Theme: Jesus: Son of David, Son of God
This weeks lesson proves the authenticity of Scripture as it proclaims Jesus as Lord and King,
He said to them,
“How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,“Sit at my right hand,until I put your enemies under your feet”‘?
If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”
And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
Matthew’s account of this incident ends by saying, “from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions” (v. 22). They were silenced.
But although the Pharisees of Jesus’ day would not accept His teaching and eventually achieved His execution on the charge of blasphemy, there was another Pharisee who eventually came to accept what they would not accept and who expressed it in classic language. He was the Apostle Paul, who wrote at the beginning of his letter to the Romans about a gospel “… promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead” (vv. 2-4).
This is the mature New Testament statement of the points made by Jesus in his confrontation with the Pharisees. To begin with, there is a contrast between the two natures of the historical earthly Jesus. The first is the human nature. In the Greek text the word is sarx, meaning “flesh.” But the term is not limited to the fleshly parts of our body as in English. It means “the whole man.” This nature is contrasted with Christ’s divine nature which is described as “the Spirit of holiness.” This phrase does not refer to the Holy Spirit, though many have interpreted it that way, but to Christ’s own spiritual or divine nature, which is holy. In other words, the first important thing about this section is its clear recognition of both the human and divine natures of Jesus.
Next there is a contrast between “descendant of David” and “Son of God.” This corresponds to the earlier distinction, because “descendant of David” is linked to Jesus’ human nature (it is as a man that He was born into David’s family tree) while “Son of God” is linked to His divine nature.
The most important point is the contrast between the word “was,” the verb used in the first part of this descriptive sentence, and “declared,” which is the verb in part two. “Was” is actually the word “became” and it means that Jesus took on a form of existence that He had not had previously. Before His birth to Mary at what we call the beginning of the Christian era, Jesus was and had always been God. That is why the other verb that refers to His Godhead is “declared.” He was declared to be God. But He became man at a particular past point in history by the incarnation.
In the short compass of just these twenty-eight Greek words (forty-one in English, vv. 3-4), Paul has provided us with a Christology that unfolds in complete terms what Jesus was teaching in His question for the Pharisees. Jesus is a divine Messiah and Savior, both man and God.
The conclusion is that Jesus Christ is the very essence of Christianity. He is the Lord, and you ought to turn from all known sin and follow Him. You may dispute His claims. But if they are true, if Jesus is who He claimed to be, then there is no other reasonable or right option open to you than complete allegiance. Colonel Robert Ingersoll, the well-known agnostic, was no friend of Christianity. But he said on one occasion, though in a critical vein, “Christianity cannot live in peace with any other form of faith. If that religion be true, there is but one Savior, one inspired book and but one little narrow… path that leads to heaven.”1
That is true if Jesus is the eternal Son of God now become man for your salvation. Is He the Son of God? Is He the Savior? If He is, you ought to heed His call – the call of the gospel – and follow Him.
1 Quoted by Walter R. Martin, Essential Christianity: A Handbook of Basic Christian Doctrines (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1962), p. 23.
Why is it important for us that Jesus had two natures: human and divine?
Why can Christianity not live in peace with any other form of faith?
Why did Christ take on a human nature? Did He ever relinquish being true God?
Ask God to make you more careful about what you say-making your words His.