More Conflict at the Temple

The conflict between Jesus and the Temple authorities continues with Jesus on the offensive. He asks a question that calls upon the authorities to explain the relationship of David to the Messiah.

Luke 20.41-44 Then he said to them, “How can they say that the Messiah is David’s son? 42 For David himself says in the book of Psalms,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.” ’

“David thus calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?”

The authorities are unable to answer the riddle. It is not until the Day of Pentecost and Peter’s sermon that the riddle presented to them was answered.

Acts 2.29-36 “Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

“Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne.

“Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying,

“‘He was not abandoned to Hades,
nor did his flesh experience corruption.’

“This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.

“Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear.

“For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”’

“Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

The riddle that Jesus posed to the Temple authorities could not be unraveled until the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to a place of power. These events vindicated the person and work of Jesus.

Religious Failures

One of the greatest tragedies in society is when religious persons fail to uphold the values they espouse.

Jesus called out the Temple authorities and the scribes.

Luke 20.45-47 In the hearing of all the people he said to the disciples,

“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets.

“They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

As a religious leader, the words of Jesus have caused me concern for myself for years. Here’s my confession.

— I like to be respected and greeted.

— I have been seated at the head table of many meetings where I was asked to offer the invocation.

— I like to be on the TV news, as long as it’s a positive news story and not a problem.

— I have a certain element of pride in the way I dress if it is an important occasion.

— I want my public prayers to be impressive.

Notice the number of “I’s” in the above statements. I don’t think I am a total self-centered bum, but a realistic assessment is healthy. Religious leaders should not have an “I” problem.

Jesus should be the object of attention, not that of his servants. May that be true for all of us.

I have not covered the issue of the widows, because that part of Jesus’ teaching is best left for tomorrow.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I have a YouTube video on this topic. Rudy brings an important perspective to these verses. Please listen to our video on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

Please email your prayer request to or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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