- Sermon Notes
The Most Important Question of All
Illus. Read it through.
Read: Matthew 22:41-46
Jesus had just been asked three questions that were divisive, debated, and difficult in their day, but Jesus answered each question with ease and according to Scripture. The questions were asked to trip up, trap, condemn, or turn the people away from Him. It seems that they gave Jesus the most difficult questions they could come up with. The questions were asked in such a way that if He answered one way or the other, one side or the other would jump on Him.
But Jesus answered each well, cutting through the clutter and pointing them back to what the Scriptures had to say. While all the questions asked were important to many in that day, Jesus pointed them to a better way. The direction of their questions did not give them, or the people any reason for Christ’s rejection. And now, after He answered all of their questions, Jesus turns to them to ask the most important question of all. That question would reveal their belief regarding the identity of Christ.
It is the question that determines one’s eternal destination, the question that put every other question into perspective. A question that was not only the most important question in Jesus’ day, but in our lives today. The question that everyone must answer in this life, what do you think, and what do you have to say about Christ?
I. Pursue the Whole Truth
- Since we know Jesus as Jesus Christ, many have come to believe that Jesus’ last name was therefore, Christ. One important thing to note from the start is that Jesus’ last name was not, Christ. Christ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word “Messiah.” The Messiah was God’s long-awaited deliverer, the term means “Chosen One,” or “Anointed One.”
- While many had begun to believe that was Jesus already, the reality of Jesus as the Messiah was not something the Pharisees were willing to see or agree with.
- They were out to destroy Him, tear Him down, they had firmly and continually rejected Him. Yet Jesus comes to them with a question, “What is it that you do believe?” Let’s start there…
- Their answer was not incorrect, it was inadequate. It was truth, but not the whole truth.
- The answer they gave was based on Scripture and true, but it was not the whole truth. What it reveals is their belief that the Messiah was not more than a man, and the only identity they took seriously, was that the Messiah would be a Son of David.
- This was in line with what the teachers of the law would say in that day, Jesus knew and acknowledged that fact…
Mark 12:35, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David?”
Luke 20:41, Jesus said to them, “Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David?”
- That the Christ was from the line of David is seen in the Old Testament Scriptures in many places, it was a revelation that God gave to King David himself through the prophet Nathan.
2 Samuel 7:12-13, When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
Psalm 89:3-4, I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant, ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.
Micah 5:2, But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.
- While David had descendants after him, none of them had a kingdom whose throne had been established forever, nor was there one whose goings forth were from long ago, from the days of eternity…Until Jesus.
- What they may have forgotten, or failed to see, was that Jesus Himself was from the line of David.
- Jesus was from the line of David as seen through His genealogy (Matthew 1:6; Luke 3:31), He was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:3-5), His goings forth are from the days of eternity.
- Throughout the book of Matthew, many hailed Jesus as the Son of David (9:27, 20:30, 12:23) and most recently, the people praised Him as such as He rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey (21:9, 15-16).
- But to believe the Messiah was mere man, missed the mark, it was true, He needed to come from the line of David, but to say that about the Savior and stop there, would fall far short of the fullness of who Christ is, and why He came.
- And Jesus would drill down deeper by starting at the base of their beliefs. With His disciples, Jesus had also done this previously:
Matthew 16:13-16, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
- Jesus asked, “Who do the people say I am?” Some said a reincarnated Elijah, known as the supreme Old Testament prophet, or Jeremiah, a prophet with great compassion, one who wept for the lost, if not one of them, one of the other prophets.
- But Jesus drilled down, “who do you say I am?” To that question, Peter responded directly.
- With the Pharisees, Jesus asks the question differently, what do you think of the Christ? What is His identity?
- And I ask the question of you today, what do you have to say about the Savior?
Illus. Who or What?
- What the Pharisees believed about the Messiah put definition to what savior they were looking for. Like many, they were looking for an earthly savior, a political savior, someone who would set his kingdom on earth, overthrow the government, and give them back their land…God had a better plan.
John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
- While it was true that the Christ would be the Son of David, the answer was partial, inadequate, limited, and not in line with the whole truth.
Illus. Half-way there.
- The Pharisees were looking for and expecting a man, and Jesus was going to point them towards God’s plan, that the Christ, the Savior was both fully God, and fully Man.
- Look to Jesus as Lord
- To show that the Messiah was more than just a man, Jesus would point them back to the Scriptures, and in so doing, would show the reality of God’s plan.
- After they answered, “the son of David.” Jesus followed up with another question.
- The Scripture Jesus references here is Psalm 110:1 and Jesus quotes it word for word:
Psalm 110:1, The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
- This verse is known as one the Old Testament verses most quoted in the New Testament.
- It was important that the Pharisees hear and see this verse as it is for you and for me because it reveals a great deal about Christ.
- Psalm 110:1 invites us into a heavenly dialogue, David “speaking by the Holy Spirt” (Mark 12:36) is given the content of a conversation between the Father and the Son, both Lord.
- In Acts 2:32-35, Peter quotes Psalm 110 as what took place after Jesus’ resurrection.
- As David looks upon that dialogue speaking by the Holy Spirit, he explains it as “The Lord (God the Father)” talking to “His Lord (The Messiah).”
- In Psalm 110, there are two different words for Lord being used. Yahweh and Adonai.
- The name “Yahweh,” which means “He will be” and it is the personal name for the covenant making, and covenant keeping, eternal God. This is the name of God given to Moses after the Lord spoke to Him in the burning bush and he asked, when the people ask your name, who should I say sent me? (Ex. 3:13-14)
- The term “Adonai” in the Old Testament and its corresponding “Kurios” in New Testament Greek are the most common terms used for the word “Lord.” Its meaning is “lord,” or “master.”
- When reading the Bible, many of our English translations have the unique use of the word “Lord” indicated by either all caps, or an uppercase L and lowercase ord. LORD in all caps is used when the text reads “Yahweh,” and “Lord” with capital and lowercase is given when “Adonai” is used.
- David says, the LORD (Yahweh) said to my Lord (Adonai), sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feel.
- David is saying that the Lord is talking to the Messiah, also Lord…. How can this be?
- This is the question to the Pharisees, “If the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior, is David’s Lord, how can He be his son? Are you seeing the whole truth?
- Jesus was not showing them anything new, it was not a new verse they had never seen, these were those who prided themselves on knowing the Scripture but were not willing to see the whole picture.
Illus. They are blue.
Illus. Careful conversation.
- The reality is, if you are unwilling to look to Jesus as Lord, you, like those Jesus was speaking to, are missing out on truth, and God’s answer to the most important question of all.
- Scripture has revealed His identity, His life and death, and resurrection for all to see.
John 10:30, I and the Father are one…
John 14:6, I am the way…
John 14:9, Those who have seen Me have seen the Father…
- After the woman at the well acknowledged to Jesus “that the Messiah is coming (who is called Christ), when that one comes, He will declare all things to us.” Jesus then said to her, “I who speak to you am He” (John 4:25-26).
- Jesus identity is seen through the Scriptures, but are you willing to see and respond to Him personally?
- Accept Him as Your Answer
- If the Pharisees would take the time to see, they would see the reality. They had the records in the temple of Jesus’ genealogy.
- If they were willing to see they would understand that Jesus was born of a virgin at prophesied in Isaiah 7:14, that He would heal and allow the lame to walk and the blind to see as prophesied in Isaiah 35:5-6.
- Jesus calmed the storm, walked on water, healed the sick, lame, blind, and mute, Jesus showed the way, told all who would listen but what would happen in their day? Many would follow, perhaps even some who heard Him that day would later turn to Him, but what happened on that day? They had no response, nothing to say.
- Jesus, fully God and fully Man, came to show the way as the way. The answer and solution to the most important question, would you allow Him to be your answer today?
Hebrews 3:15, Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.
Hebrews 4:16, Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.
- Jesus is the only answer to the most important question. No other conclusion or solution compares. Would you accept Him as your answer?
Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet”’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.