#DailyDevotion Jesus Ups The Ante, Calls & Trumps
Matt. 2241While the Pharisees were still together, Jesus asked them, 42“What do you think of the Christ? Whose Son is He?” “David’s,” they answered Him. 43He asked them, “Then how can David by the Spirit call Him ‘Lord? He says: 44The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right until I put your enemies under Your feet.’ 45Now, if David calls Him ‘Lord’, how can He be his son?” 46No one could answer Him, and after that no one dared to ask Him another question.
When Jesus came into Jerusalem in chapter 21 the people cried out, “Our Savior, the Son of David! Blessed is He Who is coming in the Lord’s name! Our Savior — in the highest heavens!” The ruling priests and Scribes didn’t like that and wanted Jesus to have them stop. Jesus’ reply was Psalm 8:2. The same Psalm refers to the Son of Man made a little lower than the angels. The praise in that Psalm is directed towards the LORD. Jesus teaching us the LORD who deserves praise has become man. Then Jesus cleansed the temple. When Jesus later returned to the temple to teach the ruling priests and elders asked him by what authority he did these things. He does not tell them but with a couple of parables he demonstrates they do not believe or submit to the LORD. He responds with Psalm 118:22. Jesus is that stone and his opponents are those who reject what the LORD has done. The Pharisees plotted with the Herodians to trip Jesus up with a question about taxes. Jesus ups the ante with telling them to give to God what is God’s, something they have been rejecting as they are rejecting Jesus as their Messiah. The Sadducees will try to trip Jesus up with the resurrection (they only accept the first five books of the bible as inspired and the most explicit verses pertaining to that are in the writings and the prophets). Jesus cites Exodus 3:6 to show God is a God of the living and not the dead. Finally the Pharisees in one last attempt have a lawyer to try to trip Jesus up. We saw also here where Jesus does not leave it with their question but raises the ante with to love one’s neighbor as oneself is like loving God with all our heart, mind, strength and soul.
But we have come full circle now because Jesus will not leave them with this answer but calls as they say in poker with this final question. Whose son is the Christ, the Messiah? Their answer, “David” is not sufficient. Jesus trumps them all with Psalm 110:1. Jesus says, “Then how can David by the Spirit call Him ‘Lord? He says: 44The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right until I put your enemies under Your feet.’ 45Now, if David calls Him ‘Lord’, how can He be his son?” Well several commentaries suggest that this Psalm wasn’t even on the Pharisees radar as being messianic so it kind of stopped them in their tracks. They didn’t know how to respond. In quoting this though Jesus is completing the circle he made in chapter twenty-one when he quotes Psalm eight as to why praise is demanded when he enters the city and the temple.
Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus has authority not only because he is David’s son (no doubt there were plenty of them running about at the time) but because he is David’s Lord. He is David’s Lord because he is the LORD incarnate, in the flesh. David by the Spirit knew this and prophesied it. The one who rules heaven and earth becomes one of us to redeem us and returns to his rightful spot at the right hand of the Father. Jesus is God’s Son and David’s son, our Savior and our Redeemer.
Heavenly Father, you have fulfilled your promise to your servant David by sending your Son and joining Him to David’s seed. Grant us faith in him so we may recognize him and give him the praise and thanksgiving due him. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.