2021_03_15 Insight Post- Kim Feld
Updated: Mar 17
This week's reading- Matthew 21 & 22
Jesus had the most brilliant mind of anyone who ever lived. You might be thinking, “Well, yeah, but He’s God.” True, but He was also fully human, and His humanity is the thing that is coming to the surface for me in our reading. Repeatedly, we read about His exchanges with the religious elite of the day and how He outwits them every single time. How frustrating and annoying it must have been to have your every move questioned! Jesus understands how it feels to be misunderstood, misrepresented, and betrayed. Hebrews 4:15 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” Jesus understands what it’s like to be human.
In Matthew 21 and 22, on three separate occasions, Jesus calls out the religious leaders by saying “Haven’t you read” or “Have you not read.” He’s teaching while also holding them accountable for things they should have already known. It reminds me of the quote that has been attributed to Mark Twain: “It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it's the parts that I do understand.” Did they misunderstand so severly that they missed the Messiah right in front of them? Were they so entrenched in their own interpretation that they were closed off to the Holy Spirit’s revelation of truth? Is this ever true of me?
It’s a frightening thought that you could be so “religious” but so far from God. We need to be praying fervently that God would remove anything that blinds us from His truth and that our hearts would be soft and receptive to the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 22 ends with Jesus completely stumping the Pharisees in a twist. He asks them, “Whose son is the Messiah?” In reply, they say that the Messiah is the son of David, but Jesus quotes Psalm 110:1, which is a hard verse:
“The Lord says to my Lord:
‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’”
In a play on words, Jesus points out that David would have never referred to his “son” as Lord. David was referring to the Messiah, and this Messiah wasn’t a human military leader; the Messiah that David anticipated was God in human flesh. After that, verse 45 tells us that, “No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.”
It’s easy with the gift of hindsight to wonder how anyone in Jesus’ time could have missed Him. But I’m wondering if we could speak with any of them today if they would say the same of us. We have the words of eyewitnesses plus all the prophecies pointing to Jesus. What have I read but not fully grasped? Open our eyes, Father. We want to see You.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach