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What do you think of the Christ?

Matthew 22:34-46

Pastor David Ernst

Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Sep 30, 2018 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The first part of our text for today is the summary of the Law of God that I have talked about a lot:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. "

In catechism class, these two are the two stone tablets. The first three commandments tell us in what way we should love God. Do not have other gods ... do not misuse the name of the Lord ... Remember the Sabbath. And the others deal with the love of the neighbor: Honor your father and mother ... do not kill ... do not commit adultery, etc.

Today I want to focus on the second part of our text. Last Sunday I spoke about the parties among the Jews at that time of Jesus. In this text we find two of them again: The Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees did not believe in the prophecies of the Old Testament, but the Pharisees did. Like evangelicals today, the Pharisees had a lot of enthusiasm for all the Scriptures and wanted to live according to them.

However, the Pharisees rejected Jesus as much as the Sadducees. The biggest problem that Jesus had with the Pharisees was they knew the Scriptures, but they did not want to believe what the messianic prophecies about the person of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, Jesus asked them, "What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?" Christ is a Greek word equal to the Hebrew word, Messiah. Both means "The Anointed One" or "The Chosen One". Christ is a title, then, Jesus the Christ. All the messianic prophecies said that the Messiah, the Promised One of Israel, should be a descendant of King David, like all the kings of Israel. Because God promised David a lineage of kings and his descendant would be the King of kings whose kingdom will have no end. Therefore, the Pharisees answered Jesus, "Of David."

We find in the Gospels of San Mateo and San Lucas, the genealogies of Joseph and Mary. Jesus was descended from David by His mother, also by adoption of His stepfather. So, Jesus was qualified to be king of Israel. For this reason, Herod tried to kill the boy destined to be king of Israel. Herod was not a descendant of David. He only had his reign because of the Romans, it did not matter that his wife was of David's lineage.

But, there is something else. "How then does David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your foes your footstool, for if David calls him Lord, how is he his son?"

God promised David that the Messiah would be his descendant. But, King David himself wrote Psalm 110 by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and spoke of the Messiah in divine terms. The Lord in the first instance is God Almighty Father. In the second instance, the Lord is He who sits on the right hand of the Father. Who do we confess is sitting at the right hand of God Almighty Father? The Son, not only Son of David, also Son of God. The Athanasian Creed says the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, the Spirit is Lord, but there are not three masters, but one Lord and God.

All the Old Testament prophecies pointed to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But, the Pharisees did not want to believe in this type of Savior who came to die on the cross for sinners. They did not want to believe in themselves as sinners, no matter what the Scriptures said. They believed that they had fulfilled the Law perfectly; Therefore, they asked Jesus, What is the greatest commandment? It was to say, in their pride, that they observed all the commandments, even the greatest.

However, we all know in our hearts that we need a Savior. Because as we confess every Sunday, we have not loved God as we deserve, nor have we loved our neighbor as ourselves.

For this reason, the Savior had to be true God and true man. True man to be tempted in all aspects like us. True God to perfectly obey the Law of God without sin. This innocent and perfect man, the lamb without blemish, died in our places. As the Son of God and Son of David, he rose again on the third day and ascended into heaven to share the throne of his Father.

We confess the two natures of Christ in the Nicene Creed, written against the heresies that deny to one side the divinity of Christ, and the other side, the complete humanity of Christ. Because in these two nature we have confidence in the promise of eternal life and the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.

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