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A Look of the Expositor Bible at The Ordeal of questions {Matthew 22:15-46 }

II —The Ordeal of questions. {#Mt 22:15-46 }

The open challenge has failed; but more subtle weapons may succeed. The Pharisees have found it of no avail to confront their enemy; but they may still be able to entangle Him. They will at all events try. They will spring upon Him some hard questions, of such a kind that, answering on the spur of the moment, He will be sure to compromise Himself.

1. The first shall be one of those semi-political semi-religious questions on which feeling is running high — the lawfulness or unlawfulness of paying tribute to Caesar. The old Pharisees who had challenged His authority keep in the background, that the sinister purpose of the question may not appear; but they are represented by some of their disciples who, coming fresh upon the scene and addressing Jesus m terms of respect and appreciation, may readily pass for guileless inquirers. They were accompanied by some Herodians, whose divergence of view on the point made it all the more natural that they should join with Pharisees in asking the question; for it might fairly be considered that they had been disputing with one another in regard to it, and had concluded to submit the question to His decision as to one who would be sure to know the truth and fearless to tell it. So together they come with the request:

“Master, we know that Thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest Thou for any man: for Thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest Thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?”

But they cannot impose upon Him:

“Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye Me, ye hypocrites?”

Having thus unmasked them, without a moment’s hesitation He answers them. They had expected a “yes” or a “no”—a “yes” which would have set the people against Him, or better still a “no” which would have put Him at the mercy of the government. But, avoiding Scylla on the one hand, and Charybdis on the other, He makes straight for His goal by asking for a piece of coin and calling attention to Caesar’s stamp upon it. Those who use Caesar’s coin should not refuse to pay Caesar’s tribute; but, while the relation which with their own acquiescence they sustain to the Roman emperor implied corresponding obligations in the sphere it covered, this did not at all interfere with what is due to the King of kings and Lord of lords, in Whose image we all are made, and Whose superscription every one of us bears:

“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Thus He not only avoids the net they had spread for Him, and gives them the very best answer to their question, but, in doing so, He lays down a great principle of far-reaching application and permanent value respecting the difficult and much-to-be-vexed question as to the relations between Church and State. “O answer full of miracle!” as one had said. No wonder that

“when they had heard these words they marvelled, and left Him, and went their way.”

2. Next come forward certain Sadducees. That the Pharisees had an understanding with them also seems likely from what is said both in ver. 15, which seems a general introduction to the series of questions, and in ver. 34, from which it would appear that they were somewhere out of sight, waiting to hear the result of this new attack. Though the alliance seems a strange one, it is not the first time that common hostility to the Christ of God has drawn together the two great rival parties. {see #Mt 16:1 } If we are right in supposing them to be in combination now, it is a remarkable illustration of the deep hostility of the Pharisees that they should not only combine with the Sadducees against Him, as they had done before, but that they should look with complacency on their using against Him a weapon which threatened one of their own doctrines. For the object of the attack was to cast ridicule on the doctrine of the resurrection, which assuredly the Pharisees did not deny.

The difficulty they raise is of the same kind as those which are painfully familiar in these days, when men of coarse minds and fleshly imaginations show by their crude objections their incapacity even to think on spiritual themes. The case they supposed was one they knew He could not find fault with so far as this world was concerned, for everything was done in accordance with the letter of the law of Moses, the inference being that whatever confusion there was in it must belong to what they would call His figment of the resurrection:

“In the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.”

It is worthy of note that our Lord’s-answer is much less stern than in the former case. These men were not hypocrites. They were scornful, perhaps flippant; but they were not intentionally dishonest. The difficulty they felt was due to the coarseness of their minds, but it was a real difficulty to them. Our Lord accordingly gives them a kindly answer, not denouncing them, but calmly showing them where they are wrong:

“Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.”

Ye know not the power of God, or ye would not suppose that the life to come, would be a mere repetition of the life that now is, with all its fleshly conditions the same as now. That there is continuity of life is of course implied in the very idea of resurrection, but true life resides not in the flesh, but in the spirit, and therefore the continuity will be a spiritual continuity; and the power of God will effect such changes on the body itself that it will rise out of its fleshly condition into a state of being like that of the angels of God. The thought is the same as that which was afterwards expanded by the apostle Paul in such passages as #Ro 8:5-11, 1Co 15:35-54.

Ye know not the Scriptures, or you would find in the writings of Moses from which you quote, and to which you attach supreme importance, evidence enough of the great doctrine you deny.

“Have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?”

Here, again, Jesus not only answers the Sadducees, but puts the great and all-important doctrine of the life to come and the resurrection of the body on its deepest foundation. There are those who have expressed astonishment that He did not quote from some of the later prophets, where He could have found passages much clearer and more to the point: but not only was it desirable that, as they had based their question on Moses, He should give His answer from the same source; but in doing so He has put the great truth on a permanent and universal basis; for the argument rests not on the authority of Moses, nor, as some have supposed, upon the present tense “I am,” but on the relation between God and His people. The thought is that such a relation between mortal man and the eternal God as is implied in the declaration

“I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”

is itself a guarantee of immortality. Not for the spirit only, for it is not as spirits merely, but as men that we are taken into relation to the living God; and that relation, being of God, must share His immortality:

“God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

The thought is put in a very striking way in a well-known passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews:

“But now they the patriarchs desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.”

Our Lord’s answer suggests the best way of assuring ourselves of this glorious hope. Let God be real to us, and life and immortality will be real too. If we would escape the doubts of old Sadducee and new Agnostic, we must be much with God, and strengthen more and more the ties which bind us to Him.

3. The next attempt of the Pharisees is on an entirely new line. They have found that they cannot impose upon Him by sending pretended inquirers to question Him. But they have managed to lay their hands on a real inquirer now — one of themselves, a student of the law, who is exercised on a question much discussed, arid to which very different answers are given; they will suggest to him to carry his question to Jesus and see what He will say to it. That this was the real state of the case appears from the fuller account in St. Mark’s Gospel. When, then, St. Matthew speaks of him as asking Jesus a question, “tempting Him,” we are not to impute the same sinister motives as actuated those who sent him. He also was in a certain sense tempting Jesus — i.e., putting Him to the test, but with no sinister motive, with a real desire to find out the truth, and probably also to find out if this Jesus was one who could really help an inquirer after truth. In this spirit, then, he asks the question,

“Which is the great commandment in the law?”

The answer our Lord immediately gives is now so familiar that it is difficult to realise how great a thing it was to give it for the first time. True, He takes it from the Scriptures; but think what command of the Scriptures is involved in this prompt reply. The passages quoted lie far apart — the one in the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy, the other in the nineteenth of Leviticus in quite an obscure corner; and nowhere are they spoken of as the first and second commandments, nor indeed were they regarded as commandments in the usually understood sense of the word. When we consider all this we recognise what from one point of view might be called a miracle of genius, and from another a flash of inspiration, in the instantaneous selection of these two passages, and bringing them together so as to furnish a summary of the law and the prophets beyond all praise which the veriest unbeliever, if only he have a mind to appreciate that which is excellent, must recognise as worthy of being written in letters of light. That one short answer to a sudden question—asked indeed by a true man, but really sprung upon Him by His enemies who were watching for His halting—is of more value in morals than all the writings of all the ethical philosophers, from Socrates to Herbert Spencer.

It is now time to question the questioners. The opportunity is most favourable. They are gathered together to hear what He will say to their last attempt to entangle Him. Once more He has not only met the difficulty, but has done so in such a way as to make the truth on the subject in dispute shine with the very light of heaven. There could not, then, be a better opportunity of turning their thoughts in a direction which might lead them, if possible in spite of themselves, into the light of God.

The question Jesus asks (vv. 41-45) is undoubtedly a puzzling one for them; but it is no mere Scripture conundrum. The difficulty in which it lands them is one which, if only they would honestly face it, would be the means of removing the veil from their eyes, and leading them, ere it is too late, to welcome the Son of David come in the name of the Lord to save them. They fully accepted the psalm to which He referred as a psalm of David concerning the. Messiah. If, then, they would honestly read that psalm they would see that the Messiah when He comes must be, not a mere earthly monarch, as David was, but a heavenly monarch, one who should sit on the throne of God and bring into subjection the enemies of the kingdom of heaven. If only they would take their ideas of the Christ from the Scriptures which were their boast, they could not fail to see Him standing now before them. For we must remember that they had not only the words He spoke to guide them. They had before them the Messiah Himself, with the light of heaven in His eye, with the love of God in His face; and had they had any love for the light, they would have recognised Him then — they would have seen in Him, whom they had often heard of as David’s Son, the Lord of David, and therefore the Lord of the Temple, and the heavenly King of Israel. But they love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil: therefore their hearts remain unchanged, the eyes of their spirit unopened; they are only abashed and silenced:

“No man was able to answer Him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions.”

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Preceding

Matthew 22:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

Matthew 22:7-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Invitations after City’s Destruction

Matthew 22:11-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: King’s Inspection and Marriage Garments

Matthew 22:14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Many Invited – Few Chosen

Matthew 22:15-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Caesar’s Things and God’s Things

Matthew 22:23-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sadducees Question on the Resurrection

Matthew 22:29-33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Resurrection Proof from Moses

Matthew 22:34-40 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Which Is the Greatest Commandment

Matthew 22:41-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Asks a Trump Question

Additional readings to Matthew 22:41-46

A Look of the Expositor Bible at The Marriage Feast {Matthew 22:1-14 }

Additional readings to Matthew 22:41-46

 

 

“41  While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Christ? {Or 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.”’ {Psalm 110:1 }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.” (Mt 22:41-46 NIV)

“1  Why do the nations conspire {Hebrew; Septuagint rage } and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. {Or anointed one }3 “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”” (Ps 2:1-3 NIV)

“Of David. A psalm. The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”” (Ps 110:1 NIV)

“34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’ {Psalm 110:1 } (Ac 2:34-35 NIV)

“1  Why do the nations conspire {Hebrew; Septuagint rage } and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. {Or anointed one }3 “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” 4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 6 “I have installed my King {Or king } on Zion, my holy hill.”
7  I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my Son; {Or son; also in verse 12 } today I have become your Father. {Or have begotten you } (Ps 2:1-7 NIV)

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, {Hebrew; Septuagint the blind } (Isa 61:1 NIV)

“”In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure for ever.” (Da 2:44 NIV)

“”In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.” (Da 7:13 NIV)

“After the sixty-two ‘sevens’, the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. {Or off and will have no-one; or off, but not for himself } The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.” (Da 9:26 NIV)

“24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet”. {Psalm 8:6 } Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.” (1Co 15:24-28 NIV)

“To which of the angels did God ever say, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? {Psalm 110:1 } (Heb 1:13 NIV)

“12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool,” (Heb 10:12-13 NIV)

“who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.” (1Pe 3:22 NIV)

“12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool,” (Heb 10:12-13 NIV)

“I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”” (Mt 16:28 NIV)

“”Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”” (Mt 26:64 NIV)

*

 

 

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Preceding

Matthew 22:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

Matthew 22:7-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Invitations after City’s Destruction

Matthew 22:11-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: King’s Inspection and Marriage Garments

Matthew 22:14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Many Invited – Few Chosen

Matthew 22:15-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Caesar’s Things and God’s Things

Matthew 22:23-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sadducees Question on the Resurrection

Matthew 22:29-33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Resurrection Proof from Moses

Matthew 22:34-40 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Which Is the Greatest Commandment

Matthew 22:41-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Asks a Trump Question

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Additional reading

  1. Death
  2. Memorizing wonderfully 72: Colossians 3:1: Christ seated on the right hand of God

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Related articles

  1. A Promise of our King – Psalm 2
  2. Ps.2 True freedom
  3. Meditations:Psalm-2:1-4-“concordat of the ungodly”Psalm 2:7-9 – 7/6/19Psalm 2:10-12 – 7/14/19
  4. Overcoming by Trusting God, Psalm 2:7-8
  5. Seeing The Radiance Of His Glory
  6. Genesis to Revelation in one chapter: Psalm 110
  7. The Lesser Is Blessed By The Greater
  8. The Divine Prophetic Thread – From Melchizadek Through David To Jesus Christ
  9. Jesus Christ Is Our High Priest Of The New Covenant
  10. Jesus, Our Guarantee Of A Better Hope Through His Better Covenant
  11. How Blessed #3
  12. The Identity of the Messiah
  13. Concerning Him We Have Much To Say
  14. A Door of Hope, Part 1Father, Forgive Them – Part 5
  15. One stop and its all done
  16. The years of the right hand of the Most High: Psalm 77
  17. Seated in the Heavenly Places: The Ascension of Our Lord
  18. At the Right Hand of God
  19. Does Jesus show His Preeminence by His exaltation to the Father’s right hand?

Matthew 22:41-46 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Asks a Trump Question

Matthew 22:41-46 – Jesus Asks a Trump Question

|| Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44

MT22:41 Now as the Pharisees were all together, Jesus inquired of them, asking: MT22:42 “What is your opinion about the Messiah?[1] Whose son is he?” They answered, “[Son] of David.” MT22:43 Jesus responded to them, “How then could David under inspiration call Messiah ‘Master,’ when he says,[2] MT22:44 ‘YHWH[3] said to my Master, “Sit at My right hand[4] until[5] I put your enemies beneath your feet.”’ [Psalm 110:1] MT22:45 So, if David calls Messiah ‘Master’ how can Messiah be his son?” MT22:46 And none were able to answer the question of Jesus. From that day none dare test him any longer.

*

[1] Messiah: The English words Messiah and Christ mean the same thing. Messiah (the Anointed) is rooted in Hebrew, while Christ (the Christened One) in Greek. The idea of a foretold coming one who will be anointed by Yehowah is based on Psalm 2:1, Isaiah 61:1, and Daniel 9:26.

[2] David under inspiration call Messiah ‘Master,’ when he says: Jesus is to quote one of the most quotable verses in the Christian Bible: Psalm 110:1 (Acts 2:34, 35; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Hebrews 1:13; 10:12, 13; 1 Peter 3:22). It is also a text Jesus often combines with Daniel 7:13 in a conflate: ‘Son of Man at the right hand of God.’ By inspiration David discerns the Messiah of Psalm 2:1 is his future “Lord” upon his resurrection from the dead. It is clear from Psalm 110:1 that Messiah (Jesus Christ) is not Yehowah. In the KJV there are two “Lords” one is in all caps.

[3] YHWH: In Psalm 110:1, both in the Hebrew Text and in the Jewish Greek Septuagint the four letters of the Tetragram, which stand for the Name of God, appear. See notes elsewhere on whether Jesus vocalized a Name the Jews were forbidden to pronounce. The fact the Jews never make an issue over this as a charge against Jesus (as in the case of the Sabbath) may indicate he followed their tradition.

[4] Sit at My right hand: We have inspired quotations of Psalm 110:1 indicating Messiah begins his rule upon his return to heaven (1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:19-22). The prophet Daniel foretold this ascension to a heavenly throne would occur during the period of Roman rule (Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:13). Jesus told his disciples and his religious enemies that they would live to see his enthronement at the right hand of God (see the notes on Matthew 10:23, Matthew 16:28, Matthew 26:64). For details on Psalm 2:1-7 and Psalm 110:1 research these texts in Nazarene Apocalypse and NAZARENE PRINCIPLES within Nazarene Commentary.

[5] Until: This time period stretches from the ascension of Jesus to heaven (Daniel 7:13; John 6:62) until the end of his Thousand Year reign (1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 20:12-14). The view Jesus ‘waits to rule’ contradicts the above. Jesus ‘rules… waiting.’

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Preceding

Matthew 22:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of Invitation to a Marriage

Matthew 22:7-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Invitations after City’s Destruction

Matthew 22:11-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: King’s Inspection and Marriage Garments

Matthew 22:14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Many Invited – Few Chosen

Matthew 22:15-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Caesar’s Things and God’s Things

Matthew 22:23-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sadducees Question on the Resurrection

Matthew 22:29-33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Resurrection Proof from Moses

Matthew 22:34-40 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Which Is the Greatest Commandment

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