Jesus and the Pharisees: from Matthew 22:34-46

This is our fourteenth study. Please click HERE for an intro to this study. Today we see how Jesus turned the tables on the Pharisees—how He tested their weak faith.

Matthew 22:34-46

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

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.

Observations

After the Pharisees tried to stump Jesus by asking Him which was the greatest commandment in the Law (and Jesus not only told them which was the greatest, but also the second greatest), He then had a question for them. He asked them whose son was Jesus. They answered correctly: the son of David. He them asked them, why then did David in the Spirit call Him Lord (in Ps. 110:1). It is obvious here that Jesus was pointing out His own deity. But still the Pharisees would not accept it. They understood what He was saying, but they refused to believe that He was the Son of God.

Application

The application for the Pharisees is to believe. The application for us today is the same. We must believe that He is the Son of God—the Lord, our Lord.