The Question about David’s Son
Among the Jews the most common title for the Messiah (the Hebrew word for Christ or the Anointed One) was the Son of David. Today’s gospel reading is not easy to understand. Yet Sts. Matthew and Luke (Matt 2:42-46, Luke 20:42-44) mentioned this and so therefore it must be an important teaching of Jesus. What does He try to tell us?
Bible scholars say that the purpose why Jesus quoted this Psalm passage (110:1) is to show to the crowds and the Pharisees that the Messiah was more than a descendant of David because David calls this descendant of his, “my lord.” This is to show that David views the Messiah as his Lord and superior. And also this is to show that His superiority, even over David, derived from His transcendent origin. David attested to this when He addressed the Messiah with the name reserved for Yahweh, ‘my lord.’
What does it mean to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, Kyrios in Greek? The word Lord means “ruler” or “king” and the one who is owed our full “submission”. According to the New Catholic Dictionary, this title is commonly used for God in the Old Testament, but commonly appropriated to Christ in the New Testament. In the Old Testament Greek version and those dependent on it, as the Vulgate in this matter, it is used in place of Jahweh (Jehovah), the proper name of God among the Israelites. The way Saint Paul and other New Testament writers use the title is one of the proofs that they regarded Christ as God. In Acts 10:48, He is referred to as the ‘Lord Jesus Christ.’ Again, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 446): “In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the ineffable Hebrew name YHWH, by which God revealed himself to Moses,(Ex. 3:14) is rendered as Kyrios, “Lord”. From then on, “Lord” becomes the more usual name by which to indicate the divinity of Israel’s God. The New Testament uses this full sense of the title “Lord” both for the Father and – what is new – for Jesus, who is thereby recognized as God Himself.”
Jesus is not only a healer, miracle worker, preacher, teacher and exemplar but above all He is our God and Lord who, according to Preface of Weekdays III, has the right to receive the obedience of all creation, the praise of the Church on earth, the thanksgiving of the saints in heaven.
In relation to the above truth about Jesus as our God and Lord, D. M. Stearns, from an unknown source, was preaching in Philadelphia, U.S.A. At the close of the service a stranger came up to him and said, “I don’t like the way you spoke about the cross. I think that instead of emphasizing the death of Christ, it would be far better to preach Jesus, the teacher and example.”
Stearns replied, “If I presented Christ in that way, would you be willing to follow Him?” “Certainly I would,” said the stranger without hesitation. “All right then,” said the preacher, “let’s take the first step. He did no sin. Can you claim that for yourself?”
The man looked confused and somewhat surprised. “Why, no,” he said. “I acknowledge that I do sin.” Stearns replied, “Then your greatest need is to have a Savior, not an example!”
We believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of God, our God and Lord. Let us willingly submit ourselves to His rule in our lives. Let Him be the Lord and King of our lives, thoughts, hearts, homes, relationships, work and all that we do and not allow our unruly passions, the love of money, alcohol, drugs and others to rule us.