The Book of Luke, Jesus, the son of David, is also the Lord of David - Lesson 216
The passage we are in today follows the Lordís instruction to the Sadducees concerning their error regarding the resurrection based upon their idea of marriage in the kingdom of God.
Luke 20:39-43, Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said. 40And after that they durst not ask him any question at all. 41And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is Davidís son? 42And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 43Till I make thine enemies thy footstool. 44David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?
Matthew 22:41-46, While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
This event is what is called a show stopper.
It is that which causes the questions of Christís adversaries to cease.
The questions up to this time were designed to trip up the Lord Jesus, so as to bring him to shame before the authorities.
There was a conspiracy upon the part of the Jewish leaders to do away with this man Jesus, this carpenter from Nazareth, and they intended to accomplish it by using his own words against him.
They conspired to entrap Him in some statement against Rome, so that the political authorities ó the governor would arrest Him and put Him to death for treason.
However the exchange given to us by Luke in this passage silenced them from any more questions, for they realized they were up against an adversary who was far above the league in which they played.
For we see here in this passage the tables turning, for instead of them asking a question of Christ we see Christ asking a question of them.
We see here in this passage Christ asking them a thought provoking question, a question whose inference they could not refute.
It was a question where Jesus Christ referred to a well known Messianic Psalm, the 110th, a question which ended the discussion.
Matthew informs us that from this time on no one dared to ask Jesus a question.
The debate therefore was over and they therefore had to resort to false testimony against him.
The setting of this exchange continues to be in the temple.
The Lord Jesus had taken ownership of the temple much to the chagrin of the leaders.
He had with force cleansed it, and had taken it back for its original use, that is, a house of prayer.
He had appeared there daily to teach, which is the setting of all that occurs in chapters 20 and 21 of Lukeís gospel.
His teaching heated the anger of the leaders of the people, not only the Pharisees, those of the far right, but also those of the far left, the Sadducees.
They quickly questioned his authority and were as quickly rebuffed by his question to them concerning the authority of John the Baptist.
Every question they asked was met by a response which fueled their anger and increased their hatred toward our Lord.
For they even heard him declare that they would be removed from their place and their place would be taken by the despised Gentiles.
The Pharisees and the Herodians had posed the first question, about paying taxes to Caesar; while the Sadducees had raised the issue of the resurrection of the dead.
The teachers of the law, upon hearing the answer of Christ concerning marriage in heaven, are glad to praise Him for His answer, for it is in opposition to their own adversaries, the Sadducees.
But now, Jesus has a question for those who praised Him.
It is a question about Scripture, a Scripture which was commonly understood as speaking of the Messiah, the 110th psalm.
Jesus choose a question regarding a Scripture which the Pharisees seemed to know well, a scripture on which they taught.
The question was intended to show the Pharisees how their theology was not supported by the Scriptures.
If you are a Christian the Scriptures are to bring silence to any argument for they are fully authoritative and when they speak, it is to be that which is last spoken.
Jesus turned the attention of His audience to Psalm 110, a psalm written by David, which spoke of Messiah to come.
41And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is Davidís son? 42And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 43Till I make thine enemies thy footstool. 44David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?
This is an interesting moment.
The Sadducees had just been bested while the Pharisees gloated over their defeat.
They had greatly enjoyed the way that Jesus had silenced them as they sought to entrap Him.
Their glee was so great that they even praised Jesus for His response to them in support of what they believed regarding the resurrection.
They rejoiced to see their adversaries bested as to their lack of understanding of the Scriptures which the Pharisees thought they had a monopoly on.
But their glee is not long lived for we see the inflation of their pride quickly deflated in this question to them for it shows them also as lacking in their ability to skillfully handle the scriptures.
They failed to take the Scriptures seriously enough, as could be seen by their handling of Psalm 110, a psalm which Judaism held to be a messianic psalm.
Psalm 110, we are told is a psalm of David and reads as follows.
1The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
2The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
3Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
4The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
5The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
6He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
7He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.
In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus directly asked the Pharisees whose son the Christ was.
Matthew 22:42, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
Their answer was quick for everyone who looked for Messiahís coming believed he was to be the "son of David."
The Prophet Samuel had so said and Isaiah had also so prophesied that the Messiah would occupy the throne of David, meaning that he would be a son of David.
At the birth of Jesus, we were told that Jesus was of the line of David, and that He had come to reign on His fatherís throne.
From Christís question it appears that the Messiah being Davidís son meant to the Israelite that the Messiah would be merely a man, but it was not accepted that Messiah would also be divine, in other words that Messiah was to be both man and God:
But a careful reading of Isaiah 9:6-7 reveals that Messiah will be both man and God:
Isaiah 9:6-7, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Now Christ did not use this passage in Isaiah to prove His point but he pointed to the 110th psalm, a psalm of David.
Psalm 110 does not stress the humanity of Messiah but stresses His divinity.
It was taught in Scripture that Messiah would be the "son of David," and yet David himself refers to Messiah as "his Lord."
Jesus is asking his listeners to think about this. How can this be?
There was only one answer to this and that answer concerns the incarnation of the Messiah.
The incarnation is God becoming man though the miracle of the virgin birth.
Before the birth of Christ it did not seem possible for the Messiah to be both human and divine, but this dilemma was cleared up after His birth.
The incarnation was a miracle, but Almighty God promised it, and brought it to pass.
Psalm 110 was written by David, one of the most revered men in scripture, and when David spoke he spoke with authority, and the Pharisees listened to him.
And Jesus knew they would not listen to him but they certainly should have listened to David whom they revered!
How could Messiah be Davidís son and Davidís Lord at the same time?
This question was posed to the Pharisees so that they would consider what they thought, and to get that thinking in line with scripture, not with their tradition.
Jesus chose Psalm 110 over all other passages of scripture because the 110th Psalm went far beyond the question of Messiahís humanity and His deity, even to the point of referring to His coming in power to overthrow His enemies.
It spoke of Jesus as Israelís King.
It taught that He would be her priest, not after the order of Aaron, but of the order of Melchizedek.
This was something to shock the priests who worshipped their system of religion and their line of priests.
David also in Psalm 110 yields any superiority of himself as Israelís leader, to the superiority of his Son.
David welcomed His Sonís greatness, his superiority to himself and Jesus expected that of the leaders of Israel.
By this question of Christ these leaders come face to face with a very puzzling problem, a problem which is foundational to the Jewish leadersí rejection of Jesus as the Christ.
Psalm 110 clearly teaches both the humanity of Messiah (a son of David) and His deity (Davidís Lord).
This was the fundamental problem which the leaders of Israel had with Jesus.
If you could sum up the grievance of the Jewish leaders with Jesus, I believe it would be this:
Although Jesus was merely a man (in the eyes of the Jews who rejected Him), he had the boldness to act like God.
Jesus is telling them that the true Messiah will have this boldness for the true Messiah is God.
The very fact that the Messiah of their minds would not act this way proves the error of their thinking.
They should have been looking for a God-man in accordance with not only Isaiah 9, but the 110th Psalm.
The Gospel of Luke stresses throughout the humanity and the deity of Christ.
Jesusí birth was miraculous, a transaction not between Joseph and Mary but a transaction of the Holy Spirit and Mary to produce a truly unique person, the God-man, Jesus the Christ, who was at one and the same time, fully man and fully God.
In the fifth chapter of Lukeís gospel, Jesus told the man lowered on his pallet through the roof that his sins were forgiven.
The Pharisees immediately objected, on the basis that only God could forgive sins (Luke 5:21).
They reasoned, "How can a man exercise that which is reserved for the divine?"
The answer was simple: "Jesus could claim to forgive sins because He was both man and God."
We have seen over and over again in our study of the Gospel of Luke that this issue of Jesus exercising the prerogatives of God was that which brought out such vehement hatred and opposition.
And that opposition comes to its climax in the final week of our Lordís earthly life and ministry, commencing with the triumphal entry, and by the Lordís cleansing of the temple, and by His teaching there.
The question of Jesusí authority, as recorded by Luke in chapter 20 (verses 1 & 2) was an outgrowth of the Israelite leadershipís rejection of our Lordís claim to deity.
By citing this passage from Psalm 110, Jesus made it clear that they not only had a grievance with Jesus, who claimed to be both human and divine, but more so, they were inconsistent with the Old Testament Scriptures, even those written by King David, which spoke of Messiah as a man and as God.
The citing of Psalm 110 by our Lord brought the central issue into focus, and showed it to be a truth taught clearly by the Scriptures.
Finally, Davidís response to the fact that His son was superior to him was to show the great divide between truth and the attitude of the leaders of Jesusí day, who resented Jesus superiority, and whose jealousy was so strong they purposed to put Him to death.
In other words if they will not hear Him they should a least hear David whom they so greatly revered.