41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” Matthew 22:41-42 NKJV
While talking with the Pharisees, the religious rulers of that day, Jesus brought up the topic of the coming Messiah. This is the one referred to by many prophets who would be sent from the Father to reign forever as King over the entire earth. All these religious scholars knew from the scriptures that the Messiah, or Christ in the Greek language, would come in the line of King David. It was also expected that when Messiah comes, He would immediately take control over all world governments. For the people of Judah in that day, that specifically meant the oppressive Roman Empire.
As their discussion went on, Jesus quoted from Psalm 110:
43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: 44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?
45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore. Matthew 22:43-45 NKJV
The question was a showstopper. No one present with Jesus could comprehend this puzzling statement.
Today, we can understand its meaning. Though born in the line of David through Mary (and legally through stepfather Joseph), the Lord that David refers to would be born both of God and Mary through a miracle of the Holy Spirit.
Just as they could not answer the question, the Pharisees could not see that the subject of this Messianic prophecy, Jesus Christ, was in their presence. They did not recognize or receive Him.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. John 1:10-11 NKJV
One of the Pharisees, Nicodemus, did over time come to believe in Jesus as the Messiah that David prophesied about. He had to analyze and re-analyze his own thinking and beliefs to eventually open his eyes to the truth of God. He came back to Jesus to ask follow-up questions, as documented in the book of John, chapter 3. But he did so at night because this was regarded as blasphemous activity by his truth-blind colleagues.
We also find ourselves in a similar situation today. Some regard Jesus as fiction, others as a great man, a teacher or an example to follow for daily living.
But He is so much more than just a good example to follow. Jesus is the eternal heir to the throne of David, which is very real and will cover all of the earth. He has provided believers with His own righteousness through the shedding of His blood on the cross for us. He has also given us eternal life, as the Father raised Him from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is currently in heaven mediating for us, His Church, to help us through the challenges of each day as we pray, seek to serve Him and love one another in His name.
He is coming back one day to reign on David’s throne, forever.
3 “I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: 4 ‘Your seed I will establish forever and build up your throne to all generations.’” Psalm 89:3-4 NKJV
Who is Jesus to me? Teacher, prophet, example or more?
Jesus asked His disciples the same question. Some thought of Him as a prophet, or a good spiritual mentor. But through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter recognized Him for who He was – the true Messiah God, who one day will reign over all governments on earth as well as all powers, principalities and authorities in the heavenly realms.
Are you ready to recognize Him and receive Him for who He is?