by John Hutton
In the 22nd chapter of Matthew’s Gospel we have recorded for us the last questions that were asked of the Lord Jesus Christ by the rulers of Israel, and then Him asking them a most vital question of His own.
The questions were designed to trick him but they had an undesired effect. The answer to the first question by the Pharisees (verses 15-22) caused them to marvel, and they went their way without any argument. The second question was asked by the Sadducees (verses 23-33) and Lord’s answer astonished the crowd and the Sadducees were silenced. A lawyer asked the third question (verses 34-40) and the reaction of the people or their rulers is not recorded. In none of the three events is there any record of anyone arguing with Him. I’m sure that if they could have they would have.
The Lord asked a question of the Pharisees and it was this: ” What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?” (verse 42).
They answered “The son of David”, and they were not wrong, He was the offspring of King David as God had promised in 2 Sam. 7:12-16. That this promise was not only to his immediate offspring (his own children) but looked forward to God’s Anointed One, the Messiah, is attested to by Peter in Acts 2:29 and 30 – “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne”.
Who this Son of David is, is stated plainly in Rev. 22:16 – “I Jesus … I am … the offspring of David”.
He did not need to be a son of Joseph to be a son of David by birth, because He was the son of Mary who was a daughter of David by birth, not through Solomon but through Nathan. Joseph was the son of Jacob (Matt. 1:16), but it is impossible to have two fathers, so he could only be the son of Heli by adoption when he married Heli’s daughter, Mary.
The amazing thing is that the Lord is not only David’s Son but also David’s root – “I Jesus .. I am the root .. of David” (Rev. 22:16).
The offspring comes from the root. The Lord does not tell the questioners that they were wrong, but goes on to point out the greater truth which has to do with the Messiah being the “root” of David. “He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?” (Matt. 22:43-45).
The phrase “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until 1 make thine enemies thy footstool” is a direct quote from Psalm 110: 1. Translated literally the first part would be, “Jehovah said to my (David’s) Adonai”.
We might argue about what the title “Adonai” means and come up with various ideas but it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the Lord’s questioners understood exactly what He meant, and whatever disagreements they may have had with Him, they surely would have understood the language far better than we can, (even with all of the helps that are available to us), and would have argued with Him if they could have.
They knew what He meant. He was saying that the “my Lord” was being addressed to the Messiah that Israel were waiting for, and was much more than a man, and that David was testifying to this great fact by calling Him “my Lord”.
What could they do? They could not deny the Scriptures because the people knew them as well as they did and would not stand for it. Besides that, any further discussion would only give the Lord further opportunity to speak and influence popular opinion of Him. There was no argument that could be used against His answers to their questions. After His question they dare not ask Him anything else. He was claiming to be the promised Messiah who David had acknowledged as being God.
If we acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Scripture then how can we do anything else but agree with David and acknowledge Him as being God as well as man.