Luke – Wide Open Doors!
Luke 20, New Living Translation
Whose Son Is the Messiah?
41 Then Jesus presented them with a question. “Why is it,” he asked, “that the Messiah is said to be the son of David? 42 For David himself wrote in the book of Psalms:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
43 until I humble your enemies,
making them a footstool under your feet.’[f]
44 Since David called the Messiah ‘Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?”
45 Then, with the crowds listening, he turned to his disciples and said, 46 “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 47 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished.”
JUST TO BE CLEAR…
While the Pharisees were still gathered together, Jesus asked them a final question: “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” (Matt. 22:41–42 nkjv). This is the key question for every generation and each individual, for our salvation and eternal destiny are dependent on what we think about Christ (1 John 2:21–25; 4:1–6; 5:1).
Jesus then referred them to Psalm 110, which is quoted in the New Testament more than any other psalm. The Jewish religious leaders in that day identified Psalm 110 as a prophetic psalm and said that David was speaking of the Messiah. But if the Messiah is David’s Lord, how can He be David’s son? Here was an enigma for them to solve!
The only explanation is that Messiah must be both God and man. As eternal God, Messiah is David’s Lord, but as man, He is David’s son.
On Palm Sunday, the multitudes had acclaimed Jesus as the Son of David, and He had not rebuked them (Matt. 21:9; Mark 11:10). By applying Psalm 110:1 to Himself, Jesus claimed to be Israel’s promised Messiah, the Son of God.
Then why did the Pharisees not believe in Him? Because their minds were made up, their hearts were hardened, and their eyes were blind (John 12:37–50). They did not have the courage to confess the truth, and they persecuted those who did affirm faith in Jesus Christ. Christ’s question silenced His enemies (Matt. 22:46) and ended their public challenges, but they would not admit defeat.
Because of their hypocrisy and dishonesty, the scribes and Pharisees were dangerous to have around, so Jesus warned the people about them (Luke 20:45–47; see Matt. 23). Men see the outside, but God sees the heart (1 Sam. 16:7; Heb. 4:12).
These religious leaders did not desire personal holiness; they wanted public recognition. Therefore, they wore special garments, expected special titles and greetings, and looked for special seats at public gatherings.
There is a double tragedy here. First of all, their deliberate hypocrisy was only a cover-up that enabled them to fool people and exploit them. Of all rackets, religious rackets are the worst. The religious leaders had turned the temple of God into a den of thieves and religious devotion into playacting. The general public actually thought that their leaders were godly men, when in reality they were defiling and destroying souls (Matt. 23:13–36).
The second tragedy is that they rejected their own Messiah and voted to crucify Him. They led the nation into ruin because they would not admit their sins and confess Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that these men were “experts” in the Bible, yet they did not apply its truths to their own lives. Their religion was a matter of external observance, not internal transformation.
This same tragedy is reenacted today. This is why the Holy Spirit warns, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 3:7–8). “How often I wanted to … but you were not willing” (Matt. 23:37).
It’s not too late…Turn to the One and Only Jesus. Confess your sins to Him. Believe and follow. Trust and obey Jesus. He will hear and forgive. He loves you more than you can imagine!
Our prayer. In Jesus Name, Amen.