Text: Matthew 22:34–46
Theme: Oh, my! It’s YOU!
Other Lessons: Psalm 1; Leviticus 19:1–2, 15–18; 1 Thessalonians 2:1–13
A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
B. The Gospel lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.
C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
God, our eternal refuge, throughout all generations, You’ve sheltered us.
Before the mountains rose, before the world began, You have always been,
and forever you will be.
Our days, like morning grass, may be fleeting and momentary.
Yet, every sunrise is a reminder of Your unchanging love and new mercies.
Turn to us, O Lord, with compassion in times of distress and uncertainty.
Fill our days with joy and gladness, reflecting the time we’ve faced
Show us the wonders of Your deeds and the hopes of your promise.
Guide our actions, Lord, and bless our efforts for Your glory.
May the enduring love of our eternal God be our foundation, today and
always, as we gather in worship.
A. The appointed Gospel reading for this morning is the last of an
important series of Holy Week interactions in Matthew between Jesus and his
various opponents (21:23–22:46).
1. Our Lord has just finished a debate with the Sadducees (22:23–33), one
in which the answer He gave to their questioning was so stunning that the
text reveals that they were completely silenced.
2. They were unable to speak, and the crowds were “astonished at His
3. The Lord boldly corrected the Sadducees and their false theology of the
resurrection of the dead.
4. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, and so
Jesus made their error evident by a pure preaching of God’s Word.
5. Within the crowd listening, the Pharisees are present and preparing one
more assault, what is found in today’s text.
6. In addition, it is important to note the time of the event.
7. After this, Jesus’ enemies will take a new tack, and that one will
succeed; the Lord will suffer and die for the sins of the world.
8. But that death will also be for the Sadducees and Pharisees.
9. The Lord loves them, and He knows that His time is running out, so our
text is a last opportunity to teach them.
B. Within the context I just described, let’s go back in time 2,000 years.
1. You are making your way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.
2. You have come upon the scene as described in our Gospel lesson for this
3. You have never heard such noise!
4. But, of course, you’re not from around here.
5. Just like a lot of people, people are here in the city from all over.
6. It’s Passover time.
7. The sounds, the bustling—it’s crowded and very busy.
8. You can smell the smoke from the temple sacrifices.
9. Animals are calling out from the cages in the temple, awaiting their
10. You’re going to buy one and sacrifice it.
11. Looks like a long line.
12. All this pushing and shoving has you trapped out here in the temple
courtyard, near the pillars.
1. As you go to the temple to offer your sacrifice, you see Jesus, the one
many are saying is the Christ, the man born of David’s royal line to
deliver us, being questioned by his enemies. He’s brilliant!
A. What’s going on over here? Something’s happening.
1. I recognize that man talking to the Sadducees.
2. That’s that man from Nazareth.
3. His name is Jesus, who is called the Christ.
4. He’s the man everyone’s been talking about.
5. He’s healed many people of their terrible diseases.
6. I heard He just did that recently in the temple.
7. I heard that he’s even raised people from the dead.
8. People have been calling his preaching “Good News.”
9. I’m not sure what they mean.
10. Not much of the news I’ve heard lately is good.
B. Just two days ago, I was in the same crowd when he came into the city on
1. People were shouting out the praises of our blessed King David, calling
out to this man and laying their cloaks on the road.
2. People are calling him the Christ, the Anointed One.
3. Could he be the future King of the Jews, the one who’ll conquer the
Romans and restore Israel?
4. That’s what the Pharisees have taught us about the Christ, the man born
of David’s royal line.
5. But this guy doesn’t look like much now that I get a closer look.
6. I heard Jesus has been here in the temple teaching since He came into
7. I haven’t had a chance to hear Him myself.
8. I should have been here yesterday.
C. I heard He was very angry, knocking over the money-changers’ tables,
even using a bullwhip to drive them out.
1. I hear He called the temple his Father’s house, as though He were the
Son of God.
2. I see.
D. It looks like a debate is taking place.
1. Oh, the Sadducees.
2. Those guys are brilliant!—freethinkers.
3. I feel sorry for that no-name country boy Jesus.
4. No regular guy outwits these intellectual types.
5. Jesus is no match for . . . Oh, my, wait a minute!
6. They look embarrassed!
7. I don’t know what Jesus just said, but it sure shut up the Sadducees!
8. Now everybody’s staring at them.
9. The Sadducees aren’t saying anything.
10. They’re stunned!
11. I don’t know what he said, but whatever it was, they’re leaving,
12. Wow! No last words?
13. Indeed! They have nothing to say!
E. Oh, I understand now.
1. Jesus must believe what the Pharisees teach.
2. I know the Pharisees and the Sadducees hate each other.
3. Jesus must be on the side of the Pharisees.
F. Behind me—people are whispering.
1. I don’t want to look obvious, but I can’t quite see who it is.
2. Oh, it’s the rulers of the Pharisees.
3. Wait a minute.
4. Jesus isn’t with the Pharisees either.
5. They’re saying they don’t want people to think he’s one of them.
6. They’re speaking more softly now.
7. Can I hear them?
8. They’re talking about what they can ask Jesus to trip him up.
9. They’re choosing one of their people, a lawyer, to approach Jesus.
10. They’re going to try to trap him.
G. Here goes: “Jesus, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
1. Oh, that’s a good one.
2. Be careful, Jesus.
3. He’s trying to trick you.
4. I can hear them chuckling and snickering back here.
5. Even I know that any answer you give will be wrong.
6. These guys are just waiting for you to stumble through all 613 of the
7. If you choose one as the greatest, they’ll say there is no greatest
because different ones become greater at different times based on the
8. If you say there isn’t a greatest one, they’ll chide you for your not
knowing which is the greatest right now, in this circumstance.
9. No matter what you say, you’ll look like a fool.
10. Just don’t say anything, Jesus.
11. Just call this one “lost” and come back another day.
12. Oh, Jesus, wait!
13. Give yourself a second to think before you answer!
14. Don’t . . .!
H. Whoa! Did you hear that?
1. He just quoted from Deuteronomy and Leviticus.
2. He’s going to the Law that trumps ALL the rabbinical laws.
3. Well done, Jesus, well done!
4. He just said,
a. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your
soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a
second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two
commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
6. That’s a summary of all Ten Commandments.
7. That is the greatest, because that says it all!
8. Well done, Jesus.
2. But he’s more! He is the Christ, David’s Son and David’s Lord! My temple
sacrifice is no longer necessary, for he is the sacrifice!
A. But wait a minute!
1. If the entirety of the Law and the prophets hang on perfect love, how
can I ever please God?
2. I mean, I can keep at least some of those rabbis’ laws, but surely even
the Pharisees—good people that they are—know that only God is capable of
3. Oh, my! Jesus just proved from the Torah that the fulfillment of the Law
comes through perfect loving of God and neighbor.
4. I know I can’t do that.
5. So what’s the point of this sacrifice I’m buying to offer?
B. Only God can keep the Law perfectly.
1. So the Pharisees are failures too, like me?
2. Their own question has condemned them in their sins.
3. It’s condemned all of us.
4. So now what do we do?
5. I can’t save myself!
C. Look at them.
1. They know what he’s saying.
2. They get it.
3. But they’re not saying anything.
4. They’ve been stumped just like the Sadducees.
D. Uh, oh. Here we go.
1. Jesus is looking back here now.
2. He’s getting the Pharisees’ attention.
3. He knows it was all their setup.
4. He called their bluff and they’re not happy!
5. Let it go, Jesus.
6. Don’t push it.
7. They hate you.
8. You proved your point.
9. I can hear what they’re muttering.
10. They want you dead.
E. He’s asking them another question.
1. “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
2. They’re answering, “The son of David.”
5. Everybody knows that.
6. Why even bring it up?
7. Are you really trying to teach them something, Jesus?
8. These guys just condemned themselves in sin.
9. Truth is, Jesus, you just crushed all of us with the Law.
10. Why now talk about the Christ?
11. Let it go.
12. Just leave us all condemned.
13. You win.
F. Shhh. Jesus is asking another question.
1. “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, ‘The
Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under
your feet’? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”
2. Hmm. That’s a tough one.
3. We all know that passage too.
4. That’s found in Psalm 110.
5. It’s all about the Messiah.
6. We know that.
7. My rabbi, a Pharisee, taught me that that text is specifically talking
about the Christ.
8. But what’s Jesus getting at?
9. Jesus just asked about the Christ, the Son of David.
10. Obviously there can be no authority other than God.
11. And obviously no king of Israel would dare call anyone below him
“Lord,” especially his son.
12. I’ve always been taught that only the king is lord.
13. The only one higher than David, the only one David would call Lord, is
14. So, in other words, King David will have a son, a man, the Christ, whom
he will call “Lord.”
15. That can mean only one thing: the Son born of David will be God!
G. Jesus did it again!
1. The Pharisees are silent.
2. They know he’s right.
3. Of course.
4. It makes perfect sense.
5. But they’re so angry.
6. They’re leaving.
7. They’re covering their ears and waving him off.
8. Why? Why should that make them angry—that the Christ is God?
9. That’s not what upsets them at all, is it?
10. It’s not that the Christ is God that makes them mad!
11. It’s the fact that Jesus said it!
12. They just don’t want to hear from him!
H. I have ears to hear, Lord!
1. I’ve heard of your miracles.
2. Jesus, you are the man performing the perfect acts of love that only God
3. You are the one who saw the heart and knew the pure Word of God’s Holy
Law was needed to show our sins.
4. You are the one now giving understanding of the Scriptures and showing
us a merciful God, a Messiah, a Christ who will be born of man and yet will
be God to be our deliverer, and not from bondage to the Romans, but from
bondage to sin and death and hell!
A. Oh, my! It’s YOU!
1. YOU are David’s Lord!
2. YOU are God in the flesh, the Son of God.
3. The temple is your Father’s house.
4. You are the King of the Jews.
5. You are the Christ!
6. They will not believe, but I do!
7. I’m hanging on your words, Lord.
8. You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!
9. Kyrie eleison!
10. Have mercy on me, a sinner, and save me!
B. He’s moving up a few steps near the pillars.
1. He’s preparing to preach.
2. I must hear this wonderful good news, this Gospel of forgiveness.
3. Never mind what I was doing—my sacrifice here at the temple.
4. Never mind where I was going.
5. I must stay right here.
6. This is where I need to be, with David’s Son, my God and my Lord.
C. I am reminded of what it says in Isaiah 53:
Isaiah 53:4–5, 7 (NASB95)
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we
ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our
iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His
scourging we are healed.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent
before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
D. The Forgiveness of My Sin Has Been Revealed in Jesus, the God-man of
E. Let us pray:
Gracious and loving God, whose wisdom and understanding is beyond all human
comprehension, we gather before You, drawn together by Your love which
surpasses all understanding.
As the Pharisees questioned Jesus, seeking to test His wisdom, we are
reminded of Your command to love You with all our heart, soul, and mind,
and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Help us, O Lord, to genuinely embrace this command, making it the
foundation of our lives.
Let our actions, our words, and our very thoughts reflect this great love.
We acknowledge that our understanding is limited, and often we are
challenged by the teachings of Your Word.
As Jesus stumped those who thought they knew everything, let us always
approach Your Word with humility, seeking to learn and grow, rather than to
justify our preconceptions.
In a world divided by countless differences, help us to be ambassadors of
Your love, reminding all that before You, we are all equal.
As we navigate the complexities of our daily lives, let the two greatest
commands be our guiding light.
And Lord, as we lift up our joys and concerns, may our prayers always find
their foundation in love.
Whether we are praying for guidance, healing, comfort, or gratitude, let
our love for You and for one another be the thread that ties our hearts
In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of our faith, we pray.
F. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
G. In the Name of the Father…Amen.