October 21, 2013

Scripture and Commentary, Tuesday after Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity

Morning – Psalm 5, 2 Kings 6:15-23, 2 Tim. 1:15-2:13
Evening-Psalm 11, 12, Ecc. 6:1-12, Mt. 22:34

Commentary, Matthew 22:34-46

In verses 34-40 a lawyer continues the barrage of questions designed to trick Jesus.  He is not a lawyer as we think of them today.  He is a theologian, a scribe who specializes in the massive body of regulations which had largely replaced the Scriptures as the rule of life in Israel.  Again, no matter which single law Jesus chooses the theologian can offer many arguments against it and for others.  But Christ dismisses the man-made regulations and goes straight to the words of Scripture.  The first commandment, to love God, summarises the first four of what we know as the Ten Commandments.  The second commandment to love one’s neighbor as one’s self summarises the meaning of the next six of the Ten Commandments.  Together, they express the true meaning and purpose of all the commandments and all the words of the prophets.  This is what all the law and all the messages of the prophets are about.  The lawyer couldn’t argue with that.

In verses 41-46, Jesus asks a question.  The religious leaders had tried to confound and discredit him.  Now He will confound and discredit them.  He asks them one question in two parts.  The first part, “What think ye of Christ?” has captured the imagination of preachers and commentator since the day Christ spoke the words.  But it is actually the second part that is the essence of the question; “whose son is he.”  Jesus asks this question knowing the Pharisees will answer as they do in verse 42, “The son of David.”  And, according to the flesh, that is the correct answer. The Messiah was to be a descendant of David.  That’s why Matthew goes to such great lengths to trace Jesus’ lineage back to David in chapter 1, and to call Him the son of David in the very first verse of his Gospel.  Son of David was a Messianic title.  That is why the blind men called Jesus by that name near Jericho (Mt. 20:30).
Jesus catches the Pharisees and scribes in His trap easily.  If Christ is David’s son, why does David refer to Him as his Lord in Psalm 110:1?  Jesus is making an important point about the Messiah; He is David’s Lord, meaning God.  If this is true, the Messiah is not the son of David in the same way Solomon was.  Whose son is He then?  He is the Son of God.

This ends the questions and the verbal traps being set for Jesus.  The religious rulers find Him more adept at logic than they, and more knowledgeable of Scripture than they.  Rather than confounding Him, He has confounded them (vs. 46). 

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