BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
I thank you Lord. You are the God who knows my weakness and gives me strength. You know my needs and give me grace.
Read MATTHEW 22:34–46
The Greatest Commandment
34 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.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? 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.”’[c]
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.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectUse the words of Psalm 113 to help focus your thoughts on God now.
Like tag team wrestlers, the Pharisees take over from the defeated Sadducees and ‘step into the ring’ to spar verbally with Jesus once more. His identification of love as the lens through which to understand and live the commands of the Old Testament (vs 37–40) inspires neither antagonism nor amazement – it is evidently an entirely orthodox answer. Jesus has no interest in being controversial for its own sake. He is only ever caught up in controversy when the kingdoms of this world resist the claims of the kingdom of heaven issued through his ministry. The same should surely hold true for the church as it continues Christ’s mission today.
At the heart of that mission, of course, is the declaration that, in Jesus, God entered into the world and acted to save and renew his creation. Jesus is the Messiah; he is David’s son, but more than that, he is the Son of God! That’s what he’s driving at with his question to the Pharisees concerning the sonship of the Messiah (v 42). The title ‘son of David’ is good so far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough (v 45); it fails to do sufficient justice to the full significance of Christ. The mission of the church must do full justice to Jesus.
Look up some of the many different biblical titles for the Messiah, e.g., Son of God, Servant, King. Spend a few moments reflecting on each individually. What do they convey to you about Jesus?
Sovereign Lord, I need the God-like attitude that Jesus referred to. Only that grace will enable me to follow you and love others as I should.
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