In the Gospel passages these last three days, the Pharisees and Herodians, Sadducees and finally a lawyer hostilely question Jesus. They were hoping to catch him in a statement that would make him seem foolish in the eyes of the people. The lawyer found Jesus’ answer admirable. However, the hostility of the others because they would see no wisdom or good in Jesus, grew into real enmity toward him. In all three incidents this week, it was Jesus’ opponents who carried the dispute to him. In today’s Gospel, Jesus decides to take the offensive, to carry the argument to them.
Jesus points out that in the psalms the Messiah is called “son of David”. Yet in Psalm 110 David calls the Messiah “my Lord.” Then Jesus asks, “How can the Messiah be the “son of David” if David calls him “my Lord?”
What’s Jesus trying to do here? Well, perhaps he’s trying in the eyes of the people to put the Pharisees and the scribes in their place. After all, they were constantly attempting to destroy his credibility with the people.
But there’s something more to Jesus’ behavior. Jesus knew himself to be a descendant of David, therefore, “David’s son.” He was also coming to believe himself to be the Son of God.
So Jesus is hinting, “You’re waiting for the Son of David to come and to restore Israel to a place of honor among the nations. But I come among you, the Son of God, not to establish an earthly kingdom, but to bring to humankind the love of God.”
This is God’s great revelation in Jesus: God so loved the world that he sent his only son into it to take up our human nature in its fullness. God wanted to make his love for us incarnate in our world. He wanted God’s love for us to be manifested in an sublimely attractive human person whom we can see and hear and touch, with whom we can speak, whom we can love.