Summary: Jesus asked the Pharisees to face the truth, and He asks us to face the same truth.
“What do YOU think about the Christ?”
By: Rev. Kenneth E. Sauer,
Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
Friends, let’s ask ourselves a very serious question this morning.
Let’s ask ourselves the same question Jesus asked some religious leaders over 2,000 years ago: “What do you think about the Christ?”
This is the crucial question for all humankind, because our destiny is determined by our answer.
When we think of the Christ do we think of a judgmental ruler Who is out to set us straight?
Do we associate the Christ with a particular political agenda? A certain set of rules and laws, shall we say.
Do we think of a good teacher, of Whom we know little about, and do not feel any great need to get to know further?
Do we think of the Christ as Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Man, Who came to earth, taught us how to live by Word, deed, and example?
Was tempted in every way we are tempted, but was without sin.
Loves us and is able to empathize with our condition, and died and rose from the grave so that we may live forever without fear of death, judgment, the grave?
Do we think of the Christ as Jesus?
Friend, Savior, Lord, Master, God!?
Have we given our lives to this Christ, and in doing so, have we experienced transformation?
Have we been made new through a personal relationship with Christ?
Are we continually being made new as we journey this life, not alone, but with Christ as our Guide, our Lord?
Do we read the Scriptures, and experience Christ’s Word come alive in our lives as we put His teaching into action?
Do we know the power of the Holy Spirit who is made available to all who will believe in and trust Christ as Savior and Lord?
Have we been saved, born again, born anew due to and through faith in this Christ?
Is this Christ all the world to us?
Do we seek His counsel daily, in all our decisions?
Do we rely on the power Christ gives us to resist temptation, deal with our anger, our hate, our prejudices, our indifference?
Do we see how far we fall short in our personal lives as we try to live out what it means to be a disciple of Christ?
But in falling short, do we understand that Christ is more than willing, more than able to forgive us our sins, wipe the slugs off our face, and allow us to try again…with a clean slate?
An in knowing this, do we find a new and exciting freedom in this life that we would never have known had we not come to know this Christ?
Do we believe Jesus when He tells us that out of all the 613 laws and commandments two sum them all up in a nutshell: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…” and
… “Love your neighbor as yourself.”?
Do we aim to live by these two commandments, believing that Jesus takes us beyond a list of do’s and don’t’s into a living relationship with the God Who is at the heart of the Law?
“What do YOU think about the Christ?”
Until that question is answered in the honesty and depth of our human need, it’s highly doubtful if Jesus has much chance with us, or us much chance with Him.
In our Gospel Lesson for this morning we find Jesus asking this question of the Pharisees.
This is a bit of a twist, since the Pharisees have spent so much time trying to trap Jesus by their questions.
“What do you think about the Christ?,” Jesus asks a group of the religious leaders, “Whose son is he?”
“The son of David,’ they replied.”
Is that all?
He’s the son of David?
How about God?
So Jesus confronts them and challenges them: “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’?…
… If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?”
Jesus’ question left the Pharisees speechless.
We are told that from that day forward no one dared ask Jesus anymore questions.
Why did they stop asking Jesus questions?
Could it be that whenever they had tried to stump Him or trap Him in the past, they had been so amazed by His answers that they had caught themselves…horror of horrors…believing?
Had this been the final straw?
Had they come to a cross-road?
Did they have to make a decision?
Jesus had begun this dialogue with the question: “What do you think about the Christ?,” and He finished this dialogue by causing the Pharisees to back off.