Day 180: June 29, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Matthew 22:41-46

41 While the Pharisees were together, Jesus questioned them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?”
“David’s,” they told Him.
43 He asked them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls Him ‘Lord’: 44 The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at My  right hand until I put Your enemies under Your feet’? 45 “If David calls Him ‘Lord,’ how then can the Messiah be his Son?” 46 No one was able to answer Him at all, and from that day no one dared to question Him anymore.

Mark 12:38-40

38 He also said in His teaching, “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes, and who want greetings in the marketplaces, 39 the front seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive harsher punishment.” 41 Sitting across from the temple treasury, He watched how the crowd dropped money into the treasury. Many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and dropped in two tiny coins worth very little. 43 Summoning His disciples, He said to them, I assure you: This poor widow has put in more than all those giving to the temple treasury. 44 For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she possessed — all she had to live on.”

Luke 20:45-47

45 While all the people were listening, He said to His disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who love greetings in the marketplaces, the front seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive greater punishment.”

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

“What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?”

“David’s,” they told Him.

—Matthew 22:42

Whose Son is Jesus?
by Sally Cressman, Member of Brentwood Baptist Campus

I was walking my dog around the neighborhood the other day and stopped to visit with my Greek neighbor. The animated banter skipped from children to current events to religion.

Since this devotional was fresh on my mind I asked him the question, “Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?” The conversation jumped from lively to fiery. He stated emphatically, “No! The Bible contains contradictions!”

One of many he claimed was in Jesus’ genealogy. Let me get back to his claim a little later.

In our passage today, a Pharisee had tested Jesus on the greatest commandment, but Jesus reversed course and administered His own test by asking: “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is He?” Their response? “The son of David.”

Jesus quotes David himself, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, from the Psalms. Psalm 110:1 is actually written as: “This is the declaration of the LORD to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.’”

If you look closely at this verse, you’ll notice the reference to God is spelled LORD (in all caps). This is the Hebrew name for God or Yahweh. The second Lord is spelled with an uppercase “L” only and is a Hebrew title for authority and/or deity.

David, privy to this heavenly banter, when he says my Lord, is referring to “his divine superior, not just his descendant.”(1)

In the Matthew passage and in Acts 2:34, the psalm is quoted. This time, both the first and second “Lord” are translated from the Greek word Kurios, meaning “supreme in authority.” So what does all this mean? In all cases, Jesus is identified as deity.  

In Jesus’ genealogy, as my neighbor referred to, Matthew’s lineage begins with “Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham” then all the fathers are listed until we get to Joseph. Matthew then states “and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ” (Matthew 1:16). Joseph isn’t mentioned as Jesus’ father, but rather Mary is shoehorned in. In Luke’s genealogy it’s written, “He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph” (Luke 3:23).

If we look at other scriptures from Jesus’ birth, we’ll find the angel Gabriel prophesying that Jesus would be the Son of the Most High God (Luke 1:32). And Matthew again clearly confirms Jesus’ deity in verse 18 of the first chapter, “…she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.”

We can let scripture interpret scripture and know that Jesus is the Son of God and the son of David, but couldn’t be the son of Joseph in the biological sense.

If we return to the Matthew text, we find the religious leaders stumped by Jesus’ reply. So much so “from that day no one dared to question Him anymore.” I should say so. Who could beat Jesus at His own spiritual Jeopardy?

Jesus turned away from those teachers of the law to the crowd and warned them to beware of the leaders’ hypocrisy. Appearing religious on the outside, they proved void on the inside. The Pharisees knew the Messiah would be David’s son, but they couldn’t imagine the possibility that Jesus could be the son of David and the Son of God—God in the flesh.

I turned away from my neighbor frustrated, knowing I hadn’t convinced him of this truth. I pray that he’ll not continue as the Pharisees but rather imagine the possibility that Jesus could be and is the Son of God.

(1) HCSB Study Bible. 2009 (Matt 22:43-46 Notes). Nashville, Holman Bible Publishers

Reflection Questions

  1. Look up other scriptures in your Bible’s Concordance proving Jesus is the Son of God. Why is it important to believe this truth?
  2. Why do you think the religious leaders did not believe Jesus could be the Son of God?
  3. How can we avoid becoming like the Pharisees—religious on the outside but dead on the inside?

About the Author

Sally Cressman

Since 2004, Sally and her family have been members of Brentwood Baptist. On Sunday mornings, you’ll find her in the Children’s Ministry area teaching kindergartners. She’s married to Drew and they have three children: Kendall, Derek, and Hannah. Her hobbies include biking on the trails in Crockett Park, reading fiction and non-fiction, and writing. Some day, she’d like to attend a Packers game at Lambeau Field in December or January.