Matthew 22:34-46; 1 Corinthians 1:4-9; Deuteronomy 10:12-21
Mysterious — 18th Sunday after Trinity

In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

No one “dared to ask Him any more questions.” (Matt. 22:46) The only reason they had asked Him questions in the first place was because they denied who He was. They wanted to trap Him in His words. They wanted to show He’s not more authoritative than they are as teachers.  They wanted to show that THEY were THE teachers of Israel. That they were superior teachers to Him. But no one was able to ask Him anymore questions because He is not only the Son of David. He is the Lord of David. Which is weird. David had lived nearly 1000 years before Jesus. How can Jesus be both the descendant of David and the Lord of David? 

You and I know the answer. We know that Jesus has existed from before eternity. (John 1:1-2) We know that He is God. The Son of God. One of the three persons of the Holy Trinity. Who is eternally existent. We don’t understand that. We simply know from Holy Scripture that He was begotten of the Father before all worlds. (John 1:14; 3:16; 17:5, 24; 1 John 1:2-3; Col. 1:15-16, etc.) But that He has no beginning. These are all mysteries that Holy Scripture does not explain to us fully. The beauty of a Mystery is that the more you know about it the less you understand it. The more you marvel at it. On the other hand, with a secret the more you know of it, the less secret it is. The Holy Trinity is not a secret. It is a mystery. And the more you know of a mystery, the more mysterious it becomes. The more you know, the less you comprehend it. That’s the nature of the Holy Trinity. We do not comprehend the Triune God, even though we know all sorts of details that Holy Scripture has revealed. The God we worship, the God who has created all things by His Word, that God exists in three persons from before time began. The three persons have always been active. And the three persons of God have differing purposes.

The Father is the One primarily who created (Gen. 1:1, 3, etc.) and orders all things. (Ps. 147:4; Heb. 1:3b) Therefore, He is the One who put the plan of all existence in place. 

The Son is the One who executed the plan by doing the Father’s will: by being the love of the Father incarnate. So that when Jesus took on our flesh He was the visible manifestation of God in our flesh. (John 1:18; 6:46; 12:45; Heb. 1:3a) If you want to see God you look to Jesus. If you want to know who God is you look to Jesus. Because no one can come to the Father except by the Son. (John 14:6) No one can see the One true God—see the Father—except in the face of the Son. For He is the image of God (Heb. 1:3a; 2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15)—God see-able by human beings fallen in sin (John 1:18; 6:46) who are unable to see true, spiritual realities because they have been blinded by sin. (2 Cor. 4:4; John 3:19-20; 12:39-40) 

Now the Holy Spirit, His purpose is to put that salvation into action. (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-11, 13-14, etc.) Adam and Eve were good when they were created. Before the fall into sin they were very good (Gen. 1:31), righteous in the eyes of God. They did all things well. They desired nothing that was evil. But that is not true any longer though is it? Since the fall into sin the desires of our hearts have been perverted. That’s what we mean when we say we are sinful by nature. The desires of our heart no longer desire the good, the very good things of God. (Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 8:7; Matt. 15:19, etc.) We now desire what WE desire. That may differ from person to person to person. You may be tempted by different desires than the person next to you. But there are no desires you have that are unique on the face of the earth. (1 Cor. 10:13a) Everything that everyone on earth is tempted by there are others out there who have the same temptations. Now, when Satan gets hold of you in the midst of your desire great wickedness can come forth and be borne. For through that desire (Matt. 15:19; Gen. 4:7), especially through consistent practicing of that desire (Rom. 2:6-9), putting that desire into action again and again (1 Tim. 4:2), horrible wickedness can occur so that there can be shockingly horrible and unique things that happen from time to time when sin runs amok in the lives of people. But none of you have sinful desires that are unique. You wrestle with those desires. Other people sitting in these pews will also understand the same struggle you have. The purpose of Holy Spirit is to give you faith to look to Jesus for life and salvation and also to sanctify you, to make you holy, to bring forth holy desires in you. To replace those wicked desires. To put them to death. To give you holy and right desires in your flesh.

That’s who Jesus is: the Son of David according to the flesh (Matt. 22:42), but the Lord of David according to His divine nature. (Matt. 22:43-44; Ps. 110:1) Because Jesus was the Lord of the Old Testament. Now that word “Lord”: we confess in the Athanasian Creed that all three persons of the Trinity are Lord and are God. (Lutheran Service Book, p. 319, vs. 17-19) But generally speaking that word “Lord” which can refer to anyone of the three persons is primarily focussed on Jesus, especially in action. For the Word of Lord came to this prophet, or to that prophet. (Gen. 15:1; 1 Sam. 15:10; 2 Sam. 7:4; Jer. 1:4, etc.) The Word of Lord: that’s Jesus coming to them, speaking to them. (John 1:1-2, 14) Or the Angel of the Lord—God in a visible form, a man—comes and speaks to a person (Josh. 5:13-15; Jdg. 2:1), does things (Num. 22:31-34), puts things into action (2 Kings 19:35), saves people (Gen. 22:10-14; Ps. 34:7), wrestles with people. (Gen. 32:22-30) That’s Jesus in the Old Testament talking to various saints of the Old Testament. So we see Jesus being the Lord of David. For David, in fact, interacted with the Angel of the Lord. (1 Chron. 21:18-30; 2 Sam. 24) The Word of the Lord sent prophets to him. (1 Sam. 16:1-11; 2 Sam. 7:4-5; 24:11) So that King David knew the Lord. Jesus, before He took on human flesh was the one who gave David, the King, his marching orders. He was the Lord of David. This is why David says in Psalm 110:1, “The Lord says to my Lord”—i.e., God the Father, the Lord God, says to my David’s Lord, Jesus—“sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”

That’s Jesus is doing right now. He is sitting at the right hand of the Father. (Matt. 22:44) Which is not so much a physical place, up in God’s throne room in the heaven of heavens, but the right hand is more specifically the position of authority, of power. It is the One who exercises all the authority of God the Father. (Matt. 28:18) It’s Jesus who sits at the right hand of God Father, but the Father nonetheless is one who is at the top of the pyramid as it were. For even within the Holy Trinity—even though all three are equal—there is an ordering. A subordination. That Jesus is the Son of the Father. Under the Father’s authority. The Father is the one calling the shots. Jesus is the right hand man of the Father. The one ruling all things, sending the Holy Spirit, putting into action all of the Father’s plans. The Holy Spirit now is the one active in the world causing you and me to be called forth unto faith by the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments. He’s the one doing these things. But Jesus sits at the right hand until the Father’s plan is fulfilled. Til all things, all enemies of Christ our Lord are placed under His feet. (Matt. 22:44)

Now, Satan has already been placed under the feet of Jesus. His head is already crushed. The power of Satan is broken. And now grace and truth have been revealed in Jesus Christ. (John 1:17) And you have had that grace and truth poured out on you in your baptism. You have had it poured down your throat in Holy Communion. You have had it wash over you and fill your mind and renew your mind as you hear the preaching of the word about Jesus (Rom. 12:2; 10:17) so that you have faith. You’ve been called by the Holy Sprit unto faith, and unto holiness. To the life of faith. 

But its still a mystery isn’t it? That one of three persons, the one who sits at the right hand of the Father became a Son, a descendant of King David. So that the one who is David’s Lord is also David’s son. What a glorious mystery? A beautiful, marvellous mystery. So they dare not ask him anymore questions because they did not believe. And the only way you can understand Holy Scripture is if the Holy Spirit gives you understanding. (1 Cor. 2:4) because the things in Holy Scripture are spiritually discerned. So you can not give your assent, your amen, to them unless the Holy Spirit gives you understanding. You can read the words. Understand the words. You can get what’s in them and say, “Well, this is what it means, but I don’t believe it.” There are unbelievers who have a better understanding of God’s word than I do. Who will explain it in such a wonderfully succinct way that I say, “Yep, that is exactly what I believe.”

And they’ll say, “Yah, yah, I know, that’s what your book, your Bible, says.” 

“Yep, that’s what it says.That’s what I believe.” I say. 

To which they say, “Yah, but I don’t believe that.” Well, the Holy Spirit’s not with you, not giving you faith. That’s what was going on with the Pharisees. They did not have the Holy Spirit at work in their hearts, sadly. Now, not all pharisees. Many pharisees came to believe in Jesus. St. Paul, a pharisee, was dragged kicking and screaming into the Church by Jesus Christ. (Acts. 9:1-19) By Jesus who loved the Lord his God with all His heart, with all His soul, with all His mind and who loved His neighbour as self. (Matt. 22:37-39)

In fact, that’s why Jesus came: because Jesus loved His Father with every ounce of His being. With all His intellect, with His whole heart, with His whole life force—His soul. Every bit of Jesus loved His Father. So He wanted to do His Father’s will. And in doing His Father’s will He loved you. He loved you completely. He loved you with the greatest love one can love. He gave up His life for you. (John 15:13) He suffered horribly so that your sins can be removed from you, so that He is both your brother through your flesh—He’s a member of mankind, the Secnd Adam; but He’s also your Lord in the Spirit and in truth.. Your saviour and king who sits at the right hand of the Father till all your enemies are placed under His feet. His feet which were pierced on the cross. Feet which crushed the head of Satan for you and your sake. (Gen. 3:15)

In +Jesus’ name, Amen. 


—Pastor David Haberstock
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
Regina, SK