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Now it's time for Jesus to turn the tables and ask a question of his own. It's designed not for a preconceived answer but to make us brainstorm possibilities that we never thought of before.
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?" They said to Him, "The Son of David."
He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."'
"If David calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his Son?" And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.
Matthew 22:41-46 NKJV, condensed
Psalm 110 --A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD said to my Lord,"Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."2 The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
King David's "Lord"
David was not perfect, but his love for God was life-long, personal and honest. He described his God in many ways, usually prefixed by the pronoun "my". "The LORD is my shepherd . . ." is probably his most famous. Others include rock, fortress, light, salvation, strength, hiding place, shield . . . . King David's identity, security, future--everything was connected to his relationship with the King of his life.
When you read the Psalms, David sounds totally dependent upon his God who creates, delivers and forever sustains. David sings with gratitude for God's loving kindness and tender mercies. When God hid his face, David's source of life dried up! Without him, David's vitality was nil; yet in the strength of his Lord, David could accomplish the impossible.
David committed the sufferings of his life to God's greater wisdom. Over time, he came to believe God's displeasure was evidence of God's great love because it led him to repentance and reconciliation, and from death to life. David knew the things that pleased God--righteousness, justice, compassion, faithfulness, humility, trust, thanksgiving and praise--and he endeavored to keep these things foremost in his mind and on his agenda.
King David lived a thousand years before the time of Jesus, yet he was still very much alive in the hearts and minds of the faithful. Prophecy indicated a son of David would reign forever. We are familiar with the terms Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ. All these refer to the promised Savior. The Gospel writers believed Jesus fulfilled that promise.
But as his 3-year ministry came to a close, people still were not fully convinced who Jesus of Nazareth was. Many people believed. But how could they be sure? The religious leadership certainly didn't buy it. They were even now plotting to have Jesus removed from the scene, because they thought their little world would be better off, more safe, without the rebel rouser.
So when these authorities realized they could not trap Jesus with their questions, it was Jesus' turn to ask one. He asked, "What do you think about the Christ?" That was the hard part. "Whose son was he?" That was the easy part. Of course, the Christ will be David's son. "But how then is it that David calls him Lord?"" It's not natural for a father to be subject to and serve his son.
The Messiah question hardly seems like a burning issue to us but it struck at the core of Judaism and left the experts speechless. Although the familiar Son of David concept was etched into their thinking, it was only a limited part of the truth. God's Anointed One would be so much more than a mighty military leader like their forefather David.
Sometimes it's necessary to unlearn some things before new learning can occur. Rigid beliefs must be suspended before the fuller picture can emerge. Just ahead lay the doorway through which Jesus would transform all expectations.
Jesus, son of David was David's Lord! And if he was King David's Lord, the Pharisees and the people in the crowd could believe with confidence that Jesus wanted to be their Lord also. Yet not until after the resurrection would his followers begin to understand that Jesus was descended from David according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit he was the Lord of glory, too.
The pilgrims in the temple courts that day could be assured, they hadn't seen nothing yet! In I Corinthians 2:9, the apostle Paul wrote, "Eye has not seen, nor ear hear, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him." Through misty eyes, the Old and New Testament heroes of faith caught a glimpse of the future and shivered in their shoes as they pondered the possibilities and wonders of our God.
Their ancient words are forever new and stand as a model for us as we face tomorrow, next year and look off into the distance. Jesus calls us to unlearn our fears and limitations, and renew our minds with God's infinite prospects and surprises.
Use the following questions for small groups, journaling, further study or reflection.
Icebreaker: Name some possibilities that are looming in your future.
In a group brainstorm, try to resolve a problem that is a currently in your local newspaper. What ideas did you hear that were new to you? Did you reach any conclusions? What new questions did you (plural) raise?
Which do you like better--answers or questions? Explain your choice. What questions about faith do you wish Jesus had answered?
State 3 words which describe your love for God.And three things you know about the book of Psalms in the Old Testament.Which is your favorite Old Testament story about David?
It had been easy to see that David was anointed by God because he won military victories and successfully secured his people. What did Jesus have to prove his credentials?
There would be no further exchange between Jesus and the religious leaders of Jerusalem. They were silenced. But it wasn't a peaceful silence, it was deadly. Why do you think their differences could never be resolved? What prevented the Pharisees from believing that Jesus was the Messiah all Judea was hoping for?
Discuss the distance between believing Jesus to be the Messiah and wanting Jesus to be Lord of your life? Is it a journey, a leap, or what?
Near the end of John's Gospel and after the resurrection of Jesus, the disciple Thomas touched the wounds of Jesus and declared, "my Lord and my God." What was the closest you ever came to having an experience like that?
When Jesus becomes Lord of our lives, what impact does that make? How did your life change? What does it mean for you to say, "Jesus is Lord!" Have you asked Jesus to rule your thoughts, relationships and all you do?
Faith is a different way of knowing things. Explain what that statement means?