Leaders Didn’t Understand Who Jesus Was

Adm. Nimitz and Gen. MacArthur went fishing together. In a sudden squall, the boat capsized, and the eminent fighting men floundered helplessly in the water. When they reached the boat, the Admiral cautioned, “Now, Mac, don’t mention this to anyone. I’d be disgraced if … More


The Pharisees and Sadducees had asked their questions. Then Jesus asked them: “What do you think about Christ? Whose Son is He” (v. 41)? They knew that the Messiah would be a descendent of David but did not understand He was God in the flesh. This is a key question for every person in every generation. Our salvation and eternal destiny are dependent on our answer to this question. The Pharisees expected only a human ruler to restore Israel’s greatness as in the days of David and Solomon.

Jesus then referred them to Psalm 110 (vv. 42-44). He knew that these Jewish religious leaders took this Psalm as a prophetic Psalm and that David was speaking about the Messiah. By applying Psalm  110:1 to Himself, Jesus claimed to be Israel’s promised Messiah, the Son of God. However, these Pharisees refused to believe Him because their minds were already made up, their hearts were hardened, and their eyes were blind  (John12:37-50). Jesus’ question ended their public challenges but they would not admit defeat. The central issue of life is what we believe about Jesus Christ.

Because of the hypocrisy and dishonesty of these religious leaders, Jesus warned the people about them (vv. 45-47). Because they wanted public recognition, they wore special garments (clergy  robes), expected to be called by special titles, and looked for special seats at public gatherings. The general public thought these leaders were godly men, when in reality they were defiling and destroying souls (Matthew 28:13-36). These men were so called “experts” in the Bible and yet they did not apply its truths to their own lives. Jesus’ warning still applies as we find some of these same type of people in religious organizations and groups today.


There are some religious leaders today who act much like these Pharisees did. I need to be careful that I’m not trying to make people think that I am something I’m not.

Luke 20:41-47 (English Standard Version)

But he said to them, "How can they say that the Christ is David's son? For David himself says in the Book of Psalms, "'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.' David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?" And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."

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