Theme: Jesus: Son of David, Son of God
This weeks lesson proves the authenticity of Scripture as it proclaims Jesus as Lord and King,
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 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.
Few things are more deeply instilled into the American way of thinking than the notion of fair play. “It’s my turn; you’ve had the ball long enough,” children say when they argue on the playground. Everyone should pay his fair share, politicians say when they want to raise taxes. Ruth Graham, the wife of evangelist Billy Graham, wrote a book titled My Turn.
Well, now it was Jesus’ turn. Not that the Pharisees, Sadducees, or other experts in the law wanted to be fair, of course. They were trying to trap him in his words (Matthew 22:15). They had come to him with three very sticky questions: “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not” (v. 17); “Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her” (v. 28); and “Which is the greatest commandment in the law” (v. 36). They had trouble with these matters themselves, but Jesus answered their questions easily with words that settled each of these issues forever: 1) Yes, it is right to pay taxes; but it also necessary to pay God what we owe him; 2) Yes, there is a resurrection; but it will transcend the physical relationships we know now and 3) The law is summarized in these commandments: first, love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, and second, love your neighbor as yourself.
But now it was Jesus’ turn. Turning to the Pharisees, who were his most persistent interrogators and chief enemies, Jesus asked, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
They thought the answer was easy. “The son of David” they replied. This was a correct answer because of the many Old Testament promises that one of David’s natural descendants would sit on his throne forever.
Jesus continued his questions.
“How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,
“‘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 can he be his son” (Matthew 22:41-46; see Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44).
This turned an apparently easy question into a profound and searching question. No father calls a son his “lord.” Sons are subservient to fathers. Therefore, if David called his natural physical descendent (the Messiah) his Lord, it could only be because the One to come would somehow be greater than David was, and the only way that could happen is if the Messiah were more than a mere man. He would have to be a divine Messiah, that is, God. This did not fit in with the Pharisees expectation of who the Messiah should be or what he should do, so they were silenced.
How did Jesus response to the Pharisees to stump them?
When answering the Pharisee’s questions, Christ looked to the heart of the matter and addressed the issue behind the question.
Study Mark 12:35-37 and Luke 20:41-44 as correlating passages to this one.