Matthew 22:23-46, September 27, 2020
The Fight for Authority in the Temple
Overview of the fight in the temple
Round 1 to Jesus when His authority was questioned by the chief priests and elders (21:23-27)
Round 2 to Jesus via parable of the two sons (21:28-32)
Round 3 to Jesus via parable of then tenants (21:33-46)
Round 4 to Jesus via parable of the wedding feast (22:1-14)
Round 5 to Jesus as Pharisees and Herodians sought to trap Him with question on taxes (22:15-22)
Round 6 to Jesus as Sadducees sought to trap Jesus with question on marriage and resurrection (22:23-33)
Round 7 to Jesus when a teacher of the law tried to trap Jesus with the greatest commandment (22:34-40)
Round 8 to Jesus as He asks the Pharisees a question on whose Son is the Messiah (22:41-46)
Round 9 to Jesus on the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (23:1-12)
Round 10 to Jesus on the seven woes on the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law (23:13-39)
22:15-22 The question on taxes, one additional comment. When Jesus said, Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s they would all know Genesis 1:26-27 where God said Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness and
So God created mankind in his own image. Thus, we should be giving ourselves to God. R5 to Jesus
22:23-33 Marriage and Resurrection. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection or in an afterlife or even in angels. So first Jesus says there is an afterlife where the resurrected will have eternal life as angels do. Then, if we were to look at this in the original Greek, it would be, in heaven, men will not marry, and women will not be given in marriage. Human customs and contracts will not follow us into heaven. More to the point was when Jesus quoted Exodus 3:6 proving through the only scripture the Sadducees believed that afterlife/resurrection existed. R6 to Jesus
22:34-40 The Greatest Commandment. This is the kind of question Pharisees, their students, and teachers of the law would debate about. Here the Pharisees, frustration growing, sent a lawyer to trap Jesus with this question of theological law. If He could not answer this – and they believed there was no correct answer – then He had no more authority than they did and actually less as He had no training under any rabbi. What happened was that He astounded them with His answer. Mark 12:30-34 provides more details on the exchange between Jesus and the lawyer where the lawyer agrees with Jesus!! The lawyer added (Mark 12:33) To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.
At this point Jesus said, You are not far from the kingdom of God. And from then on no one dared ask Him any more questions.
R7 to Jesus
22:41-46 Jesus asks the Pharisees Whose Son is the Messiah? They may not have dared to ask Him any more questions, but He had one more for them. So, while the Pharisees were still there, He posed His question. Unable to help themselves, they answered immediately. Finally they could hold their own with Jesus and stated the obvious, The son of David. That was when He posed His own theological question for them (v43-45) from Psalm 110:1 Going back and looking at the Hebrew for Psalm 110, the first LORD referenced is Yahweh and the second (my Lord) is Adonai which can only be the Messiah.
The theological problem of how the son of David could be greater than David was too much for them. They had no answer for they wanted to believe in a human Messiah, not a divine Messiah. R8 to Jesus
In one day Jesus had completely defeated and humiliated the wisdom and craft of each of Israel’s leading organizations – religious and otherwise.
How did one man come out of Nazareth, come into the temple, and defeat every argument thrown at Him, plus posing questions they would not or were unable to answer? He did it as the Messiah, the Son of God. And as we will see in the next chapter, He is not finished establishing His authority over their authority. This is the man who died for our sins, this is the man who is our Lord and Savior.