Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’?
If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. Matthew 22:40-46
What college should I attend? What should I study? Who will I marry? Should I give up the practice of law? These are some of the most important questions I have had to answer. When I faced these weighty questions, no one could answer them for me. I had to answer them for myself.
Over the past several weeks I have been reminded of far more weighty questions that Jesus asked, questions He wants us all to answer for they are significantly more life-changing. What am I seeking? Where is my faith? Do I love Jesus? The answers to each of these questions have defined my relationship with Him. No one could answer them for me. But another set of questions is arguably the most important that Jesus asked.
At the end of His ministry, the religious leaders were trying to trap Jesus. They asked Him question after question to entangle Him. Finally, Jesus turned the tables and asked these questions to a hostile crowd: “What do you think of the Christ? Whose Son is He?” Matthew 22:42
Jesus was not asking them what they thought of Him personally. He was not asking, “Hey guys, what do you think about me?” Rather, “The Christ” was the term used for Messiah. He wanted them to tell Him who they had expected the Messiah to be.
When they answered, “the son of David,” they were partially right. The Old Testament prophesied that the Messiah would be the “son of,” meaning a descendant of David. But Jesus presented a conundrum for them. If the Messiah was to be just a descendant of David, why did David call Him Lord? Jesus quoted the Old Testament Scripture, Psalm 110, drawing their attention to the fact that the promised Messiah was to be both human—a descendant of David—as well as divine. He would be Lord.
Sadly, they did not answer the question. They would not recognize Jesus as both human (son of), and divine (Lord).
In the days ahead, they would not recognize that Jesus never ceased to be God when He was mocked, flogged, and illegally accused and convicted.
In the days ahead, they would not recognize that Jesus never ceased to be God when He hung on the cross.
He never ceased to be God when he was put in the grave.
But on the third day, He rose, and appeared to hundreds. He never ceased to be God.
What do I think about the Christ? Do I recognize that He was fully man, and fully divine?
If He was just man, I can read His teachings, follow the ones I like, and reject the others. If He was just man, I can admire Him as a good and influential person, but He has no power over me.
But I have answered the questions differently.. Yes, He was fully man, a descendant of David, but yet, He never ceases to be God.
When I messed up my life in my 20’s, living in shame and guilt, He never ceased to be God. He gave me forgiveness.
When I moved to Virginia with three young children, knowing not a soul, He never ceased to be God. He led me to friends and fellowship.
When my dad was lying in hospice, gasping with his last breaths, He never ceased to be God. He gave me assurance of heaven.
When I was ridiculed for my faith, He never ceased to be God. He reminded me that He alone is fair and just.
What do I think about the Christ? My answer to this has been life changing.