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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
October 7, 2018
Introduction & Review
For the last few weeks we have been examining Jesus’ answer to a question asked of Him by a lawyer that was meant to test Him. “Teacher, what is the great commandment in the law.” The lawyer who asked was genuinely interested in Jesus’ answer, but the Pharisees who had put him up to asking the question wanted it to embroil Jesus in a common theological debate about which of the Mosaic Laws were actually important, and by implication, others would not be. Their hope was that no matter what He said, Jesus would lose favor with those that thought some other law was more important. They misjudged Jesus again, for His answer was so good that it received the praise of the lawyer sent to trip Him up. Jesus again magnified Himself by the wisdom of His answer. (See: The Greatest Commandments)
Jesus gave two answers to the question, for the law can be divided into two distinct areas. Those that pertain to man’s relationship with God, and those that pertain to man’s relation to other people.
Jesus said that the great and foremost commandment is what came from the shema in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord Our God Is One Lord; 30 and You Shall Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart, and with All Your Soul, and with All Your Mind, and with All Your Strength.” This command is not only the basis of every command related to your relationship with God, but it requires that every aspect of what it makes you human is to be totally dedicated to loving God, our Creator. It involves all of your will, all of your emotions, all of your thoughts, and to a degree of excess that it takes up all of your strength.
This command is impossible for a human to keep, and that magnifies the Lord’s mercy and grace to justify, redeem, forgive, and adopt us sinful creatures into His family on the basis of simple faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. While even Christians cannot keep this command, the difference is that because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, believers want to keep it and are able to keep it to a limited extend by the Spirit’s power. We look forward to the day when our redemption is complete at Christ’s return and we are transformed to be like Him and will then be able to love God in this manner. (See: Love for God)
Jesus continued on to give the second greatest commandment which comes from Leviticus 19:18, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This commandment is the basis for every law concerning human relationships with one another. To love your neighbor as yourself means you extend to others the same thoughtfulness and care you do for yourself. It carries out the golden rule of treating others the way you would like them to treat you. There is an even higher level of this for Christians, for we are to love one another as Jesus has loved us (John 13:34), and we are to regard others as more important than ourselves and look out for their interests with the same humility and love Christ has demonstrated (Philippians 2:3-8). This also is a command that is impossible to keep, but by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, the Christian moves in that direction as he becomes conformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:28; Philippians 1:6). (See: Loving Your Neighbor)
One of the exciting aspects of the Christian life is this change that God makes in you as He removes your inherent selfishness to replace it with a selfless and sacrificial love for others that reflects Christ in you. God takes wretched sinners and converts and transforms them into gracious saints. That is why Jesus points to this love for one another as the evidence by which all men will know that you are His disciple. If that lacks in your life so that others do not know you are follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, then you need to become serious about maturing in your faith and walk with Him, or perhaps you need heed Paul’s admonition in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. There cannot be anything more tragic than to go through life thinking you are a Christian and therefore saved from Hell only to find that Jesus rebukes and rejects you in the end saying to depart from Him for He never knew you because you were never saved from sin (Matthew 7:21-23).
Another exciting aspect of the Christian life is that God does not leave you on our own to carry out His commands. Not only does the Holy Spirit indwell the believer, but God also makes us part of the church, the body of Christ, so that Christians help one other become mature. This is done by practicing the “one another commands” and using our spiritual gifts for the benefit of the whole body.
Jesus Goes on the Offensive – Matthew 22:41
Jesus has been responding to challenges since He arrived at the temple that morning. The Scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees and even the Herodians have all tried to find a way to discredit Him by asking shrewd questions. Jesus skillfully answered each one in such a way that His reputation as a man of truth who is showing the way to God was enhanced to those that heard, while at the same time those who were challenging Him were put to shame as being ignorant of the law and lacking in moral character.
It is a little unclear whether the Pharisees, who had gathered together earlier after Jesus had silenced the Sadducees (Matthew 22:34), may have come near to Jesus to hear how He would answer the question from the lawyer, or if they had remained at a distance to give the lawyer a better opportunity to appear independent from them. Either way, whether they were already standing close by and Jesus just turned His attention to them, or if Jesus went over to where they were standing, Jesus is now going on the offensive again and He challenges them with a question.
Matthew 22:41, Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?”
The Dilemma – Matthew 22:41-42
This is a profound question that goes to the central issue of all evangelism. Who is Jesus Christ? Is He who He claims to be or something else? Over the centuries there have been many that said He was something else. He has been called many things, not all of them nice, including: just a good teacher, a great philosopher, an important historical figure, the founder of a great world religion, the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier, a demented man lead astray by visions of grandeur, a man caught in a tragedy. The very people that Jesus was asking this question had previously said that Jesus was empowered by Satan.
Who is Jesus? Central to that question is His origin, for if you determine who his father is, then you will able to identify Him. The Christ, whose son is He?
Notice that Jesus does not ask them directly who they think He is, for they have said in the past what they thought of that. In John 8:41 they said to Jesus, “We are not born of fornication; we have one father, God.” The direct implication being they thought Jesus was born of fornication. So instead of asking them what they believed about Him, He asks who is the father of the Messiah (Christ is simply the Greek word for Messiah). Jesus is exposing the underlying issue to why they refused to believe that He was God’s son. Jesus claimed to be both God’s son and the Messiah, but they rejected that in part because they did not believe that the Messiah, the Christ, would be God incarnate.
Jesus’ question is, “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is he?” Their answer is, “The son of David.” They misunderstood much of the Hebrew scriptures, but they did at least understand this aspect of the identity of the Messiah. He would be “Son of David,” which they did understand was a messianic term. They understood from the promise given to David in 2 Samuel 7 that the promised Messiah would have to come from his line. The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel also all told of an heir of David’s that would sit on his throne forever. That is why both Matthew and Luke are careful to record the genealogy of Jesus tracing directly to king David. Luke 3:31 records that Mary is a direct descendent of David through his son, Nathan. Jesus is in the direct blood line of David through Mary. Matthew, who emphasizes Jesus as the Messiah and King, records that Jesus’ inherits the right to David’s throne as the legal son of Joseph who is a direct descendent of David through Solomon and the Judean kings.
In one sense it is amazing that they answered Jesus so quickly that the Christ would be “the son of David,” for that phrase had been applied to Jesus just two days earlier when Jesus entered Jerusalem and the multitudes and shouted to Him, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” The Pharisees who were in that crowd did not like that for Hosanna means, “save us we pray.” Joining with the Messianic title, “son of David,” they were crying out, “save us we pray, Messiah.”
The Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples,” but Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:39-40). It was only the previous day that the children in the temple shouted the same thing to Him, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” That made the chief priests and the scribes indignant, and they challenged Jesus saying, “do you hear what these children are saying.” Jesus responded by telling them that God had prepared for Himself praise from the young children. In other words, on both occasions, Jesus made it plain that He was accepting what the people and the children were saying because it was true. The title, “son of David,” applied to Jesus, and the Pharisees did not like that, but now they answer Jesus quickly stating that the Messiah is the son of David.
It is another occasion when they declare what is true before they recognize the implication. If the title, “son of David,” applies to Jesus, and Jesus claims that it does, then Jesus is the Messiah. But the Pharisees rejected that possibility due to their pre-conceived and tightly held notions that the Messiah would be a conquering hero that would through off Roman oppression and set up Jerusalem as the capital of a revived kingdom that would surpass Solomon’s. That was not wild speculation on their part, but an accurate understanding of the many predictions of the Jewish prophets about the coming of Messiah. In addition, they fully expected to personally benefit when the Messiah would come. They could not reconcile the fact that Jesus was not throwing off the Roman oppression and He was opposing and exposing them as the religious hypocrites they really were.
They also had another dilemma. The Pharisees knew that the Christ was to be a descendent of David, but Jesus claimed to be both the Christ, Son of David, and the Son of God. How could He be both? How could the Messiah also be the Son of David? They expected many things of the promised Messiah, but somehow they had missed the fact that Messiah would also be deity. They considered Jesus to be a lunatic, an illegitimate child who was empowered by Satan.
Jesus answered this dilemma in Matthew 22:43-45 by presenting to them a truth that was beyond anything they had considered before, and tragically, beyond what they were willing to believe. Jesus was both Son of God and son of David for Messiah existed prior to David and yet was also His descendent.
He said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put Thine enemies beneath Thy feet”’? “If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?”
The quote is taken from Psalm 110:1 which is a Psalm written by David, and as Jesus states here, David wrote this Psalm by the Holy Spirit. This was not just some poetic musings of David, but God the Holy Spirit revealed divine truth though David, and the truth revealed was a conversation that took place in heaven. The first “Lord” mentioned is the covenant name for God, which we usually pronounce as either Jehovah or Yahweh. The second “Lord” refers to “David’s Lord,” which Jesus indicates is the Christ. That may not be so clear in your English text unless your version has put the first “LORD” in all capital letters and the second “lord” in lower case. This is very clear in the Hebrew text for they are two distinct words. Remember that the Jews very careful not to actually say out loud God’s covenant name lest they take it in vain. They developed the practice that whenever they came to God’s covenant name in any text, they would simply say adoni, the Hebrew word for lord, instead of Yahweh. The better English translations follow suit by putting references to the name Yahweh in all capital letters so you will know what is actually written.
David then, writing by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, reveals that Yahweh said to the Messiah, “Sit at My right hand until I put Thine enemies beneath Thy feet.” Or to explain it another way, God the Father told God the Son to sit at His right side until all His enemies were subdued and brought into subjugation before Him. That will in fact occur, which Philippians 2:10-11 describes will be when “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” But Jesus’ point here is that David called the Messiah his Lord before the Messiah had become His son. The Christ existed prior to David and was his lord, yet the Christ was also the direct descendent of David. How could that be?
There is only one way that could be. The Christ would have to be something much more than a mere man. That is exactly what Jesus claimed of Himself. He was much more than just a man for He existed prior to becoming a man and was in fact equal with God. This comes up in several places. One of the most direct is John 8:58 where Jesus tells them, “Before Abraham was, I Am,” using the very name God gave for Himself to Moses. Moses asked who he would tell the sons of Israel was sending him to them, and God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’ ” (Exodus 3:14). Jesus existed prior not only to David, but Abraham as well for He is the “I AM.”
The Christ could not be just mere man, but must also be God who became a man. In a couple of months we will celebrate Christmas, and that is what that holiday is all about. It is not about a baby in a manger in Bethlehem. It is not about Mary and Joseph. It is not about Angels singing to shepherds. It is not about wise men coming from the East. All that is important, but it is all secondary to what had occurred. God the Creator had become a creature, a human. The name Immanuel declares that same truth for it means, “God with us.” God in human flesh was here. The promise of redemption was unfolding before their very eyes as they saw Jesus in the manger. David’s Lord who existed before him has arrived as David’s descendent son.
Silent Pharisees – Matthew 22:46
The Pharisees that had faced off with Jesus finally realized that Jesus was more than their match. Matthew 22:46 states that “no one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.” There would be no more shrewd questions trying to trip up Jesus. They were now afraid of Him. It is not that they could not answer Him, for the answer to Jesus’ question is obvious. David could call the Christ ‘Lord’ even though He would be David’s descendent because the Christ would be God in human flesh. They could have answered, but they refused to answer, for the answer was a rebuke to their false beliefs, and they refused to believe the truth.
Who is Jesus? Whose Son is He? Jesus’ claim is clear and direct. He is the Son of David, but He has no earthly father. He is the Son of God and the son of Mary. He is fully God and fully man. He is the miracle of the virgin conceiving a child by the power of the Holy Spirit. The One who has eternally existed entered time and space. That is Jesus’ claim. That is what the Scriptures teach. What do you say? How do you respond? What do you believe?
The religious leaders of Jesus day rejected Jesus’ claim. The majority of people presently alive and the majority of people that have ever lived have rejected Jesus’ claim. They have called Jesus many different things, some nice, some not so nice, some profane, but they will not call Him Lord. What will you call Him?
Additional Proof of Jesus’ Deity
Perhaps you are not quite sure what to do with Jesus. While this text makes the case that Jesus existed before David and later became David’s descendant, the argument seems confusing, and in fact, the whole idea of existing before birth and God becoming a man seems confusing because it is outside normal human experience. Let me quickly give you some of the additional evidence that Jesus is both God and man as He claims. The deity of Jesus Christ is foundational to the gospel message and the salvation it brings to those who will believe, and I would like you to be able believe instead of remaining confused.
It is not uncommon for those that are Biblically ignorant to say that Jesus did not claim to be God. Here are few passages in addition to our text for this morning in which Jesus claims deity. At just 12 years old, Jesus recognized and claimed God as His Father (Luke 2:49). He asserted His pre-existence in both John 8:58 and 17:5. He
Many other Scriptures also claim Jesus to be deity. The prophet Isaiah said He would be Immanuel, God with us, in Isaiah 7:14(cf Matt. 1:22f) and the Mighty God in Isaiah 9:6. The apostle John states the Word was God, the Word became flesh and that He is the only begotten God ( John 1:1,14,18). The apostle Paul makes many statements in reference to Jesus deity including that to be saved you must confess that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9-10), that Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), he identifies Christ Jesus as our great God and Savior (Titus 2:13). Hebrews 1:1-3 asserts that God’s son is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature. The apostle Peter refers to Jesus as our God and savior (2 Peter 1:1). 1 John 5:20 states that Jesus is “the true God.”
Jesus also made divine claims including: To have authority over laws and institutions of God in Matthew 12:6; to be the object of saving faith in John 17:3; to have met in Himself all spiritual & eternal needs of humanity in John 7:37 & 14:6; and to be equal with God in John 8:24,58; and 10:30 (“one” is neuter).
Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14 and Deuteronomy 6:13-14 make it very clear that only the Lord God is to be worshiped. Jesus even quoted this same law in Matthew 4:10. Yet Jesus received the worship of many people and did not rebuke them including the apostles in the boat on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:33), Simon Peter after the miraculous catch of fish (Luke 5:8), and women at the garden tomb after His resurrection (Matt. 28:9), and Thomas when he finally saw the resurrected Christ (John 20:28). Related to this, in John 5:23 Jesus said that all are to honor the Son even as they Honor the Father, and in John 14:1 He told His disciples, believe in God, believe also in Me.
Jesus has the offices of deity. He is the creator according to John 1:3 (All things came into being by Him…), John 1:10 (the world was made through Him), Colossians 1:16 (by Him all things were created) and Hebrews 1:2 (through whom also He made the world). He is also the preserver of all things for in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17) and He upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).
Jesus has the prerogatives of deity. He forgave sins such as the woman in Luke 7:47f , and He healed the paralytic man as proof of his authority to forgive sins (Matthew 9:2-7 ; Mark 2:7-10; Luke 5:20-24). All judgment has been given to Jesus (John 5:22) for He has also been given all authority in heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18; Luke 10:22; John 3:35). Jesus demonstrated His authority over life and death by raising the widow’s son (Luke 7:12-16), Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:35-43) and Lazarus (John 11:38-44). That gives confidence He will be able to keep His promise to raise up those who believe in Him and give them eternal life (John 6:39-40,54), for His claim to Martha in John 11:25 is true, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
Finally, Jesus has the attributes of deity. Colossians 2:9 makes a general statement that “in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” but there are also many specific attributes displayed. Jesus is eternal for He was in beginning with God (John 1:1-2). He was with the Father “before the world was” John 17:5,24. He is the Alpha & Omega (Revelation 1:8; 22:13) and He is called Eternal Father in Isaiah 9:6
Jesus claims omnipresence in promising to be with us always in Matthew 28:20 and in our midst in Matthew 18:20. His omniscience is demonstrated in knowing the thoughts of men (Luke 6:8; 11:17; John 2:24-25), the history of the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. He accepted the statements of others that He knew all things (John 16:30; John 21:17). He knew the time and manner of His death before it happened (Matthew 16:21; John 12:33; 13:1). He knows the character and end of the present age (Matthew 24 & 25). Hebrews 1:10-12 and 13:8 claims Jesus to be immutable for is the same yesterday, today, forever.
Jesus omnipotence was demonstrated by His many miracles. He had power over nature being able to transmute elements by turning water into wine (John 2:3-11), miraculously calmed the wind and the sea instantly (Luke 8:24-25), and causing the fig tree to wither at once (Matthew 21:19). Jesus had power over all diseases including high fevers (Luke 4:38-41), leprosy (Matthew 8:1-3), paralyzation (Matthew 8:5-13), paralytics (Matthew 9:6-8); restoring a withered hand (Luke 6:6-8), the crippled and the lame (Matthew 15:30), the blind (John 9), the deaf (Mark 7:32-37), the mute (Matthew 9:32-33), and as already mentioned, gave life back to the dead. He also had power over the supernatural with authority to command both angels (Matthew 13:41) and demons (Mark 5:11-15).
The testimony of the Scriptures are clear as is the historical record of the gospel accounts. Jesus is God in human flesh. His claims of deity are backed up having the attributes, authority, offices and prerogatives that belong only to God.
If you reject Jesus’ claim and agree with the majority, you will continue on the same broad path which they are on that leads to eternal destruction (Matthew 7:13). You have been warned. You need to repent.
If you accept His claim and call Him Lord, recognizing that He is God in human flesh. Then there are a lot of ramifications. The first is humbling yourself before Him to believe His claims and promises to receive forgiveness for sin and eternal life. The second is to submit yourself to His authority and learning to live your life for His kingdom and glory instead of your own. It is a radically different life – and there is no better life for the present and for eternity.
Introduction & Review
The first & great commandment is to _______the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength
The _________________humans keeping the command magnifies the mercy & grace of God to redeem man
The second great commandment it to love your __________as yourself
Christians are to meet a ______________standard of loving others as Christ has loved us
God is continually at work ____________Christians to become more like Jesus including loving one another
The Holy Spirit ___________Christians to obey Him, and being part of the body of Christ helps the process
Jesus Goes on the Offensive – Matthew 22:41
The religious leaders ___________to discredit Jesus despite their considerable efforts to entrap Him
The Pharisees who had gathered together earlier are still together, and Jesus now ______________them
The Dilemma – Matthew 22:41-42
Central to the true identification of Jesus is His ___________- Whose Son is He?
Jesus asks the Pharisees ______________about His identity for they had made false accusations against Him
They ___________answer that Christ is the son of David before they thought about the ramifications of that
The term “son of David” had been applied to _____the previous two days – the irritating the religious leaders
They ____________Jesus being the Messiah because He did not fit their preconceived ideas about Him
They did not understand that the Christ would be _____, so they rejected the son of David as the Son of God
Psalm 110:1 – written by David by the __________________
The first “Lord” mentioned is the covenant __________for God – the second “Lord” is David’s lord
The “Lord” (Yahweh) said to David’s Lord (the ____________) . . .
Christ can be David’s son and yet exist before David ____________ Christ was more than a mere man
Jesus existed __________ He was born as a human – John 8:58
The Christ must be _________ who became a man
Silent Pharisees – Matthew 22:46
The Pharisees could not answer Jesus because they ____________ to believe the truth
Jesus’ claim is clear that He is __________ fully God and fully man
Additional Proof of Jesus’ Deity
Jesus made divine claims: ______________of laws and institutions – Matthew 12:6. To be the object of saving faith – John 17:3; to meet in Himself all spiritual & eternal needs of humanity – John 7:37; 14:6. To be equal with God – John 8:24,58; and 10:30
Jesus received and accepted ______________(reserved only for God) from: Apostles – Matthew 14:33. Simon Peter – Luke 5:8. The women at the tomb – 28:9. Thomas – John 20:28. Jesus called for them to honor Him as they did the Father – John 14:1.
Jesus has the ______________of deity. He can forgive sins (Luke 7:47f; Matt. 9:2-7). All judgment belongs to Him (John 5:22). He has all authority (Matt. 28:18). He has authority over life and death (Luke 7:12-16). He is the “resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).
Jesus has the __________________of deity. In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells – Col. 2:9. He was in the beginning with God before the world began – John 1:1-2; 17:5, 24. He is the Alpha & Omega – Revelation 1:8; 22:13, and He is called Eternal Father – Isaiah 9:6
Jesus claims to be _______________(Matthew 18:20; 28:20)
Jesus demonstrated _________by knowing the thoughts of men (Luke 6:8; 11:17; John 2:24-25), the history of the Samaritan woman (John 4), the time and manner of His death before it happened (Matthew 16:21; John 12:33; 13:1), and the character and end of the present age (Matthew 24 & 25)
Jesus’ _____________was demonstrated by His many miracles: Power over nature – turning water into wine (John 2:3-11), calming wind and sea (Luke 8:24-25), and causing the fig tree to wither (Matthew 21:19)
Jesus could ____________every disease: high fevers (Luke 4:38-41), leprosy (Matthew 8:1-3), paralyzation (Matt. 8:5-13; 9:6-8); restoring a withered hand (Luke 6:6-8), the crippled and the lame (Matt. 15:30), the blind (John 9), the deaf (Mark 7:32-37), the mute (Matthew 9:32-33), and raise the dead (John 11)
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the word “love” is used. 2) Discuss with your parents about how well you love others and how that can improve.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Is it possible for a human to keep the first and second great commandments (Matthew 22:37-40)? Why or why not? If is not possible, how can Christians keep from being discouraged by their failure? What is the difference between loving your neighbor as yourself and loving others as Christ has loved you? Where is Jesus when He confronts the Pharisees? Why does He ask them whose son is the Christ instead of asking them who they thought He was? Why would they answer, the son of David? What prophecy does that come from? How does Jesus fulfill it? That term was applied to Jesus, why then did the Pharisees reject Jesus’ being the Messiah? What were they looking for in a Messiah? Why does Jesus quote of Psalm 110:1 both create a dilemma for them and a solution for the identification of Jesus as both the son of David and the Son of God? Who is the first “Lord” in Psalm 110:1? Who is the second “Lord”? How can Jesus both the Son of God that existed before David and David descendant? Why do the Pharisees keep silent instead of answering Jesus’ question? How would you answer His question? Whom do you believe Jesus to be? Why is the question of Jesus’ deity critical to salvation? What are some of the other additional proofs of Jesus deity? Which ones are the most convincing to you?
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