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July 25, 2011

Jesus and the Psalms

Part Five

The Enemies of Jesus and The Psalms

Matthew 22:44

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Eternal Life

       As I sit around the table at the beach, I have asked some of my believing friends one of the questions that Jesus asked Pharisees.  The Pharisees sought to test Jesus, and a group of religious leaders were asking Him questions.  Jesus answered questions, and then posed His own questions to them.  Today, we will look carefully at those questions.

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question:  “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son of David.

Matthew 22:41-42

       Jesus the Son of David.  As we saw at the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, the Jews saw Jesus as the long-expected “son of David” (Matthew 21:9).  God promised David that David would never lack a man to sit upon the throne of Judah until Christ came (2 Samuel 7:16; Matthew 22:41-45). He also promised that Messiah would come through the lineage of David (Mark 12:35-37; Luke 1:32; Luke 2:4). Indeed, Jesus certainly was the son of David, who will sit upon the throne of David in Jerusalem as Prophet, Priest and King.  Jesus obviously expected the Pharisees to answer this question correctly, but He knew they did not fully grasp the implications of the Scripture David wrote in Psalm 110:1.  Although the Jews knew that Messiah would be the son of David, they did not understand that He would be the Son of David in the Divine Sense.  They did not understand what it meant for the Word, Who was God, to take flesh and dwell among men (John 1:1; John 1:14).

He said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HANDUNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET?’

Matthew 22:43-44

       The Spirit and Scripture.  David said many things during his lifetime, but on some occasions the Holy Spirit of God moved him to write under the inspiration of God.  In this case, David spoke in the Spirit.  We know from 2 Timothy 3:16, that all Scripture has been breathed by God (“inspired”).  We also know from 2 Peter 1:20-21, that the Holy Spirit caused men to speak from God.  In short, God used men to write the Bible, and preserved those human authors from error by His divine power.  Here, David in the Holy Spirit, calls the coming Messiah his Lord.  The Jews could not understand how this future son of David could be the Lord of David during David’s life time.  The Jews were very familiar with the prophecy of David concerning a future king, and if they understood what Jesus was saying, they would also have had an idea right here about one God existing in three divine Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  This passage clearly teaches the trinity of God.  We see the Holy Spirit, as God, moving David to testify about the Lord.  Jesus is the Lord who will be a physical descendant of David when Christ takes flesh.  The Father will make the enemies of Christ the footstool of Christ.  Therefore, for everyone with ears to hear, Jesus had just provided a clear example of the Trinity.  One eternal God, existing in Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as separate, but united, Persons. 

     The Enemies of Jesus.  Jesus quotes Psalm 110:1:  “THE LORD SAYS TO MY LORD: ‘SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.'”  He takes the sense of the passage in the Old Testament, and applies it to teach the truth of the Father (“Yahweh” in this case, although Jesus applied this same title to Himself in John 8:58) subduing all the enemies of the Son (Adoni).  Therefore, Jesus identified this Psalm as a Messianic Psalm, because it spoke of Jesus.  We see in this description of the enemies of Jesus a promise of their eventual defeat (Hebrews 2:8).  The Father withholds their destruction, because He is not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance and salvation (2 Peter 3:3-9).  Until then, Jesus sits reigning upon His heavenly throne, although all of His enemies have not yet been subjected to Him by the will of the Father (Ephesians 1:18-23).

If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?

Matthew 22:45

      Jesus as Son of God and Son of David.  As Son of God, Jesus has always been God.  David prayed to God the Son in the same way he prayed to God the Father.  Jesus existed as God the Son since eternity past–without beginning or creation.  The religious leaders confronting Jesus had no conception that God was standing in front of them in the Person of Jesus Christ.  In Jesus, all the fullness of deity dwelt in Him in bodily form (Colossians 2:9).  Jesus became the son of David when He took flesh, and was born of the virgin Mary.  Jesus was always the Son of God, even before He was born of the virgin Mary.  David called Him Lord, because David knew Him as the eternal God of the Old Testament, Yahweh (“I AM”)  (John 8:58). 

No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.

Matthew 22:46

      No More Questions.  Jesus had decisively stumped His opponents and silenced them ( Matthew 22:46).  Recently I have met several people who think they are going to heaven, but deny that Jesus was God in the flesh.  In fact, they deny that Jesus was God at all.  They view Him as only the Son of God, and mean Jesus was something less than God.  Jesus intends for everyone to accept Him as God in the flesh, who loved us, and gave His life so that He would forgive our sins by dying for them on the cross.  He died and paid the death penalty for my sins.  He did that as God, and forgave my sins as only God can forgive sins.  Jesus loves you and wants you to understand that He was God long before He became flesh and dwelt among us in real human flesh.  He took flesh because He loves us, and fulfilled His plan to die for us, as complete and total payment for our sins.  He rose from the dead to live with us forever.  In the same way, He will raise us from the dead, or meet us in the air if we are alive when He returns in the clouds to receive His own, and resurrect the dead in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). 

So we learn more about Jesus and the Psalms today.

    ●  As Jesus explained the divine nature of Christ to the Jews, He illustrated the Trinity by speaking about a particular prayer of David, involving God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  David declared in God the Holy Spirit to God the Father the triumph of God the Son.

    ●  The Jews were unable to comprehend that Jesus was the son of David, and the Son of God, at the same time.  Jesus was not only a physical descendent of David, but also eternal God in the flesh. 

    ●  Jesus wants each of us to know that God came in the flesh, to be a sacrifice for sin.  As a real human, He suffered and died for our sins.  As God in the flesh, He fulfilled the requirements of the Law in us, and by grace through faith provided the plan of salvation for everyone who would receive Him and His free gift of eternal life.

Application for Today

        As I live today, I know that David spoke of Jesus more than two thousand years ago, and now lives with Jesus in Paradise.  I will be with at home with them one day.  I know the answer to the question of Jesus, because Jesus revealed to us in His Word that He has always been God the Son, even before He took flesh and dwelt among us.  Will you be serving Jesus as He abides in you as eternal God today?