to refrain from making much of the notion of his messiahship is not because they had the terminology wrong—because “son of David” is fine, “Son of Man” is fine—but because their expectation of what it meant for him to be the Messiah was wrong. The terminology wasn’t wrong; their understanding of the terminology was wrong. They saw it in nationalistic terms. They saw it in political terms. Jesus had not come as a national hero. He had not come as a political icon. He had come as a Savior. And if these people took their expectations of messiahship and charged, as it were, into Jerusalem with that, then the whole thing would go skew-whiff. And so he is urging them, “Just leave that alone just now. Once you understand what it means for me to be the Messiah, then you can go make a fuss about it, but until you do, you really should just button your lip.”
Now, here’s the question, then: In light of that, is that then what Jesus is doing here in this question? Is Jesus simply addressing the fact that they have a faulty view of things when they say, “How can they say that the Christ is the son of David?” Is he saying, “How can they say that he’s the Messiah?” Well, no, if you think about that for a moment, he’s surely not saying that. Nor is he disagreeing with the scribes’ interpretation of the Messiah as coming from the line of David.
So what in the world’s he doing? I hope you’re asking the question, ’cause I’ve been asking it all week. I mean, eventually I had to make a decision on it, but for most of the week, that’s where I was all the time. I read it and reread it and said, “So what in the world is happening here? How do we unravel this?”
Well, the biblical question is also a theological question. And when we get, if you like, to the theology, to the logical dimensions of God’s revelation of himself in the person of Jesus, set in the wider framework of that in the Bible, then we are on our way to unraveling the mystery.
When Jesus asks, “How can they say that the Christ, the Messiah, is the son of David?” he is clearly not suggesting that the Messiah is not the son of David. Right? “How can they say that the Christ is the son of David?” Is he saying, “The Christ is not the son of David”? He knows that the Christ is the son of David. So he’s not saying that. What he is leading his listeners to is the conclusion that the Messiah is the son of David, but he is not just the son of David—that he is both Son of Man and he is Son of God.
And that’s why he is able to take Psalm 110:1 and point out that in this passage, the Messiah is referred to as David’s Lord and not as David’s son. So he says, “How can they say that the Messiah is the son of David? I’m just quoting to you from the Bible, and in the Bible, here in Psalm 110:1, there’s no reference to him being the son of David. It says that he is David’s Lord. How can the great king of Israel speak of his son as his Lord?”
In other words, this is a dense one. This is a difficult one. This actually, I think, fits the dictionary definition of a riddle. Because here you have two notions, both of which are actually true, but it is very, very difficult to understand how they fit together.
And so Jesus’ question must be considered in the light of all of the Gospel. In the light of all of the Gospel. So that Mark, who’s writing his Gospel, recognizes that when the people, the readers—namely, ourselves—come to this little difficult section here in 12:35–37, and they’re saying to themselves, “Well, what in the world is Jesus doing here? How does this work? How do we resolve this?” Mark assumes that we’re going to seek to resolve it not by taking a microscope and fastening in on these verses to drive ourselves to distraction but actually standing back from the verses far enough to put them in context.
What context? Well, the context, for example, of Peter’s declaration in 8:29. What had happened there? You will remember, Jesus was asking, “Who are people saying that I am? What’s the word on the street concerning me?” he says. And they give him a variety of answers, and then he narrows it down, and he says, “But who do you fellows say that I am? Here’s the question: Who do you think I am?” And that’s when Peter says, “You are the Christ.” Wow! “You’re the Messiah.” Boom! Now, that has landed right there in chapter  of the Gospel of Mark. Mark is writing the Gospel. So he expects that when we come to chapter 12, we won’t neglect what we’ve just seen in the previous chapter.
And he also anticipates that we’re gonna read the whole thing, and so we will be able to get, for example, to 14:61–62, where Jesus is before the council. They’re asking him questions. “Have you no answer?” He remains silent. He “made no answer.” And then “the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am.’” “I am.”
Okay? So here we are in chapter 12 with this enigma, this enigmatic encounter, this rhetorical question. Jesus now gives the class a question—a tough one. They’ve been asking him tough questions, he answered them all, he said, “I’ve got a question for you fellows. You know your Bibles. You believe the Bible. You believe the Bible’s inspired, don’t you? You know that the Messiah comes from the house of David. Well, let me ask you a question: How then could he be called the son of David, when in actual fact he is David’s Lord?”
Now, here’s an opportunity—and I hope you’ve picked it up already—to remind ourselves of one of the basic principles of biblical interpretation. And that is that we interpret the obscure in light of the clear; we interpret the partial in light of the more complete reference. So it’s like when you’re eating a meal, and you get a piece of the meal that’s a bit of a nuisance to you, or you’re having fish and you find a bone, and you can either focus on that for the rest of the meal, or you can put it to the side of your plate and eat the rest of the meal and come back to it later on. One will drive you completely nuts, and everybody around you. The other way, you can just get on and be a respectable citizen.
So when you come to this, you’ll drive yourself completely nuts, or you can leave it over to the side and say, “I’ll get this figured out later on.” The reason that I’m here is to try and increase the capacity for that taking place, to save you a little bit of trouble, and to point this out to you, so that you’re learning to interpret the New Testament in light of the foundation, in light of all the lines that are pointing forward into the New Testament, and that you’re learning then to understand the Old Testament in relationship to the New Testament and in light of its fulfillment in Jesus.
If you go far enough back—it’s like on Google Earth, you know, if you go far enough back there, you get just far enough back to see the earth. You can’t see Pettibone Road at that point, but you know that Pettibone Road is apparently on the earth, because I came back from it. If you come far enough back from the Bible, what will you see? You’ll see the Lord Jesus Christ. If you come far enough back from the Bible, you see Christ. Because the whole Bible is about Jesus. All pointing forward to him. All emerging from him. That’s why when we take our eyes off Jesus, we immediately lose our way around the Bible.
It’s absolutely imperative that we recognize that the story of the Bible is the story of the bad news of the fact that we have decided in our arrogance to put ourselves where God deserves to be. So we wanna run our own lives, run the universe, do what we want to do. That’s the story of man, from the garden of Eden on: “Thank you very much. I’m gonna do it my own way. I’d like to be God.” That’s part of the story. The other part of the story is the amazing story that God has come and put himself where we deserve to be on account of our sins. We seek to take his throne; he comes to take our cross.
So, the mystery is solved. The mystery is solved. And it is only solved in light of the incarnation. That the answer to this question, which Jesus never gives, is that David’s son was David’s Lord because he existed before David and he exists after David. That “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And the question that Jesus is posing here is not just to tickle people’s fancy, not to intrigue. It’s not simply the kind of conundrum that you have when your grandfather comes over and they ask you, “What is black and white and red all over?” And you sit around there until you figure out he’s talking about the newspaper. That is a conundrum. This is not simply a conundrum. Because this question is absolutely vital. This question has to do with the identity of Jesus of Nazareth. And what the Bible affirms is that David’s Lord was the eternal Son of God. David’s Lord was the eternal Son of God. He comes from the house and lineage of David.
Paul does this all the time. For example, 2 Timothy 2—don’t turn to it—2 Timothy 2:8, he says to Timothy, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David.” When he writes Romans, he starts off in the exact same way, describing himself as a servant of Christ and of the gospel, “which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures”—here we go, Romans 1:3—“concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead.”
You see, the amazing wonder of this—the amazing wonder of this—can only be discovered when God opens our eyes to this truth. Without that, there’s nothing there. Charles Simeon used to use an illustration. Charles Simeon was the vicar of Holy Trinity in Cambridge for fifty-four years. And he used an illustration of a sundial. He lived a long time ago; he lived in the middle of the nineteenth century. He wasn’t using illustrations from iPhones. So, the sundial would be out in the churchyard or out in the back garden, and he said, “When the sundial exists on a cloudy day, all that you have on the sundial is figures. It’s just figures. But if the clouds part—if the sun shines and the clouds part—then the figures convey a message, and then the finger points.” And he said, “And that is as it is when men and women turn to the Scriptures.”
We turn to the Scriptures on a cloudy day—our minds clouded by sin, whether it is indifference or active rebellion. And as a result of that, somebody tries to read the Bible to us. Our parents tell us, “You know, you should read the Bible before you go to bed.” We try it; it just means absolutely nothing. A friend at work says, “You could come to a study.” You go to the study, and you’re trying your level best to get remotely excited about the thing; you can’t find a reason to even break a sweat in relationship to it. You don’t know why people are exclaiming all around you. What’s the problem? You’re dealing with it under the cloud. But if the sun parts the clouds and shines on the Scriptures and the finger points, then you’ll say, “Aha! I see it now!” That’s why when Peter says, “You are the Christ,” Jesus immediately says, “You know what? You are really blessed, Simon, son of Jonah. Because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven has disclosed it to you.”
You see, loved ones, this morning here’s the deal: we are so blind that we cannot even discover our blindness until he shows us our blindness. It’s like when you’re asleep, and someone pokes you and wakes you up, and you say to them—it’s a silly thing to say—“Was I asleep?” But it’s not really silly! Because you didn’t know you were asleep. You weren’t asleep going, “I’m asleep.” You only knew you were asleep when you wakened up. And when God wakens you up—this is perfectly logical—the same Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures, the same Holy Spirit who provided the words so that, simultaneously, without turning Luke into an automaton or Mark into an automaton, the same Holy Spirit who inspired Mark is the same Holy Spirit who illumines the minds of the readers of Mark. So suddenly we say, “Through the clouds and mist of my indolence, my ignorance, my rebellion—whatever it is—suddenly, I once was blind, but now I see.”
Can I ask you, has that happened to you? Or is the exercise of reading your Bible, of listening to me and my colleagues teach the Bible, is it simply like looking at a sundial on a cloudy day—figures that mean really nothing at all? Has the sun broken through the clouds?
You know, you might be helped, as I am helped, by just getting a book of Christmas carols and reading them. And I’m thinking particularly of the work of my present, favorite lady’s writer of children’s hymns, Cecil Frances Alexander. This will pass eventually; I’ll move on from her, but for now I’m staying with her.
And it occurred to me as I wrestled through this passage this week how thankful I am for the fact—and I’ve told you this a hundred times—for the fact that my parents exposed me to these truths even when I was a wriggling, maniacal nuisance of the highest degree. I mean, if you have any perception of me that is anything other than that, you do not know me. If you think that I was sitting in church blissfully, just saying, “Oh, pastor, what a wonderful speaker thou art,” you know… No, no, no. You know me well enough to know that’s not the case. But here’s the mystery of it all: the light penetrated through that dark darkness.
And so… Okay. This is “Once in Royal David’s City.” This is a lady writing a hymn so a child will understand the doctrine of the incarnation: “He came down to earth from heaven who is God and Lord of all.” Okay? Then she goes on to say, “And our eyes at last shall see him…” How you gonna see somebody who existed over two thousand years ago in a backwater province of the Middle East? “And our eyes at last shall see him, thro’ his own redeeming love; for that child so dear and gentle is our Lord in heav’n above.” That’s fabulous. She’s able to encapsulate the mystery of the incarnation. “Our God contracted to a span,” as Wesley put it, “incomprehensibly made man.” She takes all of the vastness of this, and she makes it palatable, at least, for the mind of a small boy or a small girl.
I haven’t really advanced any further than “Once in Royal David’s City.” When I came to the end of my studies this week, that was really where I was: “And my eyes at last shall see him, through his own redeeming love, for that child so dear and gentle is our Lord in heaven above.”
Why is this so vital? I’ll tell you why it’s so vital: because it is not only a vital question, a biblical question, and a theological question, but it is a question that has eternity hanging on it. The identity of Jesus actually matters.
My wife is an hour away, in Los Angeles, from the funeral of our dear friend, who always wanted me to be a Unitarian, because he is a Reform Jew. And in all of our discussions, the question hinged on the identity of Jesus of Nazareth: either God has entered into time in the person of Jesus of Nazareth to save and to redeem, or the Bible is the record of a lie, it is a monumental fraud, it is an elaborate hoax.
You are sensible people. Ask God to shine through the clouds of your investigation, or your aggravation, and turn all these vowels and consonants and verbs and adjectives and pronouns and prepositions, turn them into the finger that points right into the heart of your being and says, “You know what? You are a sinner, and this Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior that you need.” But if he is not the person he claimed to be, he is no more capable of saving you than I am. So now we’re with C. S. Lewis:
A man who was merely a man and said the things that Jesus said would either be a lunatic—on the level of someone claiming to be a poached egg—or he would be a madman or something worse. So you can either spit at him and call him a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but do not come to him with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great moral teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.
Difficult little passage, isn’t it?
Just a moment of silence as we respond to God’s Word, believing that when God’s Word is truly preached, that God’s voice is really heard. God saying to some of us, “You’re gonna have to start reading your Bible a bit more, thinking about things.” Cluelessness is not necessarily the best testimony. For others of us, we get the sense that somehow or another, Jesus is pulling back the corner of the curtain where the mystery is revealed, and the light shines in the darkness.
Come then, Lord, to us, we pray. Meet with us. Save us. Keep us. Fill us. Use us in this Advent season, both by good deeds and the proclaiming of good news, to tell others about this fantastic story.
And may the grace of the Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest upon and remain with all who believe, today and forevermore. Amen.
 R. Hudson Pope, “Make the Book Live to Me” (1943). Lyrics lightly altered.
 Mark 12:34 (ESV).
 See 2 Timothy 3:16.
 See Luke 1:1–4.
 Mark 10:46–47 (ESV).
 Mark 14:60–62 (ESV).
 1 John 1:1 (ESV).
 Charles Simeon, Helps to Composition; or, Six Hundred Skeletons of Sermons; Several Being the Substance of Sermons Preached before the University (Philadelphia, 1810), 2:410. Paraphrased.
 Matthew 16:16–17 (paraphrased).
 Cecil Frances Alexander, “Once in Royal David’s City” (1848).
 Charles Wesley, “Let Earth and Heaven Combine” (1745).
 C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952), bk. 2, chap. 3. Paraphrased.
Copyright © 2021, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.