Pentecost: Based Upon Christ’s Work Part 12 of 13
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
He was surrounded by the Pharisees, but He turned the table on them by asking them a question of His own. “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They replied, “He is the son of David,” He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool" '? (Matt 22:42-44; NKJV).The question can be expressed like this: How is this doctrine, that he is descended from David, consistent with what David said when he calls him Lord? How can your opinion be reconciled with that? That is recorded in Psalms 110:1. A lord or master is a superior. The word here does not necessarily imply Divinity, but only superiority. David calls him his superior, his Lord, his Master, his Lawgiver; and expresses his willingness to obey him. If the Messiah was to be merely a descendant of David, like other men who are descended from parents—if he was to have a human nature only, as you Jews suppose—if he did not exist when David wrote—with what accuracy could he, then, call him his Lord? Then Jesus asked a question that caused them to walk away, grumbling to themselves: “Since David called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions” (Matt 22:45-46; NLT).
The LORD said unto my Lord,
“THE LORD” designates God, the Father. “My Lord” refers to Christ.
The word “LORD” (with small capitals) in the Bible, indicates that the original word is “Jehovah.” The Hebrews regarded this as the distinctive name of God, a name unutterable to any other being. It is not applied to any being except God in the Scriptures. The Jews had such a reverence for it that they never said it; but when it occurred in the Scriptures they pronounced another name, “Adoni.” Here it means, Jehovah said.
The word “Lord” is a different word in the Hebrew: it is Adoni. It is used by a servant to address his master, or by a subject to his sovereign, or it is used as a title of respect by an inferior to a superior. Here it means, "Jehovah said to Him whom I, David, acknowledge to be my superior and sovereign.” From this, we understand that, though he regarded him as his descendant according to the flesh, he also regarded Him as his superior and Lord. By reference to this passage, our Saviour confounded the Pharisees (See Matthew 22:42-46 above.). It is clear that Psalm 110.1 refers to the Messiah. That is how our Saviour applied it in Matthew 22:42-46, and He presented it in a way that showed it was the well-understood doctrine of the Jews.
Sit thou on my right hand,
This is still a quote from Psalm 110:1. He is showing them that Jesus is up yonder at the right hand of God. He will be there until He comes back to establish His Kingdom. But while He is at the right hand of God, He is still working in the world. The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." See verse 33.
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
A “FOOTSTOOL” is a piece of furniture on which a person would rest his feet. The word is often used symbolically in the Bible to signify God’s promise to Israel to "make (the Lord’s) enemies his footstool" (Ps. 110:1). This messianic promise is repeated six times in the New Testament (Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:43; Acts 2:35; Heb. 1:13; 10:13).
It was NOT usual for conquerors to put their feet on the necks of defeated leaders. It was a symbolic act which indicated the state of subjection to which they were reduced, and the total extinction of their power. By quoting these words, Peter shows the Jews, who continued to be enemies of Christ, that the frustration of their hopes or plans and the ruin of their nation had to take place; their own king and prophet predicted this in connection with the other things which had already been so literally and circumstantially fulfilled. This conclusion had the desired effect, when pressed home with the strong application in the following verse.
When the Mediatorial work of Christ is finished and “every ruler and authority and power has been destroyed,” then all power is given up to the Father (See 1 Cor 15:23-28). When Christ's work is accomplished he places all in the Father's hands. Christ is reigning now, and will continue to reign until he has conquered all his enemies. He is not waging a contest for a kingdom, as some contend, but will give up the kingdom when the contest is over and the final victory won over all His wicked opposition, human and supernatural; also sin and death; and when everything has been accomplished—the resurrection, the judgment, the casting of
Death and Hell (hades—the grave) into the lake of fire, and all things are under his feet. This is a quote from Psalm 8.6: “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet;” a statement that Christ is Lord of all and that God has subjected all to him. God gave Christ the power, but the Father is not subject to the Son. When the entire world is subdued to Christ and all His work is done, He will give up the kingdom to the Father, and Christ will give up the seals of His office.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly,
This is the grand climax, the conclusion to which the whole discourse, thus far, had been directed; that Jesus Christ is the true Messiah and Saviour of the world; with this he closes his sermon: THEREFORE LET ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL KNOW ASSUREDLY (that is, for certain) that this truth has now been confirmed, and we have been commissioned to make it known—THAT GOD HAS MADE THAT SAME JESUS WHOM YOU HAVE CRUCIFIED BOTH LORD AND CHRIST; and it is their duty to receive it as a faithful saying. Many in the crowd on that day were "Convinced by the prophecies, by the testimony of the one hundred and twenty disciples of Christ, by Peter’s sermon, and by the remarkable scene exhibited on the day of Pentecost: Therefore let all men everywhere be convinced that the true Messiah has come, and has been exalted to heaven."
The word HOUSE often means family, as it does here; therefore, HOUSE OF ISRAEL means the “family of Israel,” that is, all of the nation of the Jews. “Know assuredly” means be assured, or know without any doubt, or possibility of mistake.
The twelve were ordered by our Lord to tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ until after his resurrection—“Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ” (Mt. 16:20; KJV); but now it must be proclaimed from the housetops, to all the house of Israel; he that hath ears to hear, let him hear it.
that God hath made that same Jesus,
GOD HATH MADE denotes that God has appointed, or constituted—“Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5.31; KJV).
“THAT SAME JESUS” is the very person who was crucified. He was raised with the same body; He had the same soul, and was the same being, which distinguished Him from all others. Likewise, Christians, in the resurrection, will be the same beings that they were before they died.
whom ye have crucified,
God has glorified the Lord Jesus WHOM THEY HAVE CRUCIFIED. This makes their wickedness even worse; they crucified the One whom God intended to glorify, and put him to death as a fraud and deceiver, in spite of Him having given them such momentous proofs of His divine mission; and it magnifies the wisdom and power of God that though they crucified him, and thought they were done with Him, even putting His character under an indelible mark of infamy, yet God had glorified him, and the indignities they had done to Him served only to smug his luster.
There was no better way to show the Jews the horribleness of what they have done than the argument which Peter used— “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:23; KJV). He showed them that God had sent Jesus; that he was the Messiah; that God had shown his love for Him, by raising him from the dead. They had put to death the Son of God and the hope of their nation; He was not an impostor, or a man sowing sedition, or a blasphemer; He was the Messiah of God; and they had stained their hands in his blood. There is nothing more certain to make sinners fear and tremble, than to show them that by rejecting Christ, they have rejected God; by refusing to serve Him, they have refused to serve God. The crime committed by sinners has a double malignity, since it is committed against a kind and loving Saviour, and against the God who loved Him, and delegated to Him the task of saving men. “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses” (Acts 3:14,15; KJV). Here he goes again. Simon Peter will never preach a sermon without the mention of the Resurrection. Paul won’t either. Unfortunately, today there are many sermons preached without a mention of the Resurrection.