Let's open to Matthew 22:41-46, “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: 44 ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’ 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.”
“What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” This is the most important question of all questions. When it comes to opinions about Jesus Christ, the world has a variety of suggestions. For instance, about 100 A.D. the Jews wrote this of Jesus, "Jesus practiced magic and led Israel astray." Julian the Apostate who ruled the Roman Empire from 361 to 363 wrote this: "Jesus has now been celebrated about 300 years, having done nothing in His lifetime worthy of fame, unless anyone thinks that it is a very great work to heal lame and blind people and exercise demoniacs in Bethsaida and Bethany.”
The Jewish leaders of that time said Jesus did what He did by the power of the devil himself. But for the most part, humanity has been somewhat condescending to Jesus, somewhat patronizing, somewhat complimentary. Some of the great philosophers of the world have looked at Jesus as the best of men. Rousseau wrote, "When Plato describes his imaginary righteous man loaded with all the punishments of guilt yet meriting the highest rewards of virtue, he describes the character of Jesus.”
But the other side of all of that is the denial that He is more than the best of men. And it has always been that Christianity has found its most violent detractors and its most aggressive attackers coming at the deity of Jesus Christ. The major emphasis of those who deny the reality of Christianity is to attack the deity of Jesus Christ, that He is a man and nothing more.
Christian Science teaches that Jesus was a mere man who demonstrated a divine idea but His blood cleanses nothing. The Mormons say He is the spirit brother of Lucifer, the devil. Scientology teaches that Christ achieved as a man, "A state of clear but not the highest state of an operating thetan." The Unification Church leader, Sun Yung Moon says Christ must achieve perfection and He will do it by marrying and having perfect babies. The Unitarians teach that Christ was a man.
All false religious systems cannot accept the deity of Jesus Christ. And that is where the battle lines are ultimately drawn in terms of the Christian faith. These misrepresentations and misconceptions are not new, they even existed in the time of Jesus Christ. And they are essentially behind the scenes in this text. The Jews believed in a non-deity Messiah, who would be a human political military leader. And this text comes as a correction to that serious error.
Now this is still Wednesday in Matthew 22 of the Passion Week, Christ will be crucified on Friday to rise on Sunday. He preaches and teaches the Kingdom. He is stopped in Matthew 21:23 by the Jewish authorities who ask Him, "By what authority do You do this? Who gave You that authority?" He doesn't answer their question, but He does give them three judgment in the form of parables saying to them, "You are shut out of the Kingdom of God and others are going to be put in there in your place."
They are incensed by the fact that He teaches contrary to them. They're incensed because He has power that they don't have. They're incensed that He has popularity with the people that they can't seem to attain. They want to get rid of Him. And so they come back at Him with three questions meant to discredit Him. But the questions did not discredit Jesus, they all discredited only the ones who asked them.
They are still huddled there in the midst of the temple courtyard surrounded by all the people with Jesus as the focus of attention. And for the last time personally Jesus confronts them. His confrontation is a pronouncement where He says to them you thought Messiah would be just a man, I'm telling you Messiah is also God and your failure to understand that is the cause of your judgment. You ask Me by what authority I did these things, now I am telling you that I am also God.
But there is more to it than that. There is also an invitation here because not all the Pharisees rejected Christ as some. Jesus said to the lawyer, as recorded in Mark 12:34, "You are not far from the Kingdom." So there must have been more who were close to salvation and for whom the information about the deity of Jesus Christ could bring them to the knowledge of Christ.
Notice what Jesus asked in verse 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ?” Now Jesus is not asking about Himself, it is indirect. He is not saying I am the Christ. He is asking them for a Messianic identification. Christ is really a New Testament term for the Old Testament term of "Messiah." “Whose Son is He?”
Look at their answer in verse 42, “They said to Him, the son of David." Any Jew would have given that reply. That's what all the scribes taught. They got it from the Old Testament in 2 Samuel 7:12-13, where God says this, “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
But there will be coming a seed out of the loins of David, some life in the Davidic line that is going to have an eternal Kingdom. He will be a Son of David. And from 2 Samuel on, the Jewish people knew that it would be David's son who would be the one to reign and rule as the anointed, the Christ, the Messiah. Psalm 89:3-4 says, “I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David 4 Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations.’”
And in Matthew 9:27 we will hear this cry to Jesus, "Have mercy upon me, O Son of David." We find in Matthew 20, the two blind men in Jericho cry the same thing, "Have mercy upon us, O Son of David." They were calling out to Jesus as the Messiah. When Jesus in Matthew 12:22 healed many people, in verse 23 all the people were amazed and said, is this not the Son of David? That was a Messianic title. When Jesus rode on a donkey into the city of Jerusalem, they cried "Son of David, Son of David."
And that is why Matthew presents Jesus Christ's genealogy in Matthew 1. He starts out the gospel with the genealogy of Jesus Christ as the Son of David, and then he traces the entire genealogy from Abraham through David down to Joseph to Christ. In other words, David sets in motion a line which resulted in the birth of Messiah. Luke 3 does the same thing through Mary, and it indicated that this is indeed a son of David, because both his father and mother were in the Davidic family.
They could have disqualified Jesus as being the Messiah if they could have proven that He did not have a Davidic genealogy, right? And we know well that they have checked this. In the temple they kept records on the genealogy of everyone. In fact, the records were kept so well that everyone knew their genealogy. And because they never brought it up indicates that in fact He was from the line of David. Therefore was qualified humanly to be the King of Israel.
But their answer, as right as it was, was inadequate. It was correct but it fell short of the full answer. They were really saying to Him, "Who do You think You are, letting people call You Son of David? That Messianic title is too great for You." And He is saying no, it is too a small a title for Me. David had many sons, thousands of descendants. How was one to be distinguished above Solomon, or above Joseph the father of our Lord?
The Lord responds by presenting them something that is infinite and incomprehensible. Verse 43, "He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ The word "Lord," kurios, a common word in the Greek, is used many times in the New Testament for deity, it's the title of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now in the Old Testament the word there for Lord is Adonay. That too in the Old Testament is a title for God.
So, Jesus says if Messiah is only David's son, as a human, how is it then that David calls Him Lord God, as deity? Look at verse 43 again. "How then does David in the Spirit call the Messiah Lord?" When David called the Messiah Lord he was in the Spirit. Revelation 1:10 also talks about John being in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. It means to be under the control of the Spirit. Compare Mark 12:36, the comparative passage, where the Savior said, "How then does David in the Holy Spirit call Him Lord?"
So in verse 44 Jesus quotes directly from Psalm 110:1, "The Lord said to my Lord.” David wrote that Psalm, "The Lord (Yahweh) said to my David’s Lord (Adonay), sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” Two Lords here are speaking together. And Jesus used Psalm 110:1 because they all agreed that it was a Messianic Psalm. In fact, Psalm 110 is the most often quoted Psalm in the New Testament; it is quoted by Peter, Paul and the writer of Hebrews. And in all three gospels Matthew, Mark and Luke, this Psalm is attributed to David by Jesus.
Now what is the Lord saying? Anybody who wants to eliminate the deity of Christ has to deal with this verse. When the Lord says David calls the Messiah Lord in this Psalm, the Lord Jesus is interpreting this Psalm for us and He is telling us three things. Number one, the Psalm is Messianic because David is talking about Messiah. Secondly, Jesus is saying David wrote that Psalm even though you don't see David's name as the author. Thirdly, Jesus affirms the deity of Messiah. That is its intent.
And what did God say to David's Lord? Verse 44, "The Lord God said to my Lord, the Messiah, the Christ, Sit at My right hand." God the Father Himself, the Yahweh of Israel, the Creator of the universe, has designated a position of rank for the Messiah that brings Him to His own right hand and puts Him in a co-equal place of power and authority with Himself, declaring His deity. That is why the writer of Hebrews says that God has lifted Christ and placed Him at His right hand.
Now the right hand of God is the place of power and authority and might. And that authority and power is invincible because it also says in Psalm 110:1, "Till I make Your enemies your footstool." In other words, I will subjugate everything under You. There may be Christ-deniers, there may be enemies of the Kingdom but ultimately I will take all those enemies and they will become Your footstool. Christ will put His feet on their necks. And that was the sign of the defeated foe.
Verse 45, "If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his Son?" This is a riddle they can't answer, verse 46, "And no man was able to answer Him a word." And they couldn't answer Him because they would not acknowledge what was clear out of that passage and that was that He had to be God as well as man. Only that way can He be son of David and David's Lord at the same time. Psalm 110, one of their favorites, has that all right there.
Now where does it connect up with Jesus? Well they knew He was the son of David, having checked His genealogy. Did they now have enough evidence to know He was also the Son of God? Jesus did so many things to prove He was God, they had to fight the obvious to conclude anything other than that. John 20:30-31 says, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
The essence of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is the God-man. Regardless of what these cults and all these liberals say, that is to deny the very heart of the Christian faith and to make out yourself as a fool when the Scripture is so abundantly clear. If there were nothing else in the Bible but Revelation 22:16, it would be enough, it states, "I Jesus have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches." Listen to this, "I am the root and the offspring of David."
Yes He was human. He is called in the Bible Son of Man, the man Christ Jesus, man of sorrows. He possessed flesh and blood. He could be touched. His feet could be kissed and washed. He had a soul and spirit, that human part of us. Jesus says, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful” in Matthew 26:38 and in John 13:21 it says, “He was troubled in His spirit.” Hebrews 4:15 says, “He was in every point tempted like as we are.” He was the son of David, He was a man, He was as we are.
But He is also God. And He shared with God the attributes of omnipotence. He is the creator. He is the commander of the elements, as we see in His life. He is the controller of all the creatures. He is the provider of food. He is the healer. He is the raiser of the dead. He is the forgiver of sin. He's the judge. In Matthew 18:20 He said that He was able to be everywhere at all times. He is omniscient. He knew things that people were thinking. He knew them before they ever said something or never said anything. He showed that He never changed. He demonstrated in His life that He like God is holy and true and wise and sovereign and loving and eternal and glorious. And when people worshiped Him it was all right.
And the conclusion can only be that He is God, David's Son and David's Lord. And if they had had open hearts, they could have seen that. And if they had asked the right question, if the Messiah is Son of David, and the Son of God, are You that Messiah? They should have put these facts together. But their obstinate unbelief left them with an inappropriate response.
Verse 46, "And no man was able to answer Him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions." He shut the mouths of the critics, frankly, He silenced those who wanted to ask Him questions to trap Him. Mark says in Mark 12:37, “the common people heard Him gladly.” The common people wanted to hear more, but the leaders never got Jesus’ message. They refused to believe.
What is your response? In Matthew 26:63, the high priest gets up and says, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” 64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said.” They wanted Him to say it so they could kill Him for such blasphemy. All the evidence was presented and yet they still thought He was a blasphemer. Some just silently walked away and a few believed. How about you? Let us pray.