"WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST?
Intro. The tide of resentment is building against Jesus among the religious leaders, they are in a verbal warfare. They are seeking to trap Jesus so as to turn the tide of his popular appeal. The Pharisee's had tried to catch Him in a question of paying taxes to Rome. Sadducees had tried to make the resurrection look ridiculous, instead He made them look ridiculous. The Pharisee's then took another shot at Him, finally Jesus asked them a question. What think ye of Christ, whose Son is He?
I. The text within the context.
A. The culture was a very strong patriarchal society. As long as the father lived, he ruled over the family. Age or marriage did not alter his rule. He was always addressed as and considered the Lord over the family. Under no conditions would a father call a son lord.
1. The question of Jesus to them was concerning the Messiah. "What do you think of the Messiah, whose Son is He?"
a. The word of God to David was that God would establish his house and from his seed the Messiah would come.
b. When Isaiah prophesied of the coming Messiah he said, "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder. He shall sit upon the throne of David."
c. Isaiah 11
, "There shall come forth a rod out of the stem out of Jesse (The father of David) and a branch shall grow out of his roots."
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, [even] my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken [it].
B. It was the common expectation that the Messiah would be a descendant of David, thus the title Son of David was one of the Messianic titles.
1. The Pharisee's correctly answered Jesus, "The Son of David."
2. Jesus then asked them how it was that David in the Spirit called Him Lord? For David said, "The LORD said to my lord, Sit thou on My right hand until I have made thy enemies thy footstool." If David called Him Lord, how can he then be his Son?
II. I would like to consider the question outside of the context, "What think ye of Christ, whose Son is He?"
A. This is what it comes down to. He is either the Son of God, or He is the son of some unnamed man in Nazareth who had an affair with Mary, and she tried to cover her indiscretion with this wild story of angels visiting her and telling her that she had found favor with God and she had been chosen to be the instrument by which God would bring His Son into the world.
B. What are the chances of Mary's lying to cover her sin of fornication? We know that there are unwed mothers all of the time. Fornication is a very common sin.
1. We know from Luke 1
that Mary was a deeply devout person.
a. When she met her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant under unusual conditions, for she had been barren for years, she burst forth in glorious praise that is commonly called the magnificent.
b. She followed the law of Moses and went through the purification rites after the birth of the child.
c. According to the law she brought a sacrifice for the first-born son. Incidentally as she brought the sacrifice there was this Godly old saint that had received the promise of the Holy Spirit that he would not die without seeing the Messiah. When he saw Jesus, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God. He then prophesied over the child.
d. Do you think that Mary could have stood there at the cross and watch her Son die for her sin? If there was a unnamed man, surely she would have confessed the cover-up story to save her Son's life.
C. What are the chances that she was telling the truth?
1. The changed attitude of Joseph the man she was engaged to.
a. He saw only two alternatives. Expose her, and allow her to be stoned for her sin, or send her away to some far off village where no one knew her.
b. The angel gave to him a third alternative. "Fear not to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her of from the Holy Spirit, and she shall have a Son and you shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins."
2. The fact that they were forced to come to Bethlehem because of the edict of Caesar, and that the child was born in Bethlehem. Thus the prophecy of Micah was fulfilled, which named Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah.
3. No man in history has had such an effect on the history of the world as this man.
a. When you date your letters, you are acknowledging His birth. 1994 years since what?
b. Our whole Western culture has been influenced by this Man.
4. Man through the years have tried to destroy Him, they have long since fallen, He still lives on. Voltaire claimed that he would live to see the day when no one would believe this fairy tale any longer. One hundred years after his death, the home he lived in had become the head quarters of a Bible publishing house.
5. No man in history ever had so much written about him before his birth.
a. For almost two thousand years the sages and prophets had been foretelling His coming.
b. Over three hundred details were being given concerning his birth, life, death, and resurrection. Even the time of His coming was predicted.
6. All of these prophesies were literally fulfilled by this one Man.
a. Have you ever wondered concerning the chances of such a thing happening? Dr. Peter Stoner who was a professor at Pasadena College wrote a fascinating little book published by Moody press called "Science Speaks." In this book he speaks of his class taking eight of the prophesies and calculating the chance factor of one man fulfilling the eight prophesies, and using the law of compound probabilities they estimated that the chances were one in 10 to the 28th power. Subtracting the population factor of all mankind to that date to be 11 billion, they came up with a figure of 1 to the 17th power. This many silver dollars would cover the state of Texas 2 feet thick. Taking another 8 prophesies and assuming the same chance factor you would have one chance in 10 to the 45th power. This many silver dollars would create a ball with the center at the earth, and the edge would be 30 times further away than the sun. Remember there were more than three hundred prophesies.
b. You may say that many of the prophesies were rather ambiguous. Perhaps, yet born in Bethlehem, isn't very ambiguous, making His entry on a donkey, being betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, the money later thrown down in the temple, then used to but a potters field seems fairly clear to me.
c. Making His arrival 483 years after the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem is quite precise.
d. His then being cut off and the nation being dispersed throughout the world is plain enough.
7. To not to believe takes a deliberate closing of your eyes and mind to the facts.
8. It means your rejection of Him is a matter of choice. You have deliberately chosen to reject Him, and there can be only one reason for your choice. You have a love for evil, you reject the high moral standards that He espoused. You love the darkness in which you live.
III. What think ye of Christ, whose Son is He?
A. You cannot be politically correct and declare, "I think He was a good man that has influenced our Western Culture."
1. I think that He might have been a prophet.
2. I think that He was a great philosopher.
3. I think that He was the greatest teacher who ever lived.
4. Whose Son is He?
B. He has to be either the son of some man, or the Son of God.
1. He claimed to be the Son of God.
2. He made continual references to God as His Father, and being sent by His Father into this world.
3. He was a liar, or He was speaking truth.
4. He was a fraud, or He was genuinely the Son of God.