Trinity 18 (Mt 22, 34–46)

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Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

᛭ INI ᛭

Jesus preaches about Himself today. He preaches about Himself because He preaches about the Christ. He preaches that the Christ isn’t just David’s Son, but that the Christ is also David’s Lord, His God, His Savior.

Now, we know Jesus is talking about Himself, because elsewhere in Matthew He either says that He’s the Christ or agrees with people who do say it. And so, Jesus preaches today about who this Christ is. He does it through His Q&A with the Pharisees. But He doesn’t just preach about who He is. He also alludes to what He does.

((2. The Christ is David’s Son and Lord.))

So, who is the Christ? The Christ is the promised Anointed One, the Promised Savior. (“Christ” means Anointed One.) In the Old Testament the LORD promised that the future Messiah, the future Christ would be Anointed not with oil, like the Kings and Priests were, but that He would be Anointed with the Spirit. This Christ would have the Spirit without measure. (More on that in a moment.)

Okay, so this Promised Christ, would also be the Son of David. The LORD Himself promised David, “There will never fail to be someone on your throne.” “Your Son will rule and reign forever.” The Pharisees aren’t completely wrong, but they fail to understand all that Scripture says about the Christ. The Christ would be a Son of David, but this Son of David will also be His Lord.

That’s what Jesus points out. He quotes Psalm 110, which are David’s own words. Well, David’s words spoken under inspiration of the Spirit. The Spirit used David’s words in such a way that David’s words are the Spirit’s words, are God’s Word. The Spirit through David says that the Christ would be David’s Lord.

David says, “Yahweh said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand.” David is speaking about one of his own descendants, but sons of kings are never their lord, their ruler. And so the only way that David’s words are true is that He’s talking about the LORD, Yahweh, Himself. Yahweh is David’s Lord, David’s King, David’s Shepherd. “The LORD is My shepherd.”

And all this means that David’s Son, someone born after him, a descendant of his, would also be His Lord, His God. So, who’s Son is the Christ? He’s David’s Son, but also David’s Lord, or more specifically, the Son of God. And this is why the Christ is anointed with the Spirit without measure: because the Christ, the Son of God, is eternally one with the Holy Spirit.

So what Jesus preaches to us today is that He is both Son of David and God Himself. Jesus is the Christ. Jesus is really David’s Son, a human being, “true man, born of the Virgin Mary.” But He’s more, too. Jesus is the Christ. Jesus is really David’s Lord, God Himself, “true God begotten of the Father from eternity.”

((Transition.))

But Jesus doesn’t just preach who He is as Christ. He’s not just telling us that He’s true God and true man at the same time. He preaches the benefit of who He is, too. He tells us the good that He came to accomplish for us. Jesus tells us who He is AND what He does for us and for David. What does He do? He saves.

((1. The Christ defeats His enemies.))

The Christ saves. That’s been the promise from the beginning. The LORD promised the Devil, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her Seed; He will strike you on the head, and you will strike him on the heel.” The LORD promised Abraham, “In you, in your Seed, all nations of the earth will be blessed.”

Now, this promise of blessing, of defeating our old, evil foe, is made again in the Psalm Jesus quotes in Matthew 22. The Spirit of Christ promises through David, “Yahweh said to my Lord sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool. The LORD sends forth from Zion Your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!”

When the Spirit speaks this, He’s not just giving us info about who the Christ is, but also what He would do: “Rule in the midst of His enemies,” and that His enemies would be “His footstool.” In saying these two things “the Spirit of Christ” was telling beforehand “the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow,” as Peter says in 1 Peter 1:11.

But who are Christ’s enemies? Those that would be placed under His feet? It’s His people’s enemies. The Lord Jesus takes His people’s enemies as His own, and it’s not the enemies that His people say are their enemies. The Lord knows our true enemies, and those are the one’s He defeats.

He rules over them and defeats them at Calvary. There our sins are conquered and paid for. Our sins of not loving God before everything else in our lives. Our sins of not loving our neighbor as ourselves. We can’t even count the army of our sins! But all vanquished by the blood of Jesus.

The devil accuses us night and day. But He is silenced forever by Jesus. Jesus says, “It is finished.” The world, too, can’t match Jesus. It killed Him, but He is raised, never to die again. So we don’t have to be “afraid of those who can only kill the body.”

And “the last enemy to be destroyed is death,” Paul says. Jesus’ victory over death is our victory over death now, but one day, the Last Day, Jesus will raise us by the Holy Spirit, and death itself will be thrown into hell. (Rev. 20:14) On that all Christ’s enemies will be under His nail-scarred feat: sin, death, the devil and his demons, hell. All those great enemies of His people gone forever. And His people will reign with Him forever and ever. (2 Tim 2:12)

And we are His people. We are not because we are faithful but because God is faithful to His promises, as Paul says today. “God is faithful, by whom you were called into communion with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” We united with Jesus, and He with us. He is our King, we His subjects. He’s our Lord, we His people. And that means He’s our Savior, and we are saved. To be King, to be Lord, means to be Savior, to save.

We are one with our King, our God, our Lord, our Savior. We have communion, fellowship, unity with Jesus, with His Father and the Holy Spirit, too, through Jesus, through faith in Him. We are united to Jesus in Holy Baptism. (Gal 3) We are united to Him in reading Scripture. (Jn 8) We are united with Him, have communion with Him, and with each other, in Holy Communion, the Supper of His body and blood. (Jn 6; 1 Cor 10)

((Conclusion.))

Jesus preaches about Himself today. He preaches who He is. He’s the Christ. He’s the Lord. He’s the Son of David. He’s man. He’s God.

He also preaches what He does. He conquers His enemies, but not just His enemies, His people’s enemies—your enemies.

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DEFEATS HIS PEOPLE’S ENEMIES.

He defeats your sins, to free you from them. Now you’re actually free not to fail in loving God or your neighbor. He rules in your heart to do that. That’s faith. If there’s other things happening besides loving God or your neighbor, there’s another Lord ruling in there.

Jesus defeats your death. Now death cannot stop you. You’ll rise from the dead “just as He is risen from the dead.” The devil can’t accuse you on the Last Day either. He’s been silenced. The evidence in your favor is Jesus’ death and resurrection for you. No need to drum up your own feelings, thoughts, works to compensate.

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DEFEATS HIS PEOPLE’S ENEMIES.

You are part of His people. He made it so in Baptism. Makes it certain through His Word. Gives you communion with Him in His body and blood. When you’re baptized, reading His Word, and receiving His Supper, Jesus is at work to keep you His. That’s all received by faith.

THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DEFEATS HIS PEOPLE’S ENEMIES.

O time of God appointed,
O bright and holy morn!
He comes, the king anointed,
The Christ, the virgin-born,
Grim death to vanquish for us,
To open heav’n before us
And bring us life again.

LSB 402:2

᛭ INI ᛭

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