Monday, August 29, 2011

Matthew 22:41-46


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.

We have seen again and again that Jesus refused to allow his followers to proclaim him as the Messiah until he had taught them what Messiahship meant. Their ideas of Messiahship needed the most radical change.

The most common title of the Messiah was Son of David. Behind it was the expectation that one day a great prince would come of the line of David, who would shatter Israel's enemies and lead the people to the conquest of all nations.

The Messiah was most commonly thought of in nationalistic, political, military terms of power and glory. Here is another attempt by Jesus to alter that conception. He asked the Pharisees whose son they understood the Messiah to be: they answered, as he knew they would, "David's son." Jesus then quotes Psalm 10:1: "The Lord says to my Lord; Sit at my right hand."

All accepted that as a Messianic text. In it the first Lord is God; the second Lord is the Messiah. David calls the Messiah Lord. But, if the Messiah is David's son, how could David call his own son Lord?

The clear result of the argument is that it is not adequate to call the Messiah Son of David. He is not David's son; he is David's Lord. When Jesus healed the blind men, they called him Son of David (Matt 20:30). When he entered Jerusalem the crowds hailed him as Son of David (Matt 21:9). Jesus is here saying, "It is not enough to call the Messiah Son of David. It is not enough to think of him as a Prince of David's line and an earthly conqueror. You must go beyond that, for the Messiah is David's Lord."

What did Jesus mean? He can have meant only one thing--that the true description of him is Son of God. Son of David is not an adequate title; only Son of God will do. And, if that be so, Messiahship is not to be thought of in terms of Davidic conquest, but in terms of divine and sacrificial love. Here, then, Jesus makes his greatest claim. In him there came, not the earthly conqueror who would repeat the military triumphs of David, but the Son of God who would demonstrate the love of God upon his Cross-His sacrificial love for the entire world.