Listen: Joseph’s Lullaby
Read: Matthew 22:34-46
This true story of Jesus’ exchange with Pharisees is wonderfully helpful in seeing the “both/and” nature of the question, “Is Jesus divine or human?” This is the question we want to highlight here. The song, Joseph’s lullaby, depicts Joseph wrestling with that question phrased, “Can you feel the weight of your glory?”
In our text, the Pharisees do what we expect Pharisees to do. First, they oppose Jesus. Second, they use God’s law as a weapon to selfishly attack their opponent. Third, they avoid real exegesis that would compromise their own presuppositions and traditions. These Pharisees asked Jesus a question about the “great commandment.” Jesus answered and the Pharisees affirmed his response. Then, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” The Pharisees answered correctly, “The son of David”, but their answer was incomplete. So then Jesus asked a follow-up question to point them towards His point. “If David then calls (Christ) Lord, Adonai, how is (Christ) his son?” Jesus wants the Pharisees to wrestle with the question of the Messiah’s nature. Is Christ divine or human? The Pharisees are completely stumped, and they are unable to see the truth standing right in front of their eyes.
Jesus is the truth that stands right in front of them, but they can’t see it. They completely missed the fact that Jesus was speaking about Himself. He is the one person that is both the Son of David and God incarnate. When we are asked the question, “Is Jesus divine or is Jesus human?”, we answer, yes. Jesus is truly God and truly man. The Athanasian Creed states, “For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man…Who although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.” If we stumble at this point, we must regain our footing or else loose the ground called “gospel.”