Matthew 22:41-46 – Who is Father to the Messiah?

Read Matthew 22:41-46

The Pharisees have been peppering Jesus with all sorts of questions. Now it’s time for Jesus to have a turn. What do you think about Jesus’ question? Talk about trying to “trick” or “trap” them. I don’t know if it was that as much as it was he wanted them to think. He wanted them to step outside their comfort zones and stop just “going through the motions.”

What was the Pharisee’s response to the question of whose son is the Christ? “The son of David.” That would be an easy enough answer based on the prophecies found in Scripture. But then Jesus challenges them with David’s words of Psalm 110, “The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.” How can it be that David would call him Lord if it was his son? I’m a bit perplexed, and so, too, were the Pharisees. They didn’t have anything to say.

Nobody dared ask Jesus anything else at this point. I have to smile because it was a brilliant way to shut them up. If they were to ask more questions, Jesus might again make them look ridiculous. They had to save face. They had to maintain their posture.

I read a few commentaries to see if I could give an explanation here. It is impossible to tell whether Jesus was using this question as a way of describing himself or not. Psalm 110:1 would indicate a passive king, waiting for God to act. Waiting for God to put his enemies beneath his feet. This image is in contradiction to what many were expecting of the Messiah. That is, to be a conquering king, like David his ancestor.

The Messiah will be a different kind of king, one that David will even recognize as “my Lord.” The people of the day had a hard time reconciling that Jesus was the Messiah because they were expecting a different kind of king. Jesus was the Son of God, as we saw at Jesus’ baptism and in the transfiguration.

So, Jesus challenged the leaders that day. He wanted to expand their thinking, their acceptance of him. When it comes down to it, isn’t that what Jesus wants from us, too? Being “comfortable” isn’t necessarily getting the job done. If we stay where it’s familiar and fail to venture out, not only do we miss out on opportunities to share our story about how Jesus has made a difference in our lives, but we might miss encounters that would help us to grow.

Take some time today to reflect on how Jesus is stretching you and your faith. As him to reveal himself to you.

Let’s pray. Lord, you are amazing in your ways. There is no way I can comprehend how you orchestrate all that exists. I am but a small speck in your immense creation. Thank you for loving me, for challenging me, for forgiving me. Help me to recognize and respect your authority in all I say and do. Stretch me and my understanding of who you are, what you have done for me, and what you want for me to do. May I not be silent but speak of your great love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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