41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question:
42 "What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?" They said to Him, "The son of David."
43 He said to them, "Then how does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying,
44 'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET"'?
45 "If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his son?"
46 No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.
God of Power
We've heard the Pharisees test Jesus time and time again - and every time, He has completely baffled them with His incredible wisdom. But now, He puts a stop to their arrogant questions, posing a riddle of His own to befuddle them and then proceeding with a long list of accusations and curses against them. I adore this display of our God's incredible power! With one simple question, he astounds the listeners so much that "nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question"! Studying through Matthew, we have seen so much of Jesus's "Suffering Servant" side, that the few pre-End Times glimpses we get of Him as the Mighty Conqueror are a wonderful variation. :-)
So what was Christ's objective with this question? Well, shutting the Pharisees up, obviously, but specifically: To turn their own tactic against them by demonstrating that they were the ones who didn't understand the Law - they couldn't even explain a simple seeming-contradiction!
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled...
- Matthew 23:12a
The proud look of man will be abased And the loftiness of man will be humbled, And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
- Isaiah 2:11
Pour out the overflowings of your anger, And look on everyone who is proud, and make him low. Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him, And tread down the wicked where they stand.
- Job 40:11-12
So let's look at the Old Testament passages that Jesus and the Pharisees are discussing:
- The Christ's (aka Messiah's) status as a son of David is written all over the Old Testament. For example, Jeremiah 23:5-6 reads, "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. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, 'The Lord our righteousness.'" Other good examples you might want to check out are Isaiah 11, Isaiah 9:6-7, and Ezekiel 34:23-24.
- The verse Jesus references in verse 44 of today's passage is Psalm 110:1, and if you read that entire Psalm (only 7 verses - read it!), you'll see how undeniably Messianic it is.
The quandary facing the Pharisees, then, is how the same "person" could be both David's son and his Lord. Because of the many revelations Jesus has given to Christians, we know that:
- Jesus can be David's son because when He took on human form to die for us, that body was physically descended from King David (Matthew 1, Luke 3:23-38).
- But, at the same time, Jesus is King David's spiritual ancestor, because He is the Creator of all things - God Himself!
Any questions or comments? :-)
Image credit: "Davide e Golia" by Tanzio da Varallo. Wikipedia. Public Domain in the U.S.