Study Notes

Matthew 22:41-46


We are continuing our study of Jesus' second day in Jerusalem, a day when He has had conflict with the chief priests, elders of the people, Pharisees, Herodians, and Sadducees.

Most recently, He has responded to the Pharisee lawyer that the greatest commandment was to love God with everything, and that the second greatest commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself.

22:41 Jesus Asked Them A Question

The Pharisees are still standing there, probably speechless after hearing Jesus' answer to the lawyer's question. Jesus has been assaulted with numerous questions today,

Matt. 21:23 ..."By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?"

Matt. 22:17 "...what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?"

Matt. 22:28 "In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be?..."

Matt. 22:36 "...which is the great commandment in the Law?"

Now, Jesus decides that it's time for Him to ask the questions.

22:42 Whose Son Is The Christ?

The "Christ" Jesus asks the Pharisees about is the Messiah. "Khris-TOS" is the Greek word, "Maw-SHEE-akh" is the Hebrew word. These words mean, "the anointed one."

The Jews knew from the Scriptures that the Christ, the Messiah, was the deliverer of Israel. God had promised for centuries that the Messiah would come and lead Israel to a glorious new time of peace and safety. They had been given many details about the Christ, including the fact that He would be a descendant of King David (Isa. 9:6-7; 11:1; 11:10; Eze. 34:23-24; etc.). The Lord told Jeremiah,

Jer. 23:5-6 "Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘the LORD our righteousness.’"

The Pharisees knew the Scriptures, and they thought the answer was easy. The coming Messiah was a descendant of David. But what they didn't know was that Jesus had a follow-up question that would really mess with their minds!

22:43-46 The Lord Said To My Lord

"Well, guys, since the Messiah is the son of David, I refer you to Psalm 110." David wrote this psalm, and said,

Psa. 110:1 The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."

"Now," Jesus would continue, "We all agree that this is a Messianic passage. But if the Messiah is the son of David, why did He say, 'The Lord said to my Lord...'? If He is the son of David, it would be highly improper for David to call Him his Lord." How could He be both David's descendant and David's Lord?

This really created a problem for the Pharisees. How could the Christ be the Lord of David and yet be the Son of David? They didn't have an answer, but fortunately we do.

You see, Jesus was a human being, having been born a biological son of David through the virgin named Mary, who was a direct descendant of King David.

But He was also the Son of God, having existed for all eternity.

Jesus Is God

Was Jesus just playing mind games on the Pharisees? Was He just having a little sport at their expense? No. The fact that the Messiah is God Himself is the single most important detail that people need to understand.

As the Messiah, Jesus was showing them that He was God Himself.

"Now, hold on there a minute," some say. "I've heard that the Bible never comes right out and says Jesus is God." If you have ever heard that argument, then you've come to the right place this morning, because the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is in fact God.

- The apostle John began His gospel by writing,

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

- Simon Peter also said of Jesus that He is...

2Pet. 1:1 ...our God and Savior, Jesus Christ

- Years later, Paul would also make the same assertion, saying that we as Christians are...

Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus

Often, we hear the claim that Jesus HIMSELF never claimed to be God. That the apostles must have somehow misunderstood. But Jesus never allowed misunderstandings to continue. He was always correcting the disciples when they were wrong.

- Just two weeks after Jesus' conversation with the Pharisees, the Apostle Thomas will say to Jesus that He is...

John 20:28 ..."My Lord and my God!"

If Jesus weren't claiming to be God, then certainly, He would have corrected Thomas' "mistake." But instead, He responded,

John 20:29 ..."Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."

- Even Jesus' enemies knew that He was claiming to be God, for they accused Him of it to His face. They said,

John 10:33 ...You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God."

Now, why is it important that we believe that Jesus is God? Because only God can forgive sins (Mark 2:7). People who think that Jesus is simply a great man, a teacher, or a prophet, like Buddha, Mohammed, or Confuscious cannot be forgiven for their sin. They absolutely must believe that Jesus is God for their sin to be forgiven.

How can I make such a bold statement? Well, it goes back to when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush. God was sending Moses back to Egypt, to be the deliverer of the Jews in slavery. But Moses was hesitant. He tried a number of excuses on God, but none of them worked. Finally...

Ex. 3:13-14 ...Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?" 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.’"

God is the "I AM." What does this have to do with having to believe that Jesus is God in order to be saved?

Jesus said very clearly,

John 8:23-24 "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins."

"Unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins," Jesus said.

We are all sinners, and our sin has separated us from God.

Rom. 6:23 ...the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Our sin carries a death penalty, but God Himself died in our place, paying the death penalty for us so that we could be forgiven and have eternal life.

But unless you believe that Jesus is God, you will die in your sins. It's no wonder that Jesus wanted the Pharisees to understand how the Messiah could be the son of David, yet David called Him Lord!

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