God’s promised Messiah is Lord over everyone, even the most powerful kings.
Luke 20:41 – 44
41 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David? 42 David himself declares in the Book of Psalms:
‘“The Lord said to my Lord:
‘Sit at my right hand
43 until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.’”
44 David calls him “Lord.” How then can he be his son?’
I remember the first time I heard Abbott and Costello’s famous Who’s on First comedy sketch. As a 7-year-old, I found it confusing and hard to keep track of which person was being referred to. I know that’s part of the humour, but it took a lot of concentration for my young brain to keep up!
In some ways, that’s how I feel when I read this passage: confused. I had to read it two or three times in a row to try to understand what’s happening and who is who in the psalm quoted. In “The Lord said to my Lord,” who is which Lord and how do they relate to each other? It seems like a puzzle… or maybe that’s just me.
After the series of clever trick questions the religious leaders have asked Jesus in this chapter, the scene ends with Jesus hitting them with a clever question of his own. The question is clever enough that it does my head in trying to understand it, but it’s more than just a clever question to win an argument. It shows them the authority Jesus has as the Messiah, the promised king himself. Just like me, the religious leaders are left scratching their heads, not really understanding the promised Messiah or how these things will happen. Why is it that the honoured King David would call someone else Lord, especially one of his descendants? Shouldn’t it be the other way around; the descendant calls his ancestor – the great King David – “Lord?”
It seems that the Messiah has much greater honour and authority than they ever anticipated. They were expecting an above-average king; what they actually got was God Almighty. Surely God himself is worthy of being revered as “Lord,” even by King David. Jesus is worthy of our honour and respect, not just because he has all the answers, but because he is God himself come to save his people.
Head: What does this passage show you about who Jesus is? Is that the way you normally think of Jesus, or does your view of him need to grow?
Heart: We often think of Jesus as loving friend or Saviour, but what do we miss when we forget he is also our Lord? What is the appropriate heart attitude towards this authority?
Hands: Allow your prayer today to be shaped by a humble reverence to Jesus as your Lord. Maybe you can think of practical expressions of this, like physically kneeling before him, bowing your head, or meditating on his law as the good and ultimate authority in your life.
Dear Jesus, you are Lord of all creation, and Lord over my life. In my heart I sometimes hate being ruled by anything else but myself, and I’ve rebelled against your authority time after time. Would you please show me that you are a gentle and loving king whose laws are good and rewarding? I want to delight in your rule over my life and become a humble follower. Please humble my heart through your Holy Spirit. Amen.
A song to listen to:
God of Wonders (Kutless)
Living Church – City South