How Does David call the Christ “Lord”
if He is His “Son”?
By John C. Robertson
Matthew tells us that the Pharisees had gathered to put Jesus to the test because the Sadducees had failed in their efforts to discredit Jesus as the Christ (see Matthew 22:34). The objective is to catch Jesus in some inconsistency or to pit him against either Moses or the Roman government. The efforts of the Sadducees and Pharisees; however, has only wowed the listening people as they hear Jesus’ answers to their questions. Now it is Jesus’ turn to ask the questions. Matthew records:
“41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42 saying, What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. 43 He said unto them, How then does David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit on my right hand, Till I put your enemies underneath your feet? 45 If David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” (Matthew 22:41-45)
Just two days before this conversation the multitudes were shouting Hosanna to the son of David as Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The proclamation of Jesus as Christ caused indignation with the chief priests and elders (see Matthew 21:15). Jesus exposes both the Pharisees hardened hearts against him and their ignorance of the scriptures by asking them a question about the association between the Christ and David. Jesus quotes from Psalms 110:1 and then asks the Pharisees how it could be that the Christ is David’s son while the king calls him “Lord.”
Consider the application of Psalms 110 for greater understanding of how and why Jesus is asking this question to the Pharisees. God has fulfilled his promises made to his beloved Son in the unseen world of timelessness in eternity. Jesus would be raised from the dead, ascend into heaven, and sit at the right hand of his Father reigning over all the universe of mankind. The Pharisees; however, do not believe this about Jesus. There is a great conflict in this universal reign of the Christ because, like the Pharisees, not all men will be voluntarily subject to his reign. Satan heads a rebellious insurrection against Christ's divine authority. The devil uses powerful weapons of worldliness, false religion, persecution, and tribulation to win souls to his side. The rebellion; however, will never succeed in any generation. Jesus will reign victoriously for all eternity. There is a class of men and women within every generation that will take up the arms of truth and side with the Christ king. God has always known that certain men would be Christ like and certain others would be like their father the devil (see Romans 8:28-30; 11:1- 5 and John 8:44). Every individual of every generation of men must answer the following questions. Who will you serve in this life? Will you rebel against the King that is over all creation or will you bow your knee in subjection? Do you want to go to heaven or hell?
Jesus knew that the unbelieving Pharisees would not know the answer to his question because their hearts were hardened against him. Over and over Jesus exposes the true ignorance of the Pharisees in relationship to God’s divine revelation. David, like Zacchaeus (Luke19:1-10), Abraham (John 8:5-6), the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (John 4), the woman caught in adultery (John 8:11), the nobleman of John 4, the centurion of Matthew 8, Nicodemus (John 3) and so many others such as the apostles displayed a spirit that desired to see Jesus and when they saw him they believed. These men and women of faith saw what the unbelieving Pharisees could not see because they were blinded by prejudices and preconceived religion. To confess Jesus as the Christ is to be subject to Him and the Pharisees were unwilling to do this.
Our objective today should be like that of David. We are to call the Christ Lord because He is the reigning King. When I study God’s word and identify the true Jesus by faith I too will be numbered with the likes of David, Zacchaeus, Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, Abraham and so forth. Who do you associate with?
The Preeminence of Jesus Christ
By Stan Cox
Early in his epistle, Paul encouraged the Christians in Colosse to “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him” (Col. 1:10). A question to be asked, “Why are the Father and His Son Jesus Christ deserving of such faithfulness?” Paul answers the question in this text.
Jesus strengthens His disciples with His own glorious power, giving them might, patience, longersuffering and joy (11). Other passages confirm this same truth. Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). He affirmed in Ephesians 6 that by utilizing the protections afforded by the Lord (the armor of God), we can “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (16). Having done all, the Christian can stand with Jesus’ help (cf. 13).
The Father has qualified His people to be partakers of an inheritance (12). Christians are part of the family of God. Because of Jesus’ redemptive work, we have received the “Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Rom. 8:15). Because we now are adopted children in the family of God, we have an inheritance promised to us, “and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Rom. 8:17).
God has conveyed the elect into the kingdom of the Son of His love (13). The way in which this is accomplished is by escape. God delivers His people from the power of darkness. All of those who are in bondage to sin can, with God’s help, escape condemnation. Jesus explained it, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (Jn. 3:16-17). The kingdom is the realm of the Christ, who sits on the throne. Citizens of that kingdom are pilgrims on earth, but will enjoy their true home in eternity.
Jesus grants to His disciples redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins (13). The redemptive work of the Christ, who shed his blood on the cross, is the sufficient sacrifice to God for the sins of mankind. “By that will [the will of God] we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 10:10).
Jesus is the firstborn of creation (15). This does not mean that he is the first one created. He is eternal. “In the beginning was the Word…” (Jn. 1:1). It means that He is the source of creation. “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth… All things were created through Him and for Him” (16).
All of these things show why Jesus is worthy of our praise and faithfulness. It leads to a wonderful conclusion from Paul’s pen:
“And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (17-18).
Jesus is the preeminent one in all of God’s creation. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” (15). To any man who spends time considering his own existence, it is the inescapable conclusion. “And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God’ and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:9-10).
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4, ASV).