Ethical Question About David’s Son

I remember that in the early years of my ministry a knock came to my door one day. When I answered, the man introduced himself as the State Representative for a certain Bible believing group. I invited him in and after a few words of welcoming me into the area as a new missionary … More

Ethical Question

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they asked Him an ethical question about the Law (vv. 34-35). They said, “Master which is the great commandment in the law” (v. 36)? This was not a new question for the scribes and Pharisees as they had been debating it for many years. They had documented 613 commandments in the law and had divided them into “heavy” (important) and “light” (unimportant). To them a person needed to major on the “heavy commandments” and not worry about the trivial ones. Of course, this is contrary to Scripture “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet fails in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).

Jesus answered by quoting from the old testament (vv. 37-40). He began by saying to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, strength, possessions and service (Deut. 6:5). Then he went on to say that love for God cannot be divorced from love for one’s neighbor (Lev. 19:18). In other words, one should not view the law in a legal way. The real concern of the law and the prophets is not some external show of conduct that we may put on for others to see but one’s inner spiritual condition. Love for God and love for all those made in His image form the backbone of everything God says to us in His Word. So Paul can say, “love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:10).

While the Pharisees were still standing around Jesus had a personal question for them about the Messiah (v. 41). “What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He?” They answered quickly by saying He was “the son of David” (v. 42). Jesus then quoted (Psa. 110:1) in which David referred to the Messiah as the Lord (vv. 43-45). In other words, if David called this Son “Lord” He certainly must be more than a human son. This silenced all of His opponents (v. 46).

Application

How do I think I would have personally answered the question? “What think ye of Christ?” How would have my answer been any different than that of the Pharisees?

Matthew 22:34-46 (English Standard Version)

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." 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.

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