At seminary, the professors rightly require that we know why we believe what we do. In our dogmatics courses, this means memorizing proof texts from Scripture that support what we believe.
As orthodox Reformed Christians, we believe that Jesus Christ is both man and God. In other words, He is both human and divine. Why do we believe this? Because it’s in the Bible – there are a number of passages that support this.
But, did you know that Jesus Christ himself had a “proof text” that He used to teach this truth?
On Tuesday of the Passion Week, Jesus taught in the temple at Jerusalem. After telling several parables, Jesus then answered questions that were designed to entangle Him in His words (Matt. 22:15). However, His careful answers only caused the people to marvel at Him all the more.
After He answered the questions that were posed to Him, Jesus himself had a question for the Pharisees. He asked them: What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he (Matt. 22:41)? No doubt, this seemed like a softball of a question to the Pharisees. They knew on the basis of passages such 2 Samuel 7:12 that the Messiah, which is translated as Christ in the NT, would come from the line of David. Thus, they answered that Christ was the Son of David. So far, no problems.
However, Jesus asked a follow up question. He quoted Psalm 110:1, which reads: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” In connection with this verse, He asked, “If David then call him Lord; how is he his son” (Matt. 22:44)?
What’s going on here, you may ask? Where did this question come from and how does it prove that Jesus Christ is both human and divine?
First off, David penned the words of this Psalm. Therefore, the pronoun “my” is a reference to David. Second, notice that the first occurrence of “LORD” is in all capital letters. This is a reference to Jehovah. In contrast, the second instance of “Lord” is in lower case letters. The fact that Jesus asked their opinion about “Christ” in vs. 41, but then quotes a passage containing the word “Lord,” indicates that Lord, in this case, is a reference to Christ. Importantly, this means that promised Messiah would be David’s Lord. Thus, Jesus was asking: How is that David’s son would also be his Lord?
The correct answer: As a man, Christ is the son of David. As God, Christ is the Lord of David. He is both human and divine!
Importantly, when Jesus had entered Jerusalem, the people shouted: Hosanna to the Son of David. He never denied that He was the son of David. Therefore, by posing this question, Jesus was teaching that He was also the Lord of David. This is possible only because Jesus Christ is both God and man.