Matthew 22:34-46

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

JESUS’ ANSWER TO THE PHARISEES

AND JESUS’ QUESTION OF THE PHARISEES

CONCERNING THE MESSIAH

INTRODUCTION:

 

The Problems of the King includes the narrative about Jesus (19:3 - 23:39), the Olivet Discourse (24:1 - 25:46), and the concluding statement, Matthew 26:1-2(1) And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, (2) Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

 

The narrative about Jesus in chapter 22 includes His parable of the marriage feast (22:1-14), His answer to the Pharisees and Herodians (22:15-22), His answer to the Sadducees (22:23-33), His answer to the Pharisees (22:34-40), and His question of the Pharisees concerning the Messiah (22:41-46).

We see –

    I.     JESUS’ ANSWER TO THE PHARISEES – 22:34-40

 

When the Pharisees learned that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came to match wits with Jesus in order to discredit Him. A Pharisee who was a lawyer tested Jesus with a question. The lawyer addressed Jesus as teacher and then asked which of the commandments in the law is the greatest. Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 and referring to it as the first and great commandment. Jesus also answered a question He had not been asked regarding the second commandment. He stated that the entire Old Testament Scriptures were based on the two commandments He quoted.

 

Matthew 22:34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

 

When the Pharisees learned that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came to match wits with Jesus in order to discredit Him.

 

But when the Pharisees had heard suggests after they heard or because they heard.

 

What the Pharisees heard is that he (i.e. Jesus) had put the Sadducees to silence.

 

They (i.e. the Pharisees) were gathered together is the Pharisees were gathered at the same (place), which suggests at the place where Jesus had just silenced the Sadducees.

 

Matthew 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying.

 

A Pharisee who was a lawyer tested Jesus with a question.

 

Then introduces what happened after the Pharisees gathered at the same place.

 

One of them means one of the Pharisees who had gathered where Jesus was.

 

He was identified as being a lawyer, which means that he was a legal expert in the Mosaic law.

 

Asked him a question implies asked Jesus a question.

 

Tempting him, where him is Jesus, is understood in the sense of in order to test Him or for the purpose of testing Him.

 

And saying introduces the question the lawyer asked Jesus.

 

Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

 

The lawyer addressed Jesus as master, which means as teacher and then asked which of the commandments in the law is the greatest.

 

The fact that he did not address Jesus as Lord suggests that he did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah.

 

Which is the great commandment in the law? suggests, Which commandment in the law (is) greatest?

 

Evidently, some of the religious leaders were arguing over which one of the ten commandments was greater than all the rest. They wanted Jesus to get involved in the argument so that they might discredit Him in the eyes of the people. They were apparently thinking that, no matter which one He cited, some would disagree with them and, therefore, turn against Him.

 

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

 

To the lawyer’s surprise, Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 , a commandment which is not one of the Ten Commandments.

 

Jesus said unto him suggests Jesus answered him (i.e. the lawyer).

 

Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

 

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God is a command.

 

It is, You (singular) shall love the Lord your God.

 

LORD in Deuteronomy 6:5 is in all capitals. It, therefore, refers to Yahweh or Jehovah.

 

With all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind describes how someone is to love the Lord his God.

 

With all thy heart means with all your being or from deep within you.

 

With all thy soul implies with all your will, and with all thy mind implies with all your intellect.

 

Mark 12:30 adds and with all your strength, which implies with all your physical strength (i.e. your physical power or might).

 

Matthew 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.

 

Jesus refers to Deuteronomy 6:5 as the most important and greatest commandment.

 

This refers to the quotation made by Jesus in the previous verse.

 

Is indicates that it is a timeless truth, something which is always true under all circumstances.

 

The first and great commandment is the foremost (i.e. most important or most prominent) and greatest commandment.

 

Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

 

Jesus then answered a question He had not been asked regarding the second greatest commandment.

 

And the second means the second foremost and greatest commandment.

 

Is like unto it suggests (is) similar to it (i.e. is similar to the first and greatest commandment).

 

By saying this, Jesus goes beyond the question He was asked by the lawyer.

 

He quotes this second commandment from Leviticus 19:18 .

 

Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

 

Thou shalt love is a command which means you (singular) shall love.

 

Thy neighbour refers to anyone who is near or close by you. In this context it refers to your fellow human being.

 

As thyself suggests as (you love) yourself.

 

Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

 

Jesus stated that the entire Old Testament Scriptures were based on the two commandments He has just quoted in verses 37 and 39.

 

These two commandments refer to Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

 

On these two commandments hang is understood in the figurative sense of on these two commandments depend.

 

All the law and the prophets refers to the entire body of Old Testament Scriptures.

 

It means that these two commandments provide the basis for everything taught in the entire Old Testament.

We also see –

  II.     JESUS’ QUESTION OF THE PHARISEES CONCERNING THE MESSIAH – 22:41-46

 

Jesus asked the Pharisees whose son Christ is; and they answer that He is the son of David. Jesus then asks how David, speaking by the Holy Spirit, would call the Messiah Lord. Jesus points out to the Pharisees what David wrote in Psalms 110:1 . Jesus then provides something for the Pharisees to consider: can David call the Messiah Lord if He is his son? No one could answer Jesus’ question, and no one dared ask Him any more questions. They realized that they had more than met their match.

 

Matthew 22:41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them.

 

Jesus asked the Pharisees a question.

 

While the Pharisees were gathered together suggests while the Pharisees were assembled. Its translation reflects the fact that they had assembled previously and were still assembled.

 

Jesus asked them indicates that Jesus asked the Pharisees something.

 

He will actually ask four questions, which are found in the next four verses.

 

Matthew 22:42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.

 

Jesus asked the Pharisees from whom the Christ or the Messiah was descended, and they answer that He is the son of David.

 

Saying introduces Jesus’ first two questions and is understood in the sense of and was saying or while He was saying.

 

What think ye of Christ? is asking for the Pharisees’ opinion about the Messiah.

 

He is asking the Pharisees what they think (or believe) about the Christ (i.e. about the Messiah).

 

Jesus then gets more specific with Whose son is he? by which He means, Whose son is the Messiah?

 

By son Jesus means descendant.

 

They say unto him means that the Pharisees answer Jesus.

 

Their answer is, The Son of David. The Messiah is David’s Son (or David’s Descendant).

 

They had no idea where Jesus was going with this as He placed them in an interesting dilemma.

 

Matthew 22:43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying.

 

Jesus then asks how David, speaking by the Holy Spirit, would call the Messiah Lord.

 

He saith unto them is He (i.e. Jesus) says to them (i.e. to the Pharisees); or He asks them since Jesus is asking the Pharisees another question.

 

How then doth David in spirit call him Lord?

 

This question will continue in the next verse.

 

How? suggests in what way? or in what sense?

 

Then introduces an inference drawn from the Pharisees’ answer that the Messiah is David’s Son and is understood in the sense of therefore, accordingly, consequently, or so.

 

Doth David . . . call him? means is David calling Him (i.e. Christ or Messiah)?, is David addressing Him as?, or is David designating Him as?

 

In spirit is by (the Holy) Spirit and implies while writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

 

Jesus is about to quote Psalms 110:1 and is thereby indicating that God the Holy Spirit directed or led David to write what was written.

 

It is an indication directly from Jesus that, although David is the human writer of this portion of the Scripture, God the Holy Spirit is the Divine Author.

 

Call him refers to the Messiah.

 

Lord is how David is referring to the Messiah. It indicates that the Messiah is David’s Sovereign.

 

Jesus’ question means, In what sense is David designating the Messiah as Lord?

 

Saying suggests while saying or while he (i.e. David) is saying.

 

Matthew 22:44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?

 

Jesus points out to the Pharisees what David wrote in Psalms 110:1 .

 

Psalms 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

 

As indicated by all capital letters, the LORD refers to Yahweh or Jehovah. In this verse LORD is referring to God the Father.

 

Said unto my Lord means said to David’s Lord.

 

In the Greek text, the word translated Lord with only an initial capital letter is the same word translated LORD in all capitals and refers to the Christ (or the Messiah). It indicates that the Christ (or the Messiah) is God just like His Father is God.

 

What was said to the Christ (or the Messiah) is, Sit thou on my right hand, i.e. sit at my right.

 

It indicates that it is a place of honor and that the Christ (or the Messiah) is co-reigning with God the Father.

 

That this is a reference to Jesus is stated in a number of passages in the New Testament including Hebrews 1:3 , 1:13, 8:1, 10:12, 12:2, and I Peter 3:22 .

 

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

 

Hebrews 1:13 (referring to Psalms 110:1 ) – But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

 

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.

 

Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.

 

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set (i.e. sat) down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

I Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

 

Till I make thine enemies thy footstool is until I (i.e. the LORD – God the Father) put Your (i.e. the Lord’s – Christ’s, the Messiah’s) enemies a footstool of Your feet? It implies until I subject Your enemies to You.

 

That this will happen is clear, but its timing is unclear to believers.

 

God the Father will one day subject all of Christ’s enemies to Christ.

 

 

Matthew 22:45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?

 

Jesus then provides something for the Pharisees to consider: how can David call the Messiah Lord if He is his son (22:45)?

 

Then introduces an inference drawn from the Pharisees’ correct answer that the Messiah is the Son of David and from what David wrote in Psalms 110:1 .

 

Then is understood in the sense of so, therefore, consequently, or accordingly.

 

Verse 45 is a conditional statement whose condition is if David . . . call him Lord.

 

For the sake of discussion, it is assumed to be true; and it is true.

 

Therefore, if may be understood in the sense of because, since, inasmuch as, or in view of the fact that.

 

If David . . . call him Lord suggests because David is calling Him (i.e. the Christ or the Messiah) Lord (i.e. inasmuch as David is addressing Him as Lord or in view of the fact that David is designating Him as Lord).

 

The conclusion of the conditional statement is how is he his son?

 

It suggests in what way (or in what sense) is He (i.e. the Christ or the Messiah) his son (i.e. David’s son)?

 

The Scriptural answer is that as God the Son, Jesus the Christ is eternal and is David’s Lord and Master just as He is the Lord and Master of all believers.

 

As the Messiah, Jesus is physically descended from David and is, therefore, David’s son or descendant; but the Pharisees had no answer for Jesus’ questions.

 

Matthew 22:46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

 

No one could answer Jesus’ question, and no one dared ask Him any more questions.

 

The Pharisees realized that they had more than met their match.

 

And no man is and no one or and nobody.

 

Was able indicates ongoing action in past time and suggests was capable, meaning that everyone had an ongoing inability, something they were incapable of doing or never capable of doing.

 

To answer him a word is to reply to Him (i.e. to Jesus) a word. It implies not even a single word.

 

Neither durst any man is neither dared anyone (or anybody), neither did anyone dare (or have the courage), or no one (or nobody) dared (i.e. had the courage or was brave enough).

 

From that day forth is from that day on.

 

Ask him any more questions suggests to ask Him (i.e. to ask Jesus) any more (or any further) (questions).

CONCLUSION:

 

No matter how well trained the Pharisees were, they were going to lose every time they attempted to match wits with Jesus Who was omniscient. Their refusal to recognize Him as the Messiah demonstrates the obstinacy of their unbelieving hearts.

 

As we move into chapter 23, we will see that the narrative about Jesus includes His comments regarding the marks of a Pharisee (23:1-12), His pronouncing of eight woes upon the Pharisees (23:13-36), and His lament over Jerusalem (23:37-39).

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