Tuesday, December 29, 2020

What Think Ye of Christ?

By Ron Bartanen

     While the  Pharisees questioned Jesus, testing Him, Jesus challenged them with a momentous question: “What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he?” (Matthew 22:42).  They responded with reference to the Old Testament prophecies that foretold that the Christ (the anointed messiah that would come) would be “the Son of David,” to whom would be granted the throne of David over Israel.  Jesus followed with a second question: “How then doth David in spirit (by spiritual inspiration) call him Lord, saying, the LORD (God, the Father) said unto my Lord (the messiah), Sit thou on my right hand (enthroned with the Father) till I make thy enemies thy footstool? If David then calls him Lord, how is he his son?” Jesus’ response had left them speechless.  The only obvious answer was that the Christ would not only be a son or descendant of King David, but at the same time He would be the Son of God.
      While many likened Jesus to some of the prior prophets (mere mortals), the disciples of Jesus acknowledged Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:13-17).  In all of earth’s history, only one individual can truthfully be regarded as both a “Son of man” and “the Son of God”—both fully human and fully divine, with Mary, a virgin, as His mother, and God as His Father.  It was even as an angel broke the news to Mary: “…[T]hou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest” (Luke 1:31-32a), and as the angel of the Lord explained to Joseph, her betrothed, “That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And ye shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name J\ESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20b-21).  Only in this manner could the Creator become a part of His creation, and vicariously die, the Just for the unjust, to redeem His creation.  At  the time of the sin in Eden, God made the promise of deliverance through the “seed” of the woman (Genesis 3:15), not the seed of the man.  The seed of the woman would defeat Satan.  We see the same promise given 700 years before Christ was born, as the “messianic prophet”, Isaiah writes, “”Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us)” (Isaiah 7:14; cf. Matthew 1:22-23).  The apostle Paul would later speak of the virgin-born Christ as “made of a woman” (Galatians 4:4) that He might redeem us from sin, thus qualifying us, through the merit of Christ, to be accepted as the children of God (v. 5).  Such is the glorious message of both the Old and New Testaments, as summarized by Paul as he wrote the young evangelist, Timothy: “And without controversy 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” (1 Timothy 3:16).
    How would you answer Christ: “What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He?”
- Ronald Bartanen preaches for Arthur Church of Christ, Arthur, IL.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://arthurcoc.com/

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