Matthew 22:44 (Jesus Questions the Pharisees, Part 3: Christ’s Completed Work and Ascension)

Besides teaching us about the divinity of Christ, what else may we infer about the Messiah and His kingdom from the prophecy in Psa 110:1 that Jesus posed to the religious leaders?  See Mar 16:19, Act 1:9, 2:34.  What does “Sit at My right hand” indicate about the completed nature of the Messiah’s work prior to His ascension to the right hand of God?  See Joh 17:4, 19:28-30, Heb 1:3, 12:2.  What does “until I put Your enemies beneath Your feet” indicate about a part of Christ’s work that has yet to be completed?  See Heb 10:12-13.  How is it that Christ’s work was completely finished so that He sat down and is at rest at the right hand of the God, and yet as a natural and inevitable consequence of what has already been accomplished His work continues so that He has but to wait until all His enemies are brought into subjection?  See Mat 24:35 and consider: what else does Scripture link to Jesus’ ascension to the right hand of God?  See Mat 26:64, Act 1:9-11 and think: what is it that the clouds of heaven bring to the earth?  See Deut 32:1-2, Isa 55:10-11, cf. Deut 11:11-15, Psa 72:6-7, Heb 6:7-8.

Consider then that “until” implies a period of time for the complete outworking of what was accomplished on the cross, and this is the period of time in which we ourselves are living.  Again, what is the inevitable result of the outworking of Christ’s finished work upon the cross?  See Mat 22:44; cf. Dan 2:31-35,44-45.  Consider too that “until” means there is a time that is coming when all Christ’s enemies will in fact be put under His feet; cf. 1Co 15:25.  We are marching inexorably toward that day, and whatever victory His enemies may suppose themselves to have and that we bemoan during this period, is but a part of God’s plan that must ultimately resolve itself in all those enemies being put under Christ’s feet.  What is the result to Christ’s enemies who receive the glad tidings of the gospel that there is forgiveness of sins for those who will repent, who come and willingly bow themselves at the feet of Jesus?  See 1Pe 5:6; cf. Luk 18:13-14.  What is the result to those who reject the good news of God’s forgiveness in Christ and refuse to repent and bow themselves at His feet?  See Psa 2:8-9, Isa 63:1-6, Luk 19:27, and cf. the two harvests in Rev 14:14-20.  Will we then fall at His feet now that He may lift us up, or wait to be trampled under His feet like grapes in the winepress of God’s fury?

Consider that Jesus’ words spoken to men almost 2000 years ago are still today working effectually to accomplish God’s will with the inevitable result that all His enemies will be brought into subjection under the feet of Christ; what does this remind us about the incredible power of God’s word?  Should we be surprised at such immense power?  See Psa 33:6,9, Heb 11:3; cf. Joh 1:1-3.  In this light should we ever underestimate the power of God’s word to accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it?  Should we then suppose that we are in any way wasting our time by remaining faithful to proclaim the truth, even when it seems fruitless?  Why not?  Think: is the fruit to be born from the seed of God’s word immediately obvious when it is first sown?  How long does it take for a fruitful planting to grow up?  Cf. 1Co 3:5-7, Jam 5:7-8.  Consider too, even when men refuse to repent and very few or even none turn to the Lord: has the word of God gone forth with no effect, or is it still working, though in a different way, to accomplish God’s purpose that all Christ’s enemies be put beneath His feet?  Again, what is the two-fold purpose of Christ’s word that goes forth?  See Mat 3:12; cf. Jer 5:14, 23:29, Joh 12:48, 2Co 2:14-16.  Should we then despair that we are not accomplishing God’s will when we proclaim His word and instead of men being saved and gathered into His barn their hearts are hardened and they become a vessel even more fit for destruction to be burned up like chaff with unquenchable fire?  Or should we despair that people turn to the Lord in pretense only and continue to prostitute themselves with the world?  See Num 5:11-28.  In this light, should we understand that the ultimate goal of our gospel proclamation to which God has called us in Christ is that men might be saved, so that we should cease to proclaim it if men refuse to turn to the Lord?  Or is the ultimate goal that God’s kingdom be established and Christ’s enemies be put beneath His feet, so that regardless of men’s response to the gospel, we need to remain faithful to proclaim it because the mighty power of God’s word will still accomplish His purposes?

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