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But They Kept Asking Him Questions!

Today's Gospel reading from Matthew (22:41-46) is short.  In the passages that precede it, Jesus has been besieged by the Pharisees and Sadducees, who challenged him with questions, one after another:  Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?  In the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven will she be?  Which is the greatest commandment?

Now it is Jesus' turn to ask a question of them: What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he? 

To their credit, they answer the son of David.  But do they truly understand what they are saying?

Jesus immediately quotes a passage in which David himself acknowledges the Messiah as 'Lord' (Ps. 110:1).  For David to call the Messiah 'Lord' means the Son of David is not to be measured against David's military exploits, for many expected a Messiah wielding a sword of justice; rather, this messiah would be one offering peace and reconciliation, as we see the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53.

Then Jesus asked, "If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?"  To this, the Pharisees had no answer, and wisely, they stopped asking questions of Jesus.

Floyd V. Filson, in his book, A Commentary on the Gospel According to Matthew, said, "This passage shows Jesus declaring the freedom of the Messiah to establish the Kingdom by another path than the political and military methods of David." 

Question not this.  Know that Jesus is Lord, and the Christ is Messiah of us all.