41 Then He said to them, “How is it that they say the Christ is David’s son?
The Sadducees has just presented a cleverly conceived scenario (v. 28-32) to Jesus with the hope that they could catch him either in denying the Law of Moses or denying belief in the resurrection as taught by the Pharisees and believed by many of Jesus' followers. Jesus responded with a far more clever answer that did not force him to deny either option.
He then went on to suggest that the resurrection was actually implied in the Torah, even if not explicitly stated as a fundamental belief. It turned out to be an interpretation that even some of the scribes accepted as reasonable. In his answer, Jesus assumed that God is only God to living people. So, if Moses could say - under the inspiration all Jews believed was occurring at the 'burning bush' - that the Lord is the God of Abraham who had been long since deceased, then Abraham must be alive since God is not God to the dead. That being so, then Abraham must have been resurrected. This is a strange argument and a particularly daunting one for those who believe in soul sleep (See 1 Th 4:13-18; Ps 115:17; Is 38:19; Job14; Acts 2:28,34).
What do you think about that kind of reasoning - reasoning from what may be considered as implied by a statement that was not originally intended to be a statement about doctrine in general, and the resurrection in particular?
Jesus, according to Luke's gospel, did not cease his argument even at that point. He went on to illustrate a manner of interpretation of the OT scriptures that does no sit well with many Christians who prefer to only accept the plain, contextual meaning of scripture. It is a type of reasoning that theologians might call eisegetical. Jesus often used this method to confound his enemies. (see Ps 82:6; Jn 10:30-36)
Here again, Jesus threw his enemies off balance by introducing another scripture that he had interpreted in a manner that was clearly within the realm of Jewish practice - because they apparently accepted his logic - yet it did not reflect the plain, contextualized understanding of the verse. How can the Messiah be the 'son' of David - as everyone assumed, yet David calls him Lord? (Ps 110:1) We need to be careful to avoid glossing over this point.
42 For David himself says in the book of Psalms, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,
So, the Psalmist wrote that God spoke to David's Master - the Messiah, as the rest of the Psalm makes clear. Thus, Jesus' question to his enemies, how can the Messiah be a descendent of King David, yet exist at the time of David, unless the Messiah is much more than a descendent of David? The Messiah would have to be like Melchizedek - without beginning or end (Ps 110:4; Heb 7:1-3). Was the psalmist not really inspired and thus wrong in what he wrote? Was the psalmist accurate in what he stated, but we have wrongly applied it to Jesus rather than to a contemporary of David’s - i.e. one of his sons who would eventually rule over David?
43 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’
The Messiah would, according to the Psalmist, have enemies, yet he would eventually crush out all his enemies. In other words, according the the OT, the Messiah would not only be a savior of those who place their faith in God's grace, but he would also be a mighty king who would destroy those who act against God's chosen people.
44 Therefore David calls Him ‘Lord,’ and how is He his son?”
All this, of course, once again begs the question - from the perspective of King David's psalm, how could the Messiah - as Christians believe Jesus is - be both the authoritative master of King David and yet also be his 'son' (descendant)? How is this logically possible, unless there is much more to existence than what humans commonly encounter?
If David was simply saying that one of his own sons had exceeded him to the throne and effectively became David's master, then this might make sense. Yet, this 'Lord' was to 'sit at the right hand of God' and be the ultimate destroyer of all of God's enemies. This certainly was not true of any of David's sons, nor descendants - except...
Assuming that Jesus was a descendant of King David, he did not accomplish this final victory either - at least during his lifetime - unless he conquered the greatest enemy of God's people - sin and the Devil - and is currently sitting at the right hand of God in heaven (Acts 2:33; 7:55; Rom 8:34; Heb 8:1).
45 And while all the people were listening, He said to the disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets,
Though some of the scribes had concluded that Jesus' had 'spoken well' (v. 39), the bulk of the scribes were operating as a 'satan' to the people. They were obstructing their ability to see and know God. The scribes were so narrowly interpreting the scriptures that they were missing the salient point of all scripture - which was to lead us to see God.
The scribes were far more interested in their positions of influence than in any efforts to turn the hearts of the people to God. Instead of discipling others to follow God, they conspired with one another to hoodwink the population into following the religious elite. The narrowness of their interpretations of scripture were, for all intents and purposes, totally self-serving. Jesus was, from their perspective, ruining everything they had built up. They didn't want a savior from what they had. They wanted a 'savior' from the Savior. So, they became in cahoots with the government. They wanted the secular powers to act on their behalf, to keep alive their religious realm. Clearly, they did not believe in nor trust in the power of the Almighty. In fact, they showed no fear of God, as if they did not really believe that God existed.
47 who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”
Jesus' condemnation of these religious elites was not over. Not only did they diss God and his Christ, they stole from the weakest among their people and then covered their tracks by the appearance of religiosity - long, tedious prayers. But, God was not listening to their prayers because their hearts were far from them. As Jesus said, these scribes were dangerous to the faith of the people and thus would receive the greater condemnation.
Religious leaders who don't lead people to Christ, will become the footstool of Christ.