Matthew 22:41-42 – While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
“The son of David,” they replied. NIV
These are the closing days of Jesus’ ministry, and He is teaching in the Temple. Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees have come to Him with question in hopes of trapping Him in some way. Jesus has just refuted the logic of the Sadducees in regard to the resurrection of the dead, and now Jesus takes the discussion to the Pharisees with this question. Why would He want to press the discussion about His identity that could get Him accused of blasphemy? I think that He wanted to give everyone an opportunity to believe in Him as the promised Messiah (Christ).
As Jesus begins this discussion about the Christ, He asks the Pharisees: “Whose son is he?” The Pharisees came back with the accepted answer of the day: “The son of David,” Was Jesus hoping that they would see Him as this “son of David?” Many had used that title to address Him: two blind men seeking healing, the crowd who had watched Him heal a demon-possessed man who was both blind and mute, a Canaanite woman in the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, two blind men outside of Jericho, people in the Palm Sunday procession, and children in the Temple just before this discussion. The Pharisees were not so quick to give Him that title. Why everyone knew that David’s decedents were from Bethlehem and this Jesus was from Nazareth in Galilee. Not only that; but Jesus didn’t fit their picture of a Messiah who would save his people from the tyranny they were experiencing.
Unfortunately, they didn’t know all the facts about Jesus nor did they try to seek them out. They just reacted with their preconceived ideas. Jesus did fit the human qualifications for the Christ as “the son of David.” Matthew wrote his Gospel primarily to the Jews. It begins …
A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: … (Matthew 1:1 – NIV)
Both Matthew and Luke include genealogies in their Gospels to prove that Jesus did in fact fulfill this prophecy that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David. They also shared information about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem and other Old Testament prophecies that He fulfilled. He did fit the qualifications if one were to carefully check out the facts and weigh the evidence of His ministry.
Today, Jesus still asks people to carefully consider who He is. Some people do this with the intent of debunking Him as Messiah and are greatly surprised that He is who He claims to be. A couple of notable authors who have written about what they have discovered are Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel. There have been plenty of others who have had similar journeys. There are, also, people like the Pharisees who continued to follow their mistaken preconceived ideas and missed the opportunity to follow the Messiah.
We all have to decide whether we believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah. To choose not to decide is really deciding. Some questions to consider: What do I need to know more concerning Jesus? What is keeping me from knowing more about Him?