Luke 20:41–47

Read the passage.

After answering the Sadducees about the resurrection, the appropriateness of paying taxes, and not answering the question of His authority, Jesus poses a question of His own. It was well-known that the Messiah would come from David’s line, but Jesus cites Psalm 110:1 which makes things difficult for a straightforward interpretation. Whenever the Old Testament is quoted in the New Testament, it uses the Greek translation called the Septuagint, or LXX. In some cases, our English translations of the Hebrew text can differ from what the Septuagint’s translators did, but that is thankfully not the case here.

However we do have to pay attention to who the “Lords” are in “The Lord said to my Lord”. Most translations will have the first “Lord” in small caps, but maybe only in the book of Psalms and in regular font here in Luke. “Lord” in small caps indicates the covenant name of God, “Yahweh”. (Some translations use “Yahweh” in the text now.) Because it was common practice to say the Hebrew word for “lord” (adonai) in place of Yahweh, the Septuagint used the Greek word for “lord” when translating Yahweh from Hebrew.

Jesus’s point is that David’s psalm is clearly about the Messiah, who is supposed to be his descendant (as promised in 2 Samuel 7), and yet David calls his descendant “my Lord”. Thus, the Messiah is a greater king than David was, contrary to popular opinion which thought He was going to be a king of the same nature.

Now that everyone is pondering this question, Jesus condemns the self-serving, shallow scribes who love to have the attention of the people because of their lofty knowledge and skill. They are supposed to be concerned with teaching God’s word to the people, but they pursue the blessings from the people more than the blessings from God. Because they have the greater responsibility of greater knowledge of the Scriptures, they receive a greater condemnation for their unrighteousness.

Let us not be puffed up with knowledge but be humble as we seek Your will.

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