Matthew 22:34-46 “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord…(Psalm 110:1)
Doesn’t it seem odd that the Pharisees, experts in the law, were not able to answer the question? Jesus really does try to help the Pharisees come to understand what is happening in their midst, but they refuse to hear. The Pharisees had become the authority of the law, discipline in their use of the law, and more importantly had the support of the people. From a political standpoint life as a Pharisee was a very powerful position to attain. They had the support of the people of Israel, the ear of the Roman authority and they walked the line between the two. Who would want to relinquish that kind of control? I know for myself that every sense of achievement, no matter how small, moves me closer to a greater sense of control in my own life. I am not at all interested in giving up the little control that I do have. Yet, sometimes that is exactly what Christ asks us to do. When I was on pilgrimage in Iona, Scotland immediately after Morning Prayer we all had chores to do. I chose to clean the toilets because I knew what a clean toilet was suppose to look like and second, since I was using those toilets, I didn’t trust anybody else to do it as I am slight germaphobe. I would rush out of the chapel until one day someone beat me to it. It turned out that someone else had the same issue! It all may seem silly except that we all know of people in church who refuse to give up ministries because either no one else does it the way they do it, or it gives them some sense of authority. We forget that there is more than one way to clean a toilet and all authority belongs to God. Like the Pharisees we fix our mind on the temporary and forget the eternal to the point of blind ignorance. The Pharisees were more concerned about their own authority rather than ponder the spiritual saving grace of a messianic question. It’s easy enough to do in this world. We have to be very careful not to become entrenched in the realm of the physical, that we too become blind (and controlled) by its fruits.
A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.