The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary & meditation 
 "What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?"

Scripture:  Matthew 22:41-46

41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, "What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David." 43 He said to them, "How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, 44 `The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet'? 45 If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?" 46 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask him any more questions.
Meditation: How could King David recognize the Christ as both his son and his Lord? Among the Jews the most common title for the Messiah was the Son of David.  The Jews looked forward to the long-expected Savior who would come from the line of David. Jesus  was often addressed with that title, especially by the crowds (Mark 10:47ff, Matthew 9:27; 12:23). David acknowledged that the Messiah would indeed come from his line as God had promised him. But David also prophesied in Psalm 110 that the Messiah would not simply be his son and heir, but his Lord and Redeemer who would rule, not just Israel, but all the nations as well.

How could David recognize the Messiah as both son and lord?  Jesus proclaims that it was the Holy Spirit who inspired David (Matt. 22:43). David recognized from afar that the promised Messiah would not simply be a prince of David's line who would conquer lands and peoples like David himself. Through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, David recognized that the Messiah would be the true Son of God who would redeem his people and establish them as a royal priesthood and a holy nation. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal the true identity of Christ to all who will open their hearts and minds to receive this revelation.

Jesus points to himself as the true heir of David's throne and the true Lord of David as well. Paul the Apostle states that "no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3). Jesus did not come with an army to conquer nations and territories, but he came in the power of the Spirit to conquer the hearts of men and women for his kingdom of  righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17). He won pardon and freedom for us through his sacrificial love and victory on the cross.

What does it mean to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord?  The word Lord means "ruler" or "king" -- the one who is owed personal fealty, familial loyalty, and willing submission. Whether we recognize it or not, we indeed are all ruled by someone or something. The Lord or Master of our lives is the person or power we give our lives over to and submit to in a full way. We can be ruled by many different things -- such as our unruly passions (such as rage, lust, envy, pride, hatred, etc.), the love of money, alcohol, drugs, possessions, etc. Only one Lord can truly set us free to love and to be loved as God intended from the beginning. When we acknowledge that Jesus is Lord we invite him to be the Master of our heart and the Ruler of our thoughts and actions, relationships and home, and all that we do and say. Is the Lord Jesus the true Master and King of your heart and do you give him free reign in every area of your life?

"Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of David and the Son of God. You are my Lord and I willingly submit myself to your rule in my life. Be Lord and King of my life, my thoughts, heart, home, relationships, work and all that I do."

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(c) 2007 Don Schwager