Summary: Message about Jesus’ challenge to the Pharisees regarding the identity of the Messiah.
Getting the Right Idea about Jesus
October 12, 2008
Me: One of the things I’ve noticed over the years, especially since giving my life to Christ in the fall of 1982, is that there are a lot of ideas about Jesus.
Who He was, what He did, what He said, whether He should have died, whether His death really did what it was supposed to do, whether He really rose again, all sorts of things.
People are quick to offer their thoughts about Jesus, ranging from worship to actual hatred for Jesus and everything He stands for.
We: I think that all we need to do is look around a bit to see the different ideas about Jesus.
Some say He was a vegetarian (although He ate fish…), some say He was a revolutionary, some say He was a pacifist, some say He was a weakling, others say He was the picture of strength under control.
The question I need to ask you is this: Are you getting the right ideas about Jesus and where are you getting those ideas?
Are you a person who’s not sure if they have the right idea about who Jesus is? If not, how do you get the right information so you can get the right idea?
Can I trust everything that comes across religious TV or radio?
The fact is, folks, that it is essential to have the right ideas about Jesus. Missing out on who Jesus really is means the possibility of putting your faith in something false, and that will literally effect where you spend eternity.
God: It this issue that Jesus decides to confront with the Pharisees, the religious leaders of His day.
Up to this point in this episode, the religious leaders had been asking Jesus questions, hoping to trip Him up or trap Him in His words. And it hasn’t worked.
Now Jesus turns the tables and asks them a question.
Matthew 22:41-46 (p. 669-700) –
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?"
"The son of David," they replied.
43 He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ’Lord’? For he says,
44 "’The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet."’
45 If then David calls him ’Lord,’ how can he be his son?" 46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
The heart of this question lies in the fact that if these guys couldn’t rightly identify just who the Messiah was supposed to be, then they’d never recognize Him when He arrived. And this was why they didn’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
The Pharisees … erroneously thought he would be only a human ruler who would reign on King David’s throne, deliver the Jews from Gentile domination by establishing God’s rule on earth, and restore Israel’s greatness as in the days of David and Solomon.
They knew that the Messiah would be a descendant of David, but they did not understand that he would be more than a human descendant—he would be God in the flesh. (LACNT)
It was hard for them wrap their brains around that, and that’s understandable, since they had been told for generations to expect this great warrior like David was.
The Jews were expecting a political kingdom to be established, not a spiritual one.
And when Jesus shows them the flaw in their thinking, all they could do was shut up and go away, looking and waiting for that opportunity to finally get rid of this meddler.
So what does this mean for us today?
It’s critically important that we understand that the Messiah – whom Jesus claimed to be, was much more than a mere human. He was and is divine.
This is important because if you don’t get the right idea about Jesus, it has eternal consequences.
Folks, you can have all sorts of wrong ideas about all sorts of things. Just ask anybody who thought disco was good music and now lives to regret saying that back then…
You can be wrong about people, you can be wrong about science, you can be wrong about politics, you can be wrong about clothing, you can be wrong about sex, you can be wrong about whether guys should wear pink, you can be wrong about pizza toppings, you can even be wrong about which brand of tractor is best. Really you can.
But if you’re wrong about Jesus, you’ll pay for that error for eternity.
So let me just lay down very quickly what are some of the essentials that we need to believe regarding Jesus: