Summary: As the Messiah, Jesus is the incarnate Son of the Living God.
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
Text: Matt. 22:41-46
1. Many people have attempted to come to grips with the question who was Jesus?
a. "I am of course a skeptic about the divinity of Christ and a scorner of the notion that there is a God who cares how we are or what we do" - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
b. "I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many other of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe" - William Howard Taft - 27th President of the U.S.
c. I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.--H.G. Wells
d. A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act. --Mahatma Gandhi
e. Jesus is God spelling Himself out in language that men can understand. --S.D. Gordon
f. The most pressing question on the problem of faith is whether a man as a civilized being can believe in the divinity of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, for therein rests the whole of our faith. --Fyodor Dostoevski
2. The most important question that we must all ask is Jesus the Son of God or the son of a man?
3. In answering this question we will consider...
a. An Incomplete Response
b. An Encompassing Reply
c. An Intriguing Conclusion
4. Let's stand as we read Matt.22:41-46
Proposition: As the Messiah, Jesus is the incarnate Son of the Living God.
Transition: First, we will look at...
I. An Incomplete Response (41-42).
A. Whose Son Is He?
1. Throughout this chapter Jesus has dealt with the questions of his enemies who were trying at best to discredit him, and at worst trying to come up with a reason to arrest him.
2. However, now the tables are turned and it is Jesus turn to ask the question. Matthew tells us, "Then, surrounded by the Pharisees, Jesus asked them a question: What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”
a. After responding to all of their questions, now it was Jesus' turn to ask the questions.
b. His question dealt with a very important issue to them as well as us, the identity of the Messiah.
c. The problem with the Pharisees is that they were viewing everything from a strictly human point of view while ignoring the more important spiritual one.
d. It seems we have a similar problem today because people want to look at Jesus from a mere historical perspective.
e. They want to look at Jesus the figure of history while they ignore the things he said and the miracles he did.
3. The Pharisees replied in a way that we should have come to expect, they said, "He is the son of David."
a. Their interpretation of this question emphasizes the Messiah from a political and nationalistic point of view.
b. What they could not see was the incredible authority in which Jesus had answered all their questions.
c. Now, in the climax of this chapter, Jesus is about to demonstrate his authority in a brand new way (Horton, 487).
d. He did not, however, ask directly about Himself.
e. Although He often had declared His Messiahship and His divinity, He now wanted the Pharisees to focus on what they already believed about the identity of the Messiah.
f. To the Pharisees, as well as to most other Jews, the answer was obvious and simple.
g. Because they were convinced the Messiah was no more than a man, the only identity of the Messiah they took seriously was that of his being the Son of David (MacArthur New Testament Commentary - Matthew 16-23).
h. They knew that the Scriptures taught about the Messiah being from the line of David.
i. 2 Samuel 7:12 (NLT)
For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong.
j. While there was some truth to their answer, it was an incomplete answer because it only deals with one aspect of the Messiah.
B. Fully God, Fully Man
1. Illustration: A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.--C.S. Lewis