After returning from Israel in 2018, I decided to read through the gospels once again. And after walking where Jesus walked, I read the Word differently. With a new understanding of the geography and landscape of the Holy Land, I found myself circling the places my feet were on the same holy ground of my Savior.
When I reached Matthew 22 in my reading, I noticed with new insight how the religious leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees) were attempting to trap Jesus in verses 41-46. As always, Jesus saw through their deception and turned their questions back to them. He attempted to get them to consider just whose son the Messiah was prophesied to be.
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.”’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.
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).
He is the God-Man. The promised Messiah!
How does this relate to us today? Here’s how. And pay attention, because it is subtle. When a minister states that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, the minister is 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 the incarnation. Jesus IS God! His name, Immanuel, literally means God with us!
So when it comes to deciding where you go to church, I warn you to be on 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?
Dr. Warren Wiersbe writes, “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.”
Be weary of leaders enamored with tradition, position and selfish pride. Do not miss the truth. As Billy Graham says, “Religion is like the vaccine that stops you from getting the real thing.”
So who is Jesus we ask? He’s the God incarnate, God with us. He is the God-Man. May we keep seeking the answers to who He is together.