Matthew 22:41
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
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(41) While the Pharisees were gathered together.—St. Mark and St. Luke add here, as St. Matthew does in Matthew 22:46, that “no man dared ask Him any more questions.” They have recourse from this time forth to measures of another kind, and fall back upon treachery and false witness. It was now His turn to appear as the questioner, and to convict the Pharisees of resting on the mere surface even of the predictions which they quoted most frequently and most confidently as Messianic.

Matthew 22:41-46. While the Pharisees were gathered, &c. — That is, during this conference, expecting to have found an opportunity to insnare him, as he was still teaching the people in the temple; Jesus asked them — “The Pharisees, having in the course of our Lord’s ministry proposed many difficult questions to him, with a view to try his prophetical gifts, he, in his turn, now that a body of them was gathered together, thought fit to make trial of their skill in the sacred writings. For this purpose he publicly asked their opinion of a difficulty concerning the Messiah’s pedigree, arising from Psalms 110 : What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? — Whose son do you expect the Messiah to be, who was promised to the fathers? They say unto him, The son of David — This was the common title of the Messiah in that day, which the scribes taught them to give him, from Psalm 89:35-36; and Isaiah 11:1.” He saith, How then doth David in spirit, rather, by the Spirit; that is, by inspiration; call him Lord — If he be merely the son, or descendant of David? if he be, as you suppose, the son of man, a mere man? “The doctors, it seems, did not look for any thing in their Messiah more excellent than the most exalted perfections of human nature; for, though they called him the Son of God, they had no notion that he was God, and so could offer no solution of the difficulty. Yet the latter question might have shown them their error. For if the Messiah was to be only a secular prince, as they supposed, ruling the men of his own time, he never could have been called Lord by persons who died before he was born; far less would so mighty a king as David, who also was his progenitor, have called him Lord. Wherefore, since he rules over, not the vulgar dead only of former ages, but even over the kings from whom he was himself descended, and his kingdom comprehends the men of all countries and times, past, present, and to come, the doctors, if they had thought accurately upon the subject, should have expected in their Messiah a king different from all other kings whatever. Besides, he is to sit at God’s right hand till his enemies are made the footstool of his feet; made thoroughly subject unto him. Numbers of Christ’s enemies are subjected to him in this life; and they who will not bow to him willingly, shall, like the rebellious subjects of other kingdoms, be reduced by punishment. Being constituted universal judge, all, whether friends or enemies, shall appear before his tribunal, where by the highest exercise of kingly power, he shall doom each to his unchangeable state.” And no man was able to answer him a word — None of them could offer the least shadow of a solution to the difficulty which he had proposed. Neither durst any man ask him any more questions — “The repeated proofs which he had given of the prodigious depth of his understanding, had impressed them with such an opinion of his wisdom, that they judged it impossible to insnare him in his discourse. For which reason they left off attempting it, and from that day forth troubled him no more with their insidious questions.” — Macknight.

22:41-46 When Christ baffled his enemies, he asked what thoughts they had of the promised Messiah? How he could be the Son of David and yet his Lord? He quotes Ps 110:1. If the Christ was to be a mere man, who would not exist till many ages after David's death, how could his forefather call him Lord? The Pharisees could not answer it. Nor can any solve the difficulty except he allows the Messiah to be the Son of God, and David's Lord equally with the Father. He took upon him human nature, and so became God manifested in the flesh; in this sense he is the Son of man and the Son of David. It behoves us above all things seriously to inquire, What think we of Christ? Is he altogether glorious in our eyes, and precious to our hearts? May Christ be our joy, our confidence, our all. May we daily be made more like to him, and more devoted to his service.Jesus proposes a question concerning the Messiah - See also Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44.

Matthew 22:41

While the Pharisees ... - Jesus, having confounded the great sects of the Jews, proceeds, in his turn, to propose to them a question for their solution.

This was done, not for the purpose of vain parade and triumph, but:

1. to show them how ignorant they were of their prophecies.

2. to humble them in view of their ignorance.

3. to bring to their attention the true doctrine respecting the Messiah - his being possessed of a character superior to that of David, the most mighty king of Israel - being his Lord, at the same time that he was his descendant.

Mt 22:41-46. Christ Baffles the Pharisees by a Question about David and Messiah. ( = Mr 12:35-37; Lu 20:41-44).

For the exposition, see on [1344]Mr 12:35-37.

See Poole on "Matthew 22:46".

While the Pharisees were gathered together,.... Or rather, "when" they were gathered together, and while they continued so, before they left him: for this is to be understood not of their gathering together, to consult privately about him; this is expressed before in Matthew 22:34 but of their gathering together about Christ, to hear what answer he would return to the question their learned doctor would put to him: and he having given an answer to that, which the Scribe was obliged to allow was a good one; and he having no more to say, Christ directs his discourse not to him individually, but to all the Pharisees before he parted with them, and puts a question to them, in his turn; and which would lead on to another they could not answer, and they must therefore leave him once more with great shame and confusion,

Jesus asked them: as the lawyer put a question to him suitable to his office and character, Christ puts another to the Pharisees suitable to his office and character, as a Gospel preacher; suggesting by it, that salvation was not by the law, and the works of it, which they set up for doctors and interpreters of, and advocates for, but by the Messiah, who was promised to their fathers, and they expected.

{8} While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,

(8) Christ manifestly proves that he is David's son, according to the flesh, but otherwise David's Lord, and very God.

Matthew 22:41. Comp. Mark 12:35 ff.; Luke 20:41 ff. Jesus, in His turn, now proceeds to put a question to the Pharisees (who in the meantime have gathered round Him, see on Matthew 22:34), for the purpose, according to Matthew’s view of the matter (Matthew 22:46), of convincing them of their own theological helplessness, and that in regard to the problem respecting the title “Son of David,” to which David himself bears testimony, and with the view of thereby escaping any further molestation on their part. According to de Wette, the object was: to awaken a higher idea of His (non-political) mission (Neander, Baumgarten-Crusius, Bleek, Schenkel, Keim). This view, however, is not favoured by the context, which represents Jesus as victor over His impudent and crafty foes, who are silenced and then subjected to the castigation described in ch. 23.

Matthew 22:41-46. Counter question of Jesus (Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44).—Not meant merely to puzzle or silence foes, or even to hint a mysterious doctrine as to the Speaker’s person, but to make Pharisees and scribes, and Sanhedrists generally, revise their whole ideas of the Messiah and the Messianic kingdom, which had led them to reject Him.

Matthew 22:41. Συνηγμένων δὲ τῶν Φαρισαίων, but while the Pharisees were gathered together) sc. solemnly; see Matthew 22:34.

Verses 41-46. - Christ's question to the Pharisees concerning the Messiah. (Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44.) Verse 41. - Jesus asked them. He spake generally to the assembled crowd in the temple (Mark), addressing no one in particular. The questioned becomes the questioner, and this with a great purpose. He had silenced his opponents, and opened profundities in Scripture hitherto unfathomed; he would now raise them to a higher theology; he would place before them a truth concerning the nature of the Messiah, which, if they received it, would lead them to accept him. It was as it were a last hope. He and the Pharisees had some common ground, which was wanting in the case of the Sadducees and Herodians (comp Acts 23:6); he would use this to support a last appeal. Let us observe the Divine patience and tenderness of Christ. Not to gain a victory over inveterate enemies, not to expose the ignorance of scribe and Pharisee, not to exhibit his own profound knowledge of the inner harmonies of God's Word, does he now put this question. He desires to win acceptance of his claims by the unanswerable argument of the Scripture which they revered; let them consider the exact meaning of a text often quoted, let them weigh each word with reverent care, and they would see that the predicted Messiah was not merely Son of David according to earthly descent, but was Jehovah himself; and that when he claimed to be Son of God, when he asserted, "I and my Father are one," he was vindicating for himself only what the prophet had affirmed of the nature of the Christ. He had, so to speak, hope that some among his hearers would accept this teaching, and save themselves amid that untoward generation. It was when this last hope failed, when he saw nothing but hardened hearts and wilful prejudice, that he uttered the woes and predictions in the following chapter. Matthew 22:41
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