Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 22:41-46.
After several confrontations recorded in Matthew 22, Christ turns the tables and asks the Pharisees some questions. He begins, “What think ye of Christ?” and then adds, “whose son is he?” (v. 42).
To answer the second question he conducts a Bible study on Psalm 110:1, “How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?” (Matthew 22:43-44).
Notice three things about this latter question:
First, he identifies David as the author of this Psalm (v. 43). The title of Psalm 110 is indeed, “A Psalm of David.”
Second, he says that David was speaking “in the spirit” (v. 43). This refers not just to David’s spirit, but to the Holy Spirit. Mark adds that Christ plainly said, “For David himself said by the Holy Ghost….” (Mark 12:36). This Psalm was, as Paul would put it, “given by inspiration of God [God-breathed], and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16).
Third, David spoke of the God of the Bible, the Father, Jehovah, the LORD in this verse as speaking to another person whom he calls “my Lord,” my Kurios, my Adonijah. Christ shows that this is a Messianic Psalm. He notes that the God of the Bible promised to this person whom David calls “my Lord” authority, “Sit thou on my right hand,” and dominion over his foes, “till I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
Spurgeon says Christ’s teaching answers “the present day critics who deny the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and the Davidic authorship, and the Messianic application of certain Psalms” (Commentary on Matthew, 347-348).
Christ continues his pedagogy through questions in v. 45: “If David then calls him Lord, how is he is son?”
His point: If the Messiah is merely David’s son (a physical descendent who comes through David’s line), how could he address him as Adonijah or Lord or Kurios? How could he use such an exalted title for the Messiah if he was merely an ordinary man?
What was he saying about himself? He was declaring: I am the Son of David, born in Bethlehem. I am the anointed one. I am the King sent to suffer on a cross. I am true man, but I am not merely a true man. David called me his Lord. I am greater than David. I am not merely the Son of David, but I am the eternal Son of God.
Believers are those who affirm that this is true, while unbelievers deny it (cf. Matthew 10:32-33).
Grace and peace, Jeff Riddle