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99: The Pharisees and Jesus Duel for the Last Time

May 15, 2009

Major Text: Matthew 22:34-46

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 22:34-40       Mark 12:28-34
Matt. 22:41-46       Mark 12:35-37       Luke 20:41-44

Outline:

  1. Jesus Confirms the Law Matt. 22:34-40
  2. Jesus Confirms His Claim Matt. 22:41-46

Context/Discussion/Comments:

The Pharisees continue the previous discussion by asking Jesus which of the commandments is the greatest. Jesus quotes Deut. 6:5, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind” and the second is also just as important which is “to love you neighbor as yourself”. One Pharisee speaks up and agrees with Jesus’ answer. He adds that loving God and your neighbor is even more important than sacrifice [Mark]. Jesus responds that He is not far from the Kingdom of God, one of His few compliments directed to a Pharisee.

The Jesus asks the Pharisees about their knowledge of the Christ, Messiah. From all the prophesies given by their prophets, the only thing they remember is that the Christ is the Son of David. Their Messiah was to be a human being just like them and not the Son of God. Jesus follows up and asks why is it that David wrote that the Christ [Lord] sat at the right hand of God [Lord] and that they were together united as one. Jesus claimed to be Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God and His lineage also came from David. What He claimed was true but they would not accept Him.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Ask yourself; who is Jesus? What makes the Law important? Are my answers more definitive than that of the Pharisees? Get to know Jesus personally. Recognize Jesus is the Christ, the Incarnate Son of God. Refusing to accept Him as Incarnate is the foundation of unbelief and error.

2. Loving the Lord comes first and loving our neighbor as ourselves is second but equally important. But neither can happen unless we acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, our Savior, the Son of God.

3. Use you mind. Know the facts and apply logic. Jesus is the Christ. Do not be silent. Acknowledge Him and Praise His Name.

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