Sermon #149 Luke Sermons
Title: David’s Son and David’s Lord
Text: Luke 20:39-47
Subject: Christ the God-man
Date: Sunday Evening — May 1, 2004
Tape # Y-69b
Readings: Merle Hart and Larry Brown
The Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees took great offense at our Lord’s doctrine, rightly perceiving that he had spoken the parable of the vineyard (vv. 9-18) against them (v. 19). Taking offense at his doctrine, these wicked religious men, like their successors in every generation since, tried to catch the Lord Jesus with trick questions, hoping to twist his words and turn them against him, all the while pretending to be sincere and honest.
· Civil Authority
· The Resurrection Body
But they we altogether foiled in their schemes, as those who oppose Christ and his gospel always are.
Once our Lord Jesus had stopped the mouths of the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, he seized the opportunity to give us a word of instruction about himself and a word of warning about religious pretense. He began by raising a question they dared not answer. Let’s read Luke 20:39-47 together.
(Luke 20:39-47) “Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said. (40) And after that they durst not ask him any question at all. (41) And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David’s son? (42) And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, (43) Till I make thine enemies thy footstool. (44) David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son? (45) Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, (46) Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; (47) Which devour widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.”
The Scribes, who believed the doctrine of the resurrection, which the Sadducees denied, were pleased enough with the Lord’s response to the Sadducees. But the fact is, they no more believed God than the Sadducees or the Pharisees. All three groups were mere self-righteous religionists, who utterly despised Christ and salvation by him. Our Lord saw through their charade. He was no more impressed with one than with the other.
Proposition: In this passage of Scripture our Savior teaches us that he is both fully God and fully man, the God-man, our Mediator.
Divisions: Let me call your attention to five things in the passage before us.
1. First, our Lord Jesus publicly exposed the ignorance of these religious hypocrites.
2. Second, he reminds us that the Book of God is all about him, his person, his work, his salvation, and his great glory in saving his people from their sins.
3. Third, the Lord Jesus declares his eternal enthronement and dominion as the God-man, our Mediator.
4. Fourth, our Redeemer again warns us to beware of all who make a show of religion and godliness.
5. Fifth, we are taught that there are degrees of damnation in hell.
A Galling Exposure
I. First, our Lord Jesus publicly exposed the ignorance of these religious hypocrites.
After enduring and silencing the cavils of his enemies, our Lord turned the table against them and deliberately exposed their utter ignorance of the Scriptures and the power of God. Remember, these were not ordinary men, or even ordinary religious men. They were the most revered religious leaders of their day. But they were, as are the most revered religious leaders of every age, ignorant of the Scriptures and ignorant of the power of God. Can you imagine how galling it must have been to them to have their ignorance publicly exposed before the multitudes? Yet, that is exactly what the Lord Jesus did here.
He asked them to explain an expression found in Psalm 110, where David speaks of the Messiah, whom they all acknowledged is David’s son, as his Lord. They were dumfounded. They were so stunned that they could not give any kind of answer.
These great religious leaders did not see the plain teaching of Holy Scripture that Messiah (the Christ), he who is our Redeemer and Savior, must be and is fully God and fully man in one glorious Person. Yet, that is exactly what the Psalmist David declare in Psalm 110.
(Psalms 110) A Psalm of David. — “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (2) The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. (3) Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (4) The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (5) The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. (6) He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. (7) He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.”
Their ignorance of this Psalm was exposed before all the people. Professing themselves to be teachers of others, claiming to possess the key of knowledge, they were totally ignorant of Scriptures they claimed to teach with authority. Nothing could have been more embarrassing and galling.
The Message of Scripture
II. Second, the Lord Jesus here reminds us that the Book of God is all about him, his person, his work, his salvation, and his great glory in saving his people from their sins.
I remind you again that this Book is all about Christ. There is a unique fullness about the Word of God that gives clear evidence of its inspiration. The more we read and study this Book, the bigger it gets and the more it seems to contain. All other books become mundane, if they are repeatedly read. Their weak points become obvious. After a while, they all get old. But the Book of God just gets more fresh. It appears to be broader, deeper, and fuller, the more fully it is studied. The fresh truths that constantly spring up before our eyes, are simple, plain, and clear. The Book of God is an inexhaustible mine of spiritual treasure. Nothing can explain this, except the fact, that the Bible is the Word, not of man, but of God.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
(2 Peter 1:21) “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Yet, throughout this Book, there is but one theme, one message. The theme and message of this Book is Jesus Christ and him crucified, redemption and salvation by his blood.
(Luke 24:25-27) “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: (26) Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? (27) And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
(Luke 24:44-47) “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (45) Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, (46) And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: (47) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
(Acts 20:26-27) “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
(1 Corinthians 2:2) “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
We see this fact demonstrated throughout the Scriptures. This Book speaks of him whom to know is life eternal. As we open this Book, let us pray that God the Holy Spirit, whose Word this is, will open our hearts and minds to see the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Psalms, to which our Lord here refers us, are full of him. No part of the Bible perhaps is better known in the letter, and none so little understood in the spirit, as the Book of Psalms. That was true in our Lord’s day; and the same is true today. Most everyone who attends church knows something about the Psalms. In some churches a psalm is sung every week. Some sing the Psalms exclusively. Yet, there are few who understand that the Psalms speak of Christ.
Most everyone acknowledges that some of the Psalms are messianic, that they have some reference to Christ. But few understand that the Psalms speak of him, as he declared in Luke 24 that they do. Yes, they record feelings, experiences, praises, and prayers of the men who wrote them; but we have not understood the Psalms at all, if we do not see that they all pint us to and teach us about our Savior.
The Book of Psalms is, in a word, a book full of Christ — Christ’s coming — Christ’s suffering — Christ in humiliation — Christ dying — Christ rising again — Christ coming the second time — Christ reigning over all. The Psalms speak of both our Lord’s great advents — the advent of humiliation when he appeared to be made sin for us and to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself — and the advent of his glory, when he shall appear the second time without sin, to gather his people home to glory. Both the kingdoms are here — the kingdom of grace, during which the elect are gathered — the kingdom of glory, when every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord.
We read the Word of God with no profit to our souls, if we read only the letter of the written Word and fail to see the Person, the character, the accomplishments, grace, greatness, and the glory of Christ the living Word of whom the written Word speaks.
III. Third, the Lord Jesus declares his eternal enthronement and dominion as the God-man, our Mediator (vv. 42-43).
(Luke 20:42-43) “And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, (43) Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.”
Did David say precisely that? Did he actually declare that the Lord Jesus Christ was already enthroned as our Mediator? Indeed, he did. But Christ’s enthronement as our Mediator and Priest is the reward of his accomplished redemption. Is it not (Ps. 2:8; John 17:1-5; Phil. 2:5-11; Rom. 14:9)? So how could he have been already enthroned, if he had not yet fully accomplished his work of redemption, if he had not yet fully saved his people? He was already enthroned because as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the Lord, his work was accomplished and our salvation was finished before the world began.
Read Psalm 110 again. Carefully note that which the Holy Spirit, back in David’s day asserted emphatically done and that which is spoken of prophetically, as the result of Christ’s great salvation being finished long before he came into the world in time
(Psalms 110) “ The LORD said (PAST TENSE) unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (2) (PROPHECY) The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. (3) Thy people shall be (PROPHECY) willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (4) The LORD hath sworn (PAST TENSE), and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. (5) The Lord at thy right hand shall (PROPHECY) strike through kings in the day of his wrath. (6) He shall (PROPHECY) judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. (7) He shall (PROPHECY) drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.”
In fact, this is exactly what Isaiah saw and experienced in Isaiah 6.
(Isaiah 6:1-6) “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. (3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. (5) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (6) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:”
The Lord Jesus Christ, as our Mediator, was given the reins of universal dominion privately before the world began. He was given those reins publicly at his ascension. He holds those reins now, and shall hold them forever. The triune God has put all things into the hands of Christ, the God-man, our Redeemer. And he shall reign forever! Soon, all his enemies shall be (either by saving grace or by the execution of wrath) put under his feet (Isa. 45:22-25; 1 Cor. 15:24-25).
(Isaiah 45:22-25) “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (24) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (25) In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.”
(1 Corinthians 15:24-25) “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”
In verse 44 our Savior, speaking of himself, asked these “brilliant,” religious idiots — “David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?” They were dumbfounded by the question. Yet, it is a question that is easily and quickly answered by the poorest, most unlearned sinner saved by God’s free grace.
(John 1:14-18) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (15) John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. (16) And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. (17) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (18) No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”
(1 Timothy 3:16) “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
How truly blessed we are, being taught of God, to know and are assured of this great mystery. Our great Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ is both the “Root” and the “Offspring” of David. Being God the eternal Son, one with the Father over all God blessed forever; he is, and must be God: — David’s Root, and the Maker of all things. And as man he is the Offspring, which as a Branch, was promised to grow out of his roots (Isaiah 11:1).
Precious Savior! Blessed Redeemer! Were You not both David’s Son and David’s Lord, what would have become of us? But because you, O Blessed Son of God, became a man like us, that you might live and die and live again to save us, eternal life is ours by the merit and efficacy of your righteousness and blood!
· The righteousness brought in by the obedience of the God-man is the righteousness of God (Rom. 10:1-4).
· The blood shed for the atonement of sin is the blood of that Man who is himself God (Acts 20:28).
· And it is this Christ, the God-man our Mediator and Savior who is, who was, and who shall be forever our Priest upon his Throne, our King, Priest and Advocate, made after the order of Melchizedek! — How safe we are! How secure! How peaceful and confident we ought to be!
A Timeless Warning
IV. Fourth, our Redeemer again warns us to beware of all who make a show of religion and godliness (vv. 45-47).
(Luke 20:45-47) “Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, (46) Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; (47) Which devour widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.”
Remember, this was an open, public rebuke of men who “sat in Moses’ seat,” and were the recognized and revered religious leaders of people. It seems that no sin is more obnoxious to the Son of God than hypocrisy and a show of religion. None drew forth from his lips such frequent, strong, and withering condemnation, during the whole course of his earthly ministry. Our Savior is ever full of mercy and compassion for the chief of sinners. Fury was not in him when He saw Zacchaeus, the penitent thief, Matthew the tax-collector, Saul the persecutor, and the woman in Simon’s house. But when He saw Scribes and Pharisees wearing a mere cloak of religion, and pretending to great outward sanctity, piety, and holiness, while their hearts were full of wickedness, his holy soul was full of indignation. Eight times in one chapter (Matt. 23.) we find him saying, “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.”
And he has not changed. He is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Whatever else we are in religion let us be true. However feeble on faith, hope, love, and obedience may be, let us be real, genuine, and sincere. It is not accidental that the very first piece of armor Paul recommends to the Christian soldier is “truth.” — “Stand therefore,” he says, “having your loins girt about with truth” (Eph. 6:14).
Anyone who attempts, in any way, to show his religion, devotion, piety, sanctity, and holiness, truly does. And he has his reward.
Degrees of Torment
V. Fifth, we are taught that there are degrees of damnation in hell.
Our Savior’s last word in this instructive chapter is a word about the greater condemnation of self-righteous religionists. — “The same shall receive greater damnation.”
There are no degrees of glory in heaven, because salvation is by the grace of God alone. Heaven’s glory was earned for all God’s elect and we are made worthy of it by Christ’s obedience and death as our Substitute. But there are degrees of damnation in hell. The everlasting torments of the damned in hell are measured out and executed by divine justice according to the measure of man’s wickedness.
Do not read these solemn words and forget them. They are spoken to lost religious men. Terrible as the case of all the damned shall be (Who can imagine the horrid torments of everlasting damnation in hell?), yet the greater damnation will be on those who because they imagine themselves righteous trample under foot the blood of Christ and despise the grace of God, “Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.” (Isa. 65:5).
Do not be so proud. Do not be so foolish. Oh, may God the Holy Spirit give you grace now to look to Christ, to believe him. There is a Fountain opened for sinners; but there is nothing but everlasting damnation in hell for those who think they are righteous. O sinner, plunge into that Fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins. Sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains!
 The perfect harmony and unity of the Bible is simply an unanswerable argument for its divine origin and a great source of comfort and assurance for our faith. If I should see my great-grandfather, who has been dead since I was a boy, rise up out of the earth that fact would be less miraculous than the existence of God’s Word. Listen to this carefully.
The Bible was written in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek), by some forty different authors, who lived on two separate continents, over a period of more than sixteen hundred years. Parts of it were written in palaces, parts in prisons. Some of it was written by well educated men in great cities, other parts were written by shepherds and fishermen. Parts of it were written during times of war, pestilence, and danger, other parts during times of ecstatic joy. Those who wrote the words of Holy Scripture were from virtually every walk of life: judges, priests, kings, prophets, prime-ministers, herdsmen, scribes, fishermen, and soldiers. Yet, in spite of all these varying circumstances, conditions, workmen, and ages of time employed in the production of the Book, it stands as one Book. It is perfectly one in all its parts, free of error, and free of contradiction.
“Imagine forty persons of different nationalities, possessing various degrees of musical culture, visiting the organ of some great cathedral and at long intervals of time, and without any collusion whatever, striking sixty-six different notes, which when combined yielded the theme of the grandest oratorio ever heard; would it not show that behind these forty different men there was one presiding mind, one great Tone-Master? As we listen to some great orchestra, with its immense variety of instruments playing their different parts, but producing melody and harmony, we realize that at the back of these many musicians there is the personality and genius of the composer. And when we enter the halls of the Divine Academy and listen to the heavenly choirs singing the Song of Redemption, all in perfect accord and unison, we know that it is God himself who has written the music and put this song into their mouths.” – A. W. Pink