Sabbath, November 16, 2013

“The voice of God had been heard at the baptism of Jesus at the beginning of His ministry, and again at His transfiguration on the mount. Now at the close of His ministry it was heard for the third time, by a larger number of persons, and under peculiar circumstances. Jesus had just spoken the most solemn truth regarding the condition of the Jews. He had made His last appeal, and pronounced their doom. Now God again set His seal to the mission of His Son. He recognized the One whom Israel had rejected. ‘This voice came not because of Me,’ said Jesus, ‘but for your sakes.’ It was the crowning evidence of His Messiahship, the signal from the Father that Jesus had spoken the truth, and was the Son of God.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 625.

A challenging question

1. In contrast to other cases, who asked a question this time? What occasion did He choose for this?

Matthew 22:41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them.

“Instead of poring over the learned lore handed down by the rabbis from century to century, Jesus, under the Divine Teacher, studied the words of God, pure and uncorrupted, and studied also the great lesson book of nature. The words, ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ were ever upon His lips, and ‘It is written,’ was His reason for every act that varied from the family customs. He brought a purer atmosphere into the home life. Though He did not place Himself under the instruction of the rabbis by becoming a student in their schools, yet He was often brought in contact with them, and the questions He asked, as if He were a learner, puzzled the wise men; for their practices did not harmonize with the Scriptures, and they had not the wisdom that comes from God.” –Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 439, 440.

2. What appropriate question did the Lord ask them? What prophecy implied that the Messiah would be a descendant of King David?

Matthew 22:42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David.

2 Samuel 7:12, 13 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

2 Samuel 7:15, 16 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

“A chorus of voices answered, ‘The Son of David.’ This was the title which prophecy had given to the Messiah. When Jesus revealed His divinity by His mighty miracles, when He healed the sick and raised the dead, the people had inquired among themselves, ‘Is not this the Son of David?’ The Syrophoenician woman, blind Bartimaeus, and many others had cried to Him for help, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David.’ Matthew 15:22. While riding into Jerusalem He had been hailed with the joyful shout, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.’ Matthew 21:9. And the little children in the temple had that day echoed the glad ascription. But many who called Jesus the Son of David did not recognize His divinity. They did not understand that the Son of David was also the Son of God.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 608, 609.

A deeper question

3. What was His second question? What was His reason for presenting these two fundamental questions to the Pharisees?

Matthew 22:43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord…?

“The Pharisees had gathered close about Jesus as He answered the question of the scribe. Now turning He put a question to them: ‘What think ye of Christ? whose son is He?’ This question was designed to test their belief concerning the Messiah–to show whether they regarded Him simply as a man or as the Son of God.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 608.

4. In the Psalm, did David in spirit simply call the Son of man “Lord,” or did he add additional points?

Psalm 110:1 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Mark 12:36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

“And all through the generations of the past, Christ has spoken; Christ has led His people, and has been the light of the world. When God chose Abraham as a representative of His truth, He took him out of his country, and away from his kindred, and set him apart. He desired to mold him after His own model. He desired to teach him according to His own plan. The mold of the world’s teachers was not to be upon him. He was to be taught how to command his children and his household after him, to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. This is the work that God would have us do. He would have us understand how to govern our families, how to control our children, how to command our households to keep the way of the Lord.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 409, 410.

The third question

5. What argument did Jesus use to help the people understand that the Son of man is God’s Son?

Matthew 22:45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?

“In reply to the statement that Christ was the Son of David, Jesus said, ‘How then doth David in Spirit

[the Spirit of Inspiration from God] call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions.’ ” –The Desire of Ages, p. 609.

Son of David and Son of God

6. Were they able to answer the third question? What revealed their incapability, even though the answer was plainly in the Psalms?

Matthew 22:46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Thought question: Following Jesus’ example, what counsel appears in the Testimonies regarding these questions?

“Whenever practicable, every important discourse should be followed by a Bible study. Here the points that have been presented can be applied, questions can be asked, and right ideas inculcated. More time should be devoted to patiently educating the people, giving them opportunity to express themselves. It is instruction that men need, line upon line, and precept upon precept.” –Evangelism, p. 153.

7. What other prophecies attest to the divine nature of God’s Son? What voice was heard from heaven giving similar affirmation during Jesus’ life?

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

“Adam will tell you, It is the seed of the woman that shall bruise the serpent’s head….

“Ask Abraham, he will tell you, It is ‘Melchizedek king of Salem,’ king of Peace. Genesis 14:18.

“Jacob will tell you, He is Shiloh of the tribe of Judah.

“Isaiah will tell you, ‘Immanuel’ ‘Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ Isaiah 7:14; 9:6.

“Jeremiah will tell you, The Branch of David, ‘the Lord our Righteousness.’ Jeremiah 23:6.

“Daniel will tell you, He is the Messiah.

“Hosea will tell you, He is ‘the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is His memorial.’ Hosea 12:5.

“John the Baptist will tell you, He is ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ John 1:29.

“The great Jehovah has proclaimed from His throne, ‘This is My beloved Son.’ Matthew 3:17. We, His disciples, declare, This is Jesus, the Messiah, the Prince of life, the Redeemer of the world. And the prince of the powers of darkness acknowledges Him, saying, ‘I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God.’ Mark 1:24.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 578, 579.

For meditation

“ ‘Emmanuel, God with us,’ this means everything to us. What a broad foundation does it lay for our faith. What a hope big with immortality does it place before the believing soul. God with us in Christ Jesus to accompany us every step of the journey to heaven. The Holy Spirit is with us as a comforter, a guide in our perplexities, to soothe our sorrows, and shield us in temptation. ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!’ ” –My Life Today, p. 290.