The Sadducees Challenge

But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son? 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 is he his son?” ‭‭(Luke‬ ‭20:41-44‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

In the preceding verses of Luke 20:27-40, the Sadducees who did not believe in resurrection asked a question to stump Jesus. As expected, he gave them a clear answer that could not be challenged. But then Jesus goes further by referencing a Psalm and asking them, “How can they say the Christ is David’s son?”

I believe he asked this question not to humiliate them, but instead challenge their thoughts and perspectives about God. If they believed that resurrection was impossible, then how can they believe that the Christ is a descendant of David? Is the Messiah God or a human?

They accepted the Psalms as the inspired word of God, but they could not fully come to terms with the power of God as if he had limitations. Did they not also believe the scriptures that said, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬)?

We can fall into that same line of thinking because we often crave a logical understanding of a mysterious phenomenon. However, what we deem as logical is limited to the amount of knowledge and wisdom we possess. We are the ones with limitations, not God! There is a tendency for us to overthink things when it comes to spiritual matters, which is why Jesus said that we must come to faith like a child. Children do not ask their parents about their ability to feed them. They just say they are hungry and ask for something to eat. So why should that be any different in our relationship with our Lord?

If we concede that all things are possible with God, then we are free to exercise our faith without carrying a hint of doubt (Mark 9:23; 10:27; Matthew 19:26). The lesson of the Sadducees is a reminder that we all occasionally challenge God’s authority and power. And what Jesus does to correct our theology is ask a question. He doesn’t demand or force faith. He allows us to process things so that perhaps we move ourselves back to fully believing in him.

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