Whose Son Is the Christ?
41 But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son? 42 For David himself says in the Book of Psalms,
“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
43 until I make your enemies your footstool.” ’
44 David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?”
Beware of the Scribes
45 And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
The Plot to Kill Jesus
22 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.
Judas to Betray Jesus
3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. 4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.
So, this seems like an odd place to jump into this meditation today.
Jesus asks this odd and difficult question to the religious leaders: “If David calls God LORD, how can Christ be the Son of David?”
We have to understand that ever since Jesus entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, the religious leaders have one aim: that is to trap Jesus into saying something blasphemous: something worthy of being put to death
they ask Him whose authority He is using to do what He does and teach the way He teaches
They ask Him about paying taxes, hoping to catch him contradicting Himself
They ask Him about marriage, hoping that He will contradict the law or their tradition in some way
And finally Jesus gives them this “zinger”. If David calls the Christ, LORD, how can you say that the Christ is the Son of David?”
And then in the presence of the scribes, He turns to the listening crowd and warns them about the hypocrisy of the religious leaders and says they will receive their condemnation!
Jesus wisdom and outspokenness seems to deflate the the pride and arrogance of the religious leaders because they stop trying to trap Him with words
But things are far from peaceful. The religious leaders are
They are angry and embarrassed that Jesus continues to have the upper hand in their discussions and they are angry that Jesus continues to call out their hypocrisy and abuse of power.
They are afraid to do anything about it because they know that the people like Him.
And these two dynamics are putting into motion a series of events that will change the world forever.
A series of events that is driven by one being.
You know, we often hear people talking about the hypocrisy of the religious leaders or the wickedness of Judas.
And these are things to talk about on some level
But let’s not miss what it says in 22:3. “Then Satan entered into Judas…He went away”.
Satan had been waiting a long time for this moment. He had been waiting for a chance to “thwart” the plans of God who had dealt justice to him for his pride and cast him out of heaven.
And now was the perfect opportunity.
And Satan found willing participants in his scheme. He found men who had two things in their hearts:
Fear and Anger.
Hearts of fear and anger.
A heart that is full of fear and anger is a heart that is Satan’s playground.
These two emotions are extremely powerful: in many cases, they control people throughout their entire lives.
Fear: we fear
Anger: we can have anger against
circumstances (personal or surrounding)
that guy who cut me off in traffic
And when fear and anger are brought together, it creates a powerful concoction which Satan loves to use to get us to do things that we later regret
Satan entered into the heart of Judas who betrayed his Lord.
And we know the story. How Judas was so overcome with shame and regret at what he had done that he went and hung himself.
This is what fear and anger does to us.
I would say that many of us have in the past done things out of fear and anger that we wish we could take back and we live with shame because of how we acted.
You know, we may not be able to take them back but there is redemption.
Because the Spirit of God works in our hearts to bring transformation
Where there is fear, the Spirit brings love: “God has not given us a Spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind”
Where there is anger and hate, there is not forgiveness and grace:
says that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation and that we are now ambassadors for Christ
This is exactly 180 degrees opposite from what we see in the lives of the religious leaders and Judas.
So today, on Wednesday of Holy Week, let’s consider this question:
“Do I operate in the world of fear, or in the world of love?”
“Do I operate in the world of anger, or in the world of grace and forgiveness?”