A few more thoughts from this morning’s message (part 1 of “King of the Mountain” focusing on Matthew 21:23-27; 22:41-46):
“I thought we just completed a series on Matthew 21-23?” If you had this thought . . . you are correct! In fact, this is our third series of messages from these 3 chapters. In June 2019, we had the “Father Heart of God” series that included 3 messages from Matthew 21-23, and then in August/September 2019, we stayed in these chapters for 5 more sermons in the “Authentic” series. Rather than organizing these 3 chapters exactly as they were written, our study has tackled them thematically. The “Father Heart of God” series showed God’s heart for the religious leaders to be saved. The “Authentic” series showed us Jesus’ rejection of the imitation faith of the Pharisees. Now in this series, we see Jesus fielding questions from a number of different groups in the Temple Mount area just 48-72 hours before His crucifixion.
SIDE NOTE: I have been preaching through Matthew’s Gospel now for nearly 3 years. Though we have organized this Gospel into many different series, we have still walked through this book verse-by-verse. After this current series, is done, we will only lack 2 more series before completing the entire book. For those keeping track, the message series from Matthew are:
- The Coming of the King (Matthew 1-2) – Christmas 2016
- Foundations of the Gospel Movement (Matthew 3-4) – Winter 2017
- Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) – Summer 2017
- Follow (Matthew 8-10) – Fall 2017
- First Responders (Matthew 11-12) – Spring 2018
- Like (Matthew 13) – Summer 2018
- Sink or Stand (Matthew 14-15) – Fall 2018
- Reveal (Matthew 16-17) – Fall 2018
- Relating to (Matthew 18-20) – Winter 2019
- Father Heart of God (Matthew 21-23) – Summer 2019
- Authentic (Matthew 21-23) – Fall 2019
- King of the Mountain (Matthew 21-23) – Fall 2019
- End of the World as we Know It (Matthew 24-25) – Winter 2020
- The Passion of the Christ (Matthew 26-28) – Spring 2020
“David, in the Spirit . . .” (22:43) – I had a question asked after the sermon about what was meant by the statement “David, in the Spirit. . .” The phrase “in the Spirit” is used by Jesus to indicate that what was to follow was not just David’s opinion, but an inerrant, inspired declaration from God. In 2 Peter 1:21, Peter says of the writers of the Old Testament, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The wording “carried along” is used elsewhere in the New Testament to describe the effect of a wind filling a sail. The idea is that the writers of the Old Testament (and New Testament for that matter) were not simply sharing their opinions, but sharing what God was moving them along to say. This adds authority to the text of Scripture, and is why Jesus references it here. Certainly the Pharisees would have had respect for King David . . . but they should have an even GREATER respect for the portions of the Scripture that David wrote, including Psalm 110 which Jesus quotes in Matthew 22:43-45.
“nor did they dare ask Him any more questions.” (22:46) – After their interactions with Jesus, Matthew tells us that the Pharisees stopped asking Him questions. This statement generally describes Jesus’ interactions with the Pharisees as a group. Just a couple of days after this encounter, the Pharisees are a part of the coalition of Jewish leaders who turn Jesus over to the Romans for crucifixion – they were done with asking questions, they simply wanted to put an end to Jesus’ life and attempt to snuff out His influence. While this was true of the Pharisees as a group, it was not true of every individual who was a member of their posse. Pharisee’s like Joseph of Arimathea were already in the process of believing, and Saul (soon to become Paul) would come to faith a few years later. These examples remind us that salvation is not about belonging to the right group (attending the right church, being from the right family, etc.) but is truly anchored to how we answer the question of questions – “What do you think about the Christ?” (22:41). Pharisees were not condemned because they were Pharisees . . . but because they rejected the gracious offer of the Savior of the World. Pharisees who believed in Jesus, were saved by Jesus.