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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

Matthew 22:46, "And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask
him any more questions."

This morning, the insignificance of man's understanding coupled with his arrogance and pride continues to amaze me. Today man marvels at his superior learning, technology, and innovation. Men today (who are really no better than their fathers) revel in the praise lauded upon them by their peers and subordinates. Today, the wisdom of God continues to be as high above ours as the heaven is above the earth. Tomorrow, His wisdom and understanding will still be infinite, and our understanding will be no closer (in magnitude) to His than we are today.

 
Therefore, let us always keep in focus that our gifts of understanding came from Him and praise goes to Him.
If we are in the medical field and have skills of mind and body to practice medicine, let us thank Him who gave us the talents to use in that endeavour. If we have made strides and achievements in the fields of science, engineering, or other areas, let us thank the One that blessed us with the potential to realize
these accomplishments. For, at the end of the day, we must keep silence before Him as our manner of conversation and intellect cannot match His.

The verse above is found at the end of a rather long interchange of conversation between Christ and various
groups of people. In fact, three different groups (all working towards the same end) have approached Christ in turn to catch Him in His words. All three fail in their attempt, and Christ finishes the dialogue by posing a question of His own, which is left unanswered by His accusers. In all of this, we will learn why it is that man must keep silence before his God. We also learn how it is that we should and should not question our Maker.

The first dialogue that occurs is between Christ and the Herodian Pharisees (verses 15-22), and they seek
to catch Him in the matter of paying tribute. Since Christ has already declared Himself to be the Son of God in His ministry, they determine that He would be opposed to giving tribute to Caesar or some other magistrate of the land. However, Christ completely overturns their thinking with simple, concise points about obeying the law of the land. The Lord of Glory has never commanded His servants to disobey the law of the land, provided that such laws do not contradict God's laws. So, Christ teaches a simple lesson about being an honourable citizen that pays taxes and lives peaceably with all men. The first line of questioning seeks to trap Him in His Kingship, but our King shines supreme above all other kings. They are worried about their legacy, dominion, and power; Christ is not concerned with anyone thwarting Him in these regards.

The second group that comes are the Sadducees (verses 23-33), and they seek to catch Him in His teaching of the resurrection. Since the Sadducees denied the resurrection, they considered Christ's teachings to be heresy, and therefore, would pose an "unsolvable dilemma" to Him. This dilemma involves a woman married at different times to seven brothers in keeping with the Mosaical law. Therefore, who would she be married to in the resurrection? Christ makes it clear that one must understand the Scriptures and the power of God to comprehend the resurrection. The Sadducees neglected one or both of these points, and therefore, could not understand the idea that natural ties such as fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, sons, and daughters have no place in the resurrection.  Indeed, we will know each other as one star differeth from another star in glory, but we will know each other as kindred in Christ and not by these far-lesser natural relationships. Again, Christ's simple responses show forth that He cannot be trapped in either His position as King or His teachings in His
ministry.

So, the last group is a lawyer of the Pharisees that tempts Him by testing His understanding (verses 34-40), and Christ shows forth superior understanding in all the Old Testament Scriptures. If one cannot trap Christ by testing His place or teachings, then they will try to punch some hole in His understanding, but Christ further expounds the law by condensing it for all generations to see. If one is concerned with the greatest commandment, Christ shows that it can be boiled down to two with one obviously above the other, All the law and the prophets hangs upon this: we should love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and might, then our neighbour as ourself. By keeping these two, we will keep the rest, and by keeping these two, we show forth the true spirit of the law in our deeds and actions. Again, no test could be conceived to show forth that the Saviour's understanding is lacking in the least degree.

So, now that the groups have been answered in turn, Christ turns it around by asking them two questions (verses 41-45), and the Pharisees answer one but are stumped at the second. The question is whose son is
Christ? They rightfully respond, "The Son of David."


They show forth that they know the letter of the law that promised David a son to sit upon his throne. (Psalm 89) But, the Saviour quotes David (Psalm 110) to ask His second question. How is Christ both David's Lord and his Son? To this, they cannot reply, and Christ has knowingly uncovered their weakness, whereas they could not find one with Him. While the Lord's understanding far surpasses theirs, they prove their understanding (of the law and the prophets) in answering the first question, but they fall down in the second by showing forth their own pride and desire for self-rule. Christ did not back away from His position of power and authority at their questioning, but He did not (in the first set of dialogue) stoop to teaching to disobey earthly magistrates. The Pharisees show that they were unwilling to give up their position of authority among the people at the arrival of the Messiah.

What exactly is the purpose of Christ's second question? What does it bear out? For us to answer the question, we must show forth a belief in the eternal Sonship of Jesus Christ. This idea is the only way that the question about David's statement can be answered. Jesus claims to be both David's root and offspring (Revelation 22:16). Therefore, as the eternal Son of God, He is David's Creator, Redeemer, and Saviour. But, as the seed of the woman that was promised to come of the loins of David, He must be David's son according to the flesh (even though without sin). To be able to give such a declaration about this One Christ Jesus, we must be willing to lay aside pride in self. We must be able to say (as John did), "He must increase, but I must decrease." We must be willing to deny ourself to follow after Him.  We must desire that people remember His teachings and not our own. The messenger should desire that the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified outlast the memory of him who delivered it.

The Pharisees gave silence at the question, and no man asked Him any more questions. Why would they?
They could not trip up His authority, His teachings, or His understanding. He very simply tripped them up in their own thinking for all to see. In fact, those that observed these events marvelled at the eloquence of Christ's answers. So, when we ask questions, what should be our course today? We should ask questions to gain understanding and wisdom from the infinite well of God's wisdom and understanding. We should
never ask them as they did here to find some problem with our Lord or His ways. Finally, when we draw
things from that well (such as the understanding of Christ's eternal place), we should never think, "I
have it all figured out." Indeed, there is more in the well than we could ever draw, and when we get to heaven, the very best we could say is, "The half was not told me."

In Hope,

Bro Philip