Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet”’?
If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
Understanding And Applying the Text
Let’s reset the context. To do that we need to go back to Chapter 21. Jesus had thrown out the merchants from the Temple. The Temple leaders came and asked Jesus what gave Him the right to do that. Jesus responded with three parables. They were the parable of the two sons and the parable of the evil tenants and the parable of the wedding feast. Here is a summary of the Parable.
This is my house. All y’all are illegitimate officeholders. And your rule is about to come to an end.
Needless to say, the temple leaders did not like that answer. They had tried to arrest Jesus before. They failed every other time. So it was time to try something new, They tried to get the Romans involved. All they needed to do was trick Jesus into saying it was wrong to pay Roman taxes. That would have been popular. But the Romans would take a dim view of it. And they would arrest Him. But Jesus bested them on that one too.
Their next attempt trying to get Jesus to reverse Himself on His teaching. The Sadducees posed what appeared to be an unanswerable question about the resurrection. If He had reversed Himself, He would have undermined His legitimacy as a biblical teacher.
The last attempt was the question about the greatest commandment.
The Pharisees were not on defense. They needed to regroup. But Jesus did not let up. While they huddled together Jesus asks them a question.
Jesus asked, “What do you think about the Christ?” Both Mark and Luke give us a little more information. They tell us why Christ asked this question. The scribes held an erroneous view. They believed the Redeemer would be one of David’s sons. He would be David’s successor. As a result, the Redeemer was nothing more than an elevated human. They stripped Him of divinity. The Redeemer brought no hope of reconciliation with God. There was no hope of eternal life.
Satan’s playbook remains unchanged. Once he finds something that works, why change it? Satan has infiltrated this belief into the church today. It is rampant. Major denominations deny the substitutionary atonement. Some deny the divinity of Christ. Some deny the humanity of Christ. Satan used religious leaders to teach heretical views. And he continues to use religious leaders in the church of Christ to deny Christ.
Jesus’ purpose in the question was to assert He was the Son of God.
Their response to the question was as expected. The Christ was the son of David. So Jesus quotes Psalm 110. He asked them to explain why David would call the Messiah Lord if the Messiah was his son. They had no answer.
We need to stop once in a while and look at the bigger picture. Throughout these encounters. How did Jesus respond to their questioning? There were two ways. He responded with stories and scripture. The stories illustrated the points he made with the scripture.
How should we respond to questions about the Gospel? How do we respond when people question us? Do we say, “Well that is what I believe.”
Oh really! What makes you an authority? Why does what you believe matter? What makes your opinion better than anyone else’s? In these last two chapters, we have the Son of God, the Messiah, God Himself. Referring to scripture. He had the authority to say, “Because I said so.” But He did not. He referred to scripture.
Do we think we have more authority than Christ? I hope not.
But what about reason and logic? We are human and we tend to err. If the conclusions we come to contradict scripture that is not a reason to deny scripture. That is a reason to go back and find our error. Scripture does not err. We err.
We are not better than Christ. We need to support our responses with Scripture. If you cannot because you do not know the scripture well enough, then study scripture. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your opinion does not matter.