Matthew 22: 34-46 (NIV)
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”
“The son of David,” they replied.
43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,
44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies
under your feet.”’
45 If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” 46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
If where you live is anything like where I live, everyone has an opinion right now about what ought to be done about the pandemic, and the economy. The mental gymnastics that people are going through right now are exhausting.
We need to get rid of COVID, so we ought to stay at home, but if we do that we kill the economy, so we shouldn’t do that, but if we don’t then lots of people will get sick from COVID.
Round and round we go. Don’t even get me started on Facebook! That is not the place for solving the problem!
Everyone thinks they have the answer and that the people that disagree with them are just blinded.
Today’s passage has got me wondering about how Jesus would respond if we were asking him political questions about COVID or recession.
First, I want to point out that it was the religious people that put Jesus on the spot. In fact, the religious people in this story were looking for a way to discredit Jesus, maybe even get him killed.
Does our religiosity look for ways to discredit people?
Second, I want to point out that Jesus asks the religious people a question of his own. When he is able to demonstrate that their answer is less than perfect, it’s like he’s saying, “These Hypocrites want to trap people with their appearance of infinite religious knowledge, but they don’t know as much as they think they know.”
So maybe Jesus has a different answer about COVID and recession too. Maybe he sees something we don’t see. Maybe we should ask Jesus and listen to his responses more about how we can be faithful, and less about what political side he is on. Maybe discrediting people on Facebook is an unfruitful task.
Maybe we, as leaders, ought to ask ourselves if we seem like Pharisees right now; religious people acting like we have all the answers, but giving answers that look much different to what Jesus would actually say.
Lord we follow you knowing that you see what we don’t see. Give us stronger faith today that you will provide the ways out. As we go out to lead, may we have wisdom to avoid discrediting people, and also wisdom to know that in you there is a way that is above the arguments of social media and politics.