Who is Jesus?
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied. He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
– Matthew 22:41-46
Having recently returned from Israel, I decided to begin reading through the gospels once again. However, now I read with a new understanding of the geography and landscape of the Holy Land. As I’m reading through Matthew, I circle the places I visited and recall the topography.
This past Monday, I found myself in Matthew 22:41-46. The religious leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees) are trying to trap Jesus. As always, Jesus turns the trap around on them. He does so with his questioning in these 6 verses.
These religious leaders did not believe that Jesus was who He claimed to be, both the Son of Man and the Son of God. If Jesus is David’s son, why does David call him Lord (God)? That is THE question Jesus put to these religious leaders. The answer troubled them, therefore they remained silent. Understand that Jesus is both “the son of David” in that he is a physical descendant of David (Matthew 1:1-16, Luke 3:23-31) and He is also “the son of God,” born of the virgin Mary (Micah 5:2, Isaiah 7:14). Thus, He is the God-Man, the promised Messiah!
How does this relate to us today? Here’s how. And it is subtle. When a minister states that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, then that minister is basically denying that Jesus is God. Muslims, Jews, Hindus and followers of other religions do not worship Jesus as the Lord God of the Bible. They tend to think of him as a great teacher or prophet, but not God in the flesh. The fundamental truth of the Bible is that God became flesh and made His dwelling among us (John 1:1-3, 14). This is what Christmas is all about. Jesus IS God!
So, when it comes to deciding where you go to church, I warn you to be on your guard. Peter warns us, “But there were false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute” (2 Peter 2:1-2).
Christianity boils down to one simple question: Who is Jesus?
Making a decision about Jesus Christ is a matter of life and death. The evidence is there for all to examine. We can examine it defensively and miss the truth. Or we can examine it honestly and humbly, and discover the truth, believe, and be saved. The religious leaders were so blinded by tradition, position, and selfish pride that they could not—and would not—see the truth and receive it. We dare not make the same mistake today.
– Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1)
Many religious leaders and religious people miss the truth because they have been blinded by tradition, position and selfish pride. As Billy Graham says, “Religion is like the vaccine that stops you from getting the real thing.”
(1) Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary (Colorado Springs, Colorado: Victor, 2001), 82-83.