Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We have spoken much of the first theme in our text for today. What is the greatest commandment? What is the purpose of God's law?
"Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. "
In catechism class we talk about the two tablets of the Law. The first three commandments are the first table that deals with our relationship with God. "Love the Lord your God." The rest, the second table, deal with our relationship with others. "You shall love your neighbor."
Now I want to talk in more detail in the second part of our text. "While the Pharisees were together, Jesus asked them, saying, What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he? They aid unto him, David. He tells them: How then does David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool? If David calls him Lord, how is he his son? "
What does the name Jesus Christ mean? Jesus is the name given to him by his parents at birth and soon we will celebrate the Christmas season. Christ is a title derived from a Greek word meaning "The Promised One" or "Anointed One". It is equal in meaning to the Hebrew word, Messiah. We call him Jesus the Christ or Jesus the Messiah.
So Jesus asked them, what do you think of the Messiah, the Promised One of Israel? Because there are many prophecies of the Messiah in the Old Testament. God promised Abraham the patriarch of the Jews that from among his descendants would come the Messiah. God also promised King David from among his lineage wouldcome the Messiah. Therefore, the Pharisees knew that the Messiah would be a son of David.
Therefore, Jesus replied, "How then does David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool? If David calls him Lord, how is he his son? "
Jesus quoted Psalm 110. "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool." King David wrote these words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. So David was a prophet and a king too. This whole Psalm is a Messianic prophecy. It continues:
"The rod of your strength Jehovah will send from Zion, Rule in the midst of your enemies. Your people shall be willing in the day of your power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning, you have the dew of your youth. The Lord has sworn and will not repent: Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. "
We confessin the creed that we believe Jesus Christ ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty and from there will come to judge the living and the dead. In the culture of that time to be seated at the right hand of the king meant someone had the same authority of the king. In Psalm 110, the Lord, that is, God said to the Messiah, sit at my right hand ". The Messiah because of his descent from David would have the right to be king of Israel. However, David said in this psalm that his offspring would have more authority, the same authority from God to judge all the nations. In addition, the Messiah would not only be a king, also a priest after the order of Melchizedek.
Let's talk about this name, Melchizedek. It appears first time in Genesis 14. "And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations, that they made war with Bera, king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. " When these kings took the city of Sodom, also took as prisoner, Lot, Abraham's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom. "
Then Abraham raised an army to rescue his nephew, defeated the kings and in the process established peace in the region. "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of the most high God; and he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him tithes of all. "
Salem was the old name of the city of Jerusalem, which means "Peace" and Melchizedek was the king and priest. What New Testament figure took bread and wine and gave a blessing? Jesus Christ. In this regard, Melchizedek foreshadowed the coming of Christ. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews says so in chapter seven:
"For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth of all, first being by interpretation King of Justice; and then also King of Salem, which is king of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent; having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest forever. Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. "
With no genealogy in Genesis, Melchizedek is a mysterious figure. No father, no mother, but he was king and priest of God Most High. David was the king of the same city, so his descendant, Jesus, has the authority of King David and is also a priest like Melchizedek, the former king. Jesus is also a prophet, as David was a prophet who prophesied of the Messiah.
All of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies pointed to the Messiah as Son of David, but greater than David as prophet, priest and king. Jesus proclaimed the Word of God, in fact He is the Word made flesh. He is King of kings because he bought the lives of all nations through his blood. It is also our High Priest, the only mediator between God and men, because of his sacrifice on the cross.
The Pharisees knew all the prophecies, but rejected Jesus Christ. They relied on their own works, not in the mercy of God. Also they relied on the inheritance of the covenant that God made with their ancestors in front of Mount Sinai.
However, Jesus Christ fulfilled the terms of this covenant and made a new covenant in his blood. The promise of the Savior of all nations was older than the covenant God made with Israel through Moses. God promised Abraham in the days of Melchizedek. Now, for us, we are heirs to this promise through Christ, our prophet, king and high priest. So we have the peace that passes all understanding. Amen.
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