Luke 20:41-47

Good morning and welcome to Great Commission Church.
Our pastor, Trevor Davis, is out of town and will be back next week.
My name is Don McKenzie.
I’m part of your church staff and it’s my privilege to fill in today as we continue our study in the gospel of Luke.
Today, we will finish up Luke chapter 20 – I know how excited many of you are about this – just 7 verses to go.
After today, we will only have 4 chapters left to go since Luke has 24 chapters.
Let me summarize the 7 verses we are going to consider today.
There are really two sections in these 7 verses – so let’s call it part 1 and part 2.
I want to look at Part 2 first.
The overall context of Luke 20 is that Jesus has been under surveillance.
All week the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes – all elements of the Jewish religious leadership - were like mosquitoes at a party – constantly annoying and always trying to bite or sting Jesus.
They hated Jesus and wanted Him dead, and in a few days, they will succeed in having Jesus put to death by crucifixion.
Even after Jesus’ death and resurrection, our Lord knew His disciples would be living in Israel and in Jerusalem for decades, so He warns them about these influential religious hypocrites.
Let’s read what Jesus said about some of them:
Luke 20:45-47
45    Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to His disciples,
46    “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts,
47    “who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”
So, Jesus turns to his disciples in the presence of the crowd and says in verse 46:
46    “Beware of the scribes, …
Does anyone in here personally know a Jewish scribe?
See, I don’t either, so we are in no danger from these Jewish scribes.
Currently in our history, this passage does not directly apply to us because there are no scribes around to worry about.
Granted, there is much to learn here about outward religion and how hypocrisy operates – but Jesus has already taught about some of this previously in Luke.
So, I want to spend more time on Part 1 of our passage today which means, that concludes my comments on Part 2.
(Should be around 31 minutes on the clock)
Now for Part 1.
First, the Jewish religious leaders had been trying to catch Jesus in His words by asking Him their trick questions.
That strategy backfired, so they stopped asking Jesus questions.
That is when Jesus mercifully said, “Guys, you’ve been asking me questions, but you never asked me the most important question.”
Let me illustration.
I know a man who had a wife who left their Bible-believing church and stopped participating.
They ended up divorced.
About a year later, right or wrong, the man told his son, who was about 10 or 11, that his mother was not a Christian.
Although the ex-wife had abandoned the church and expressed no interest in spiritual things, she was upset and angry about this, so she called her ex-husband.
“Did you tell our son I’m not a Christian?”
The man said, “Uh, well, I guess I did.”
The ex-wife proceeded to chew her ex-husband out for saying such an awful thing about her.
The ex-husband said she asked him the wrong question – do you see it?
At least she should have asked, 
“Why don’t you think I’m a Christian?”
Or even better, what if she had said:
“All this has made me think, am I really a Christian?”
Now, that’s the right question.
Yet, she was upset about being called a non-Christian.
She was not upset about whether she was actually a Christian.
She asked the wrong question because she was concerned about the wrong thing.
Like the scribes in part 2, she was more concerned about her outward image to her son, than the reality of whether she was genuinely saved.
Jesus basically told these Jewish leaders they asked the wrong questions.
Here’s how it all started from the gospel of Matthew and then we’ll pick it up in Luke:
Matthew 22:41-42
41    While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
42    saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”
There are 2 questions here, but which one does Jesus expect them to answer?
Sure, it’s the 2nd one – Whose Son is the Christ?
Okay, the first thing I had to be taught was that the word Christ and the word Messiah mean exactly the same thing. They are synonyms.
So, Jesus asked, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is he?
The next thing I had to learn was the Jewish concept of the Messiah.
The Jewish religion, based on the Old Testament, was looking forward to God sending a great deliverer – a future mighty, warrior King – who would rescue the nation from all her enemies.
In the first century, Israel’s great enemy was the Roman Empire.
Rome ruled over north Africa, all the middle east and most of Europe.
So, this enslaved Jewish nation, Israel, looked forward to the coming of their Messiah – this Christ – this promised, great warrior-King who would rescue them.
In this Matthew passage, verse 42, Jesus asked these Jewish leaders:
42    saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”
When the Messiah shows up, whose Son will He be?
And the rest of verse 42 is how they answered Jesus’ question.
42    They said to Him, “The Son of David.”
Let’s now go to our passage in Luke, verse 41
Luke 20:41
41    And He said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is the Son of David?
His response clearly implied He thought their answer was wrong.
Jesus then quotes to them, Psalm 110, verse 1 to prove His point:
42    “Now David himself said in the Book of Psalms: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, 43 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’
Remember, these are the smartest religious people in Israel, so they know this Psalm like the back of their hand.
They know this Psalm was written by King David himself.
They know that King David was Israel’s greatest king and that he had died a 1,000 years earlier.
And they know this Psalm of David is about the coming Messiah.
Jesus and these Jewish leaders all believe the same thing about Psalm 110 – they are all on the same page.
Okay, to recap, Jesus asked a question – whose Son is the Messiah or Christ?
They answered, the son of David.
Jesus replies with, how can you say that in light of Psalm 110:1.
He then quotes King David himself in this Psalm.
Now Jesus is going to ask them a very simple question about one word in the verse He just quoted.
Look at it in verse 44:
44    “Therefore David calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”
Everybody in this conversation agree that the words, “Him” and “He” refer to the Messiah or the Christ.
Let me reread the verse that way.
Jesus said; Therefore, David calls the Christ ‘Lord’; how is the Christ then David’s son?
AND that is the last verse in this passage.
That is how Luke ends this episode.
We don’t even know how anybody reacted.
Jesus asked this question in verse 44, drops the mic and walks out of the room.
So, Part 1 here becomes like a riddle or puzzle from Jesus and we need to solve it.
Here are 4 questions we need to quickly answer about the first part of Psalm 110, verse 1:
Psalm 110:1 – the LORD said to my Lord
1.    Who is speaking in this Psalm?
The one speaking is the LORD in all capital letters.
Psalm 110:1 – the LORD said to my Lord
2.    Who is the LORD in all capitals?
Several Bible translations take this Hebrew word and always translate it LORD in all capitals.
It is the special, unique name God gave Himself at the burning bush with Moses.
When people try to say this Hebrew word, most pronounce it Yahweh and many pronounce it Jehovah.
But when translated to English, the New King James Bible, like I’m using, and several other translations – translate Yahweh with the word, LORD, in all capitals.
So, in Psalm 110, verse 1, everyone knew who the LORD was because He is the God of Israel – the one true God – the Creator of heaven and earth.
Psalm 110:1 – the LORD said to my Lord
3.    Who is the “my” in “my Lord”?
That is King David referring to himself.
So, the LORD Yahweh said to David’s Lord.
Psalm 110:1 – the LORD said to my Lord
4.    Who is the Lord – lower case letters – in “my Lord”?
Well, the Lord Jesus and these Jewish leaders all rightly believed the second Lord was the future, coming Messiah or Christ.
Look at verse 42 again:
42    … ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, 43 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”’
Since this Lord, lower case is not the LORD upper case, they figured He was the Christ since the LORD invites Him to sit at the LORD’s right hand until the LORD makes His enemies His footstool.
That sounded like a mighty, warrior King who will eventually bring all the earth under His rule – and they were right – this is the future Christ or Messiah.
And then Jesus locked in on the phrase, “my Lord” – because that is how King David thinks of and refers to the Messiah.
David calls the Messiah, my Lord – lower case Lord.
Look at verse 44 again:
44    “Therefore David calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”
See, these Jesus leaders said the Messiah or Christ would be the son of David.
Jesus said, well, that’s not what David called Him in Psalm 110:1.
See, it helps to first know that the Christ would indeed be a physical descendant of King David.
He would be a great, great, great, great grandson of King David – so in that genealogical sense, the Christ would be the son of David.
That is what these Jewish leaders thought and meant.
But Jesus points out that David did refer to Him as son, but as my Lord.
Let me give you an illustration.
Who in here has a son or sons?
Have you ever seriously addressed your son with this phrase, “my Lord”?
Who has a grandson?
Have you ever bowed before your grandson and humbly said, “My Lord”?
No, because we all know that is not how it works.
Yes, the Messiah would be a great, great, great, great grandson of King David.
But King David did something none of you said you have ever done.
He bowed His knee to a son and called Him, Lord.
This is Jesus’ point.
Why would David call one of his descendants who would be the Messiah, Lord?
This is obviously a big deal or why else would Jesus bring it up?
First, in the ancient middle eastern world, fathers were considered greater than sons.
For example, in the Law of Moses, what’s the first commandment with promise and the 5th of the 10 Commandments?
Honor your father and mother and you’ll live long on the earth.
There is no command in the Bible – Old or New - for parents – fathers or mothers – to honor their children or grandchildren or great grandchildren, etc.
But there is one for children to honor their parents.
Sons come from their fathers, so they are by birth and definition, less honorable.
If the Messiah is merely a son of David, it would mean He was less honorable than King David – because sons give honor to those who came before them.
But, instead, in Psalm 110, King David gives all his honor to this future son, by calling Him Lord and not son.
Who is this future offspring of King David that even David dared not call Son, but instead bowed his knees and says, my Lord?
He cannot – he cannot only be a man because if He was only a man, David would call Him son and not Lord.
Because sons honor fathers – fathers do not honor their earthly sons above themselves.
It’s one of the 10 commandments.
That’s reason #1 – now Reason #2
King David was God’s appointed King on earth.
If God appoints you to be the king over His people, there is no one else on earth God considers to be more authoritative.
There was nobody on earth that was higher than King David.
Here is King David – God’s anointed – God’s man – God’s official authoritative leader on earth.
Here is everybody else.
If you are the highest, you call no man, Lord, yet David called his own son - his own future flesh and blood – Lord.
How can you be higher than the highest man?
Luke leaves Jesus’ question hanging in the air because everyone needs to answer this question.
Whose Son then is the Christ?
Another way to ask this question would have been, Who is the Father of the Messiah?
It’s not David, so who is it?
The answer is that Jesus is the Son of God.
Well, we live on the other side of this riddle after Jesus pulled back the veil of this mystery and gave us a much bigger picture of the true nature of God.
There is only one God, but He exists as three distinct persons.
What is hinted at in the Old Testament has been clearly reviewed in the New Testament.
Theologians, eventually coined the phrase that God is a Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus pointed out to these super smart Jewish religious leaders that the Christ would be a far, far more complicated person than they had ever imagined.
The story of the Bible is that God the Son – the 2nd person of this mysterious Trinity – who is 100% God and also known as the Son of God – left heaven on a mission of unfathomable mercy.
This mission required Him to take upon Himself a perfect human nature, live a perfect human life and then freely offer Himself as a satisfying sacrifice to God the Father.
Why would He do this? 
It was to appease the wrath of God toward sinners by paying for all the sins of those who will eventually end up in heaven.
This was a genius way for Jesus to challenge the smartest men in Israel to reconsider their false view of the Christ.
[Should be about 9 mins left]
That concludes Part 1 of the passage.
In conclusion, let’s consider 2 serious problems that caused these murderous religious leaders to crucify their Christ.
1.    They believed the Christ would only be a man.
This is why they called Him the Son of David.
1.    They believed the Christ would only be a man.
2.    They were disappointed in Jesus because He did not measure up to their expectations for the Christ.
They wanted a man who would be a warrior like King David and overthrown the oppressive Roman government and bring the entire world to their knees.
They wanted to live in a kingdom full of riches, honor and glory over the entire world.
Although they secretly believed Jesus was the Messiah, they also believed He was only a man – just like them.
And although Jesus did things no man has ever done – they were deeply disappointed in Him.
He was not the Messiah they believed was promised nor the one they so desperately said they wanted.
And, after all - He was conceived out of wedlock – He had no religious degrees or credentials – He regularly defiled Himself by hanging out with the most wicked people in Israel – He constantly insults us and condemns us in front of the people – and He just uses words, words and more words when we need swords, swords and more swords.
In the midst of their hatred, Jesus redirected their thoughts by asking them what they thought about the Christ.
So, here is one of the greatest Bible lessons to learn:
What you think about Jesus is why you are the way you are.
Everything hangs on this question – whether you are lost or saved.
I’m speaking to mostly saved people in this room – and Jesus is telling us that what we think about Him is the never-ending question.
So, what do you think about Jesus – the Christ?
Let me tell you something about this Jesus of the Bible, who is not just a man but is fully God.
He is the happiest person who exist.
He is the most creative and imaginative person you will ever meet.
He is supremely beautiful, utterly adorable and endlessly enjoyable.
He is the most interesting, fascinating and engaging person that exist.
He is the greatest person, the most powerful person and yet the kindness and most tender person you will ever meet.
He is so good that He has never, nor will He ever do a single solitary thing that is wrong in any way.
He is just and righteous yet full of grace and truth.
There is nothing He does not know and yet He deals with us moment by moment and gives us precious promises to give us safety and security in this life and the life to come.
His patience spans not just days or months but centuries and millenniums.
You will never meet a more loving, giving and gracious person.
His very being radiates with a brilliance of greatness and mouth dropping beauty – so powerful, that He gives it us in doses.
He carefully, with great wisdom, gives us glimpses and glimmers of His magnificent glory and are souls are utterly transformed.
He is so gorgeous; we will never stop admiring and praising Him.
If you ever get a glimpse of this Jesus who is the Christ – it is a miracle of God’s grace.
These Jewish leaders secretly believed Jesus was the Messiah, but they didn’t believe He was anything like this.
1 Corinthians 2:7-8
7    But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,
8    which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Their faith was warped because the Messiah they believed in was just a man – a man they were able to overcome and crucify – a weakling.
If they had seen the glory of Jesus beyond His humanity, they would have seen their glorious God standing right in front of them – and it would have never crossed their minds to crucify Him.
Jesus, in this passage, tried to give these Jewish leaders the key to everything wonderful in this life – and the life to come – and it’s not that Jesus is just a great man.
It’s that He is the Lord of glory.
He is everything and more than what I said just a minute ago.
What you think about Jesus is why you are the way you are.
When I counsel or interact with anyone, I have to keep these truths in my mind.
The basic problem for all of us is that we have too high an opinion of ourselves and we have too low an opinion of the Lord Jesus.
Most people just try to help you with you, and they don’t know that:
What you think about Jesus is why you are the way you are.
Look, we all struggle in various ways and at various times with other things or people or activities that we secretly think are more interesting, more compelling, more satisfying, more attention grabbing – more desirable than poor ole Jesus.
We have all experienced some measure of disappointment in Jesus – we have all wished He would be, and act differently than He has.
Just review your prayer list and tell me you have never wondered why God just won’t go ahead and answer your requests?
If you were God, would you go ahead and change anything or anybody in your life?
Well, He is God, and He disagrees with you about how to run His universe.
Imagine you are standing on a beach and as the sun is setting, the sky lights up with all the red, orange, yellow and blues in such a way that you realize – this is the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen – and you just bask in the glory of something so majestic and stunning.
You turn to the random person beside you and say, “Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?”
And He says, “Honestly, it just doesn’t do anything for me.”
You’re genuinely stunned and shocked.
You think, how can a person stand there in the presence of such a heavenly display of sheer beauty and say, “It doesn’t do anything for me!”
So, you say to the man, “Well, sir, maybe if you take off your sunglasses, you can see it better.”
He replies, “I could but it wouldn’t matter. I’m blind so I can’t see or enjoy what you are obviously seeing and enjoying. I’m sure it’s beautiful, but I just can’t see it.”
We enjoy the glory of Jesus as much as we can see it.
The problem is not the sunset because it’s stunning.
The problem is not the Lord Jesus because He is stunning.
The problem is our spiritual eyesight.
My goal as I speak to people is to try to faithfully paint an accurate picture of Jesus before their eyes, because all meaningful and good and lasting change comes by merely seeing more of who He is.
This is how Jesus changes people – by allowing them to see some aspect of His greatness, His beauty and incredible value.
We focus on our problems while Jesus tells us to focus on Him and never stop.
So here are 4 quick life altering steps from this message:
Step #1 – Jesus said we are to focus on and learn about Him.
Step #2 – As you learn, keep asking Him to open your eyes to see another glimpse of His incredible glory.
Step #3 – When He does, enjoy thanking Him more, praising Him more and loving Him more.
Step #4 – Go back to Step #1 and repeat.
If you have never seen the saving power of Jesus, you are in serious trouble.
You are in the trap that you have too high an opinion of yourself and too low of one about the Lord Jesus.
Turn from this false thinking and cry out to the Lord Jesus who is the living God.
Beg Him to have mercy on your soul and the best you know how, trust Him to be to you, the great Savior that He is.