Whose Son Is the Christ? (Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44)

Submitted by admin on Wed, 2008-08-20 10:34.

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While the Pharisees were still in his presence, Jesus asked, “What do you think about the Christ [or Messiah]? Whose son is he?” “David’s,” they replied. “How, then,” said Jesus, “[could] David, by [holy, Mark 12:36] spirit, call him lord, saying, ‘The Lord [Hebrew, YHWH] said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I place your enemies underneath your feet”’?” After having quoted from Psalm 110:1, Jesus asked, “If, then, David calls him lord, how is he his son?” No one among those there could give him an answer. From that “day” or time, no one among the unbelievers dared to ask Jesus any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44; see the Notes section for additional comments.) According to Mark 12:37, the large crowd that heard the interchanges found delight in listening to Jesus.

Being the Son of God, Jesus was greater than David and would be the one who would raise him from the dead. All creation came into existence through the Son. So, even from the beginning, David owed his life to him. Not David, but Jesus is the appointed king in the realm where the Most High is Sovereign. David, upon being raised from the dead, would therefore be among all who bend the knee to Jesus, acknowledging him as their Lord.


In Mark 12:35-37 and Luke 20:41-44, the point about David’s lord is presented in an abbreviated form. Jesus is represented as asking how they [the scribes, according to Mark 12:35] can say that the Christ is David’s son when David, by holy spirit, calls him lord. As in Matthew 22:44, the words of Psalm 110:1 are quoted in Mark (12:36) and Luke (20:42, 43). Luke 20:42 additionally identifies the quotation as being from the “book of Psalms.”

It should be kept in mind that Jesus’ sayings are expressed in a language other than the one in which they were spoken, and the writers’ words convey the substance of what occurred and of what was said. These factors account for the differences in the narratives.