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The Two Ultimate Questions, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2021 7:05 am

The Two Ultimate Questions, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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September 30, 2021 7:05 am

The King’s Commission: A Study of Matthew 21–28

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Today from Chuck Swindoll. Love others when we love God, as is described here. Love the Lord, love others. If you could sit down with Jesus face to face and ask Him your deepest, most pressing questions, what would you ask? Well, this moment came to the Pharisees and regrettably they failed to ask something pertinent and chose instead to try to trip Jesus up.

They weren't curious, they were malicious. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll helps us understand the context of this altercation and the eventual outcome of their exchange. Jesus transformed the moment to command a spiritual decision. We're looking at Matthew 22.

Chuck titled his message, The Two Ultimate Questions. We give today our Father because we love you and we're learning to love you more as we grow deeper in our understanding of who you are and how you work in our lives. Watch over the many who travel through this summer and protect them. Give guidance, we pray, as we continue to walk with you, as we take your word seriously, and as we give ourselves to you afresh and anew each morning, remembering that your mercies are new every dawn. These are your gifts and we give them with gratitude. In the name of Christ, our Savior, everyone said, Amen.

You're listening to Insight for Living. To study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scripture studies by going to insightworld.org slash studies. And now the message from Chuck that he titled, The Two Ultimate Questions. When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they bring their leading lawyer up to the front. We read of him as the expert in religious law, verse 35. And they're going to ask him, what's the greatest commandment? Thinking and hoping that he will name one of his commands from his own system of teaching, knowing that there is no greater command than the one Moses left.

They're in for a real surprise. They say to him, what is the most important commandment in the law of Moses? Without hesitation and with no copy of the scripture in hand, Jesus responds from memory with the words found in Deuteronomy 6, 4 through 9.

Listen, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commandments that I'm giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you're at home, when you're on the road, when you're going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.

Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Love God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind. This is the first and great commandment and the second is equally important. Love your neighbor as yourself.

The entire law and all of the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments. Wow. How's that for an answer? It's a good time for me to warn you about our culture. It's disintegrating, you notice. Now your children don't know that, so they'll get caught up in it unless you as an adult help them know that it's veering in the wrong direction. Just as a garden will on its own move toward weeds, so a culture will move away from truth and move into error. And before long, you'll hear it coming from those who lead a state or lead a country. That's why I would urge you to read, and I mentioned it earlier, but I want to say it again, especially to you who are parents.

Will you write it down this time? The Vanishing American Adult. You need to read that book.

Ben Sasse, S-A-S-S-E, has written it. It'll really make you think. It'll help you understand why adolescence has prolonged into the 30s and 40s. It'll explain why we who are adults are often shocked that those who are younger coming along don't feel the need to be responsible as we did when we were younger.

There's a reason. It's all part of the culture that is on a long drift. The Bible's message is to lift you out of us and to turn your attention toward the only one who is worthy of ultimate love and adoration and worship. And once that gets in place and begins to take shape, it's amazing what it does to our relationship with others. And we find it is easier to love others when we love God, as is described here.

What a great answer. Love the Lord, love others. Now, Jesus has their attention. Every once in a while I like it that little blank spaces appear in my Bible. I like to think that that's a pause where everybody is sitting and staring or standing and listening.

And that's such a case. So Jesus, we read in verse 41, surrounded by the Pharisees, who for an unusual moment are quiet, and he asked them a question. What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he? What do you think of Jesus Christ? Or as he puts it here, doesn't identify himself. What do you think about Jesus or Messiah? John Chrysostom, commenting on this question, wrote that Jesus is not quietly leading them to the point of confessing that he is God, but he leads them ever so carefully.

Watch how he does it with questions. What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?

Look at the quick reply. Who is the son of David? They knew the genealogy.

Jesus falls in the lineage of David. So that's true. But is that a complete answer? Is that all that should be said?

So he probes further. They say he is the son of David. So Jesus responded with a question they wouldn't answer. So he says, then if he's the son of David, now put your thinking cap on, why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah my Lord? For David said, and he quotes from Psalm 110 verse 1, the Lord said to my Lord, sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.

Please observe how he does this. He sets them up by saying, let's go to David's words. So we're going to quote David, who wrote that Psalm, and he's speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit. So this is God's word spoken through David or written by David. And he calls Messiah my Lord, not my son. So the Lord said to my Lord, sit in the place of honor at my right hand. May I paraphrase that so you get it a little quicker? God the Father said to God the Son, sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet. Now the clincher. Listen to Jesus' words. Since David called the Messiah my Lord, how can the Messiah be his son? I love moments like this.

I just watch mouths drop open. Good question, Jesus. You know who he's really referring to?

Himself, of course. And the Pharisees are the ones who are out to prove that he's not Messiah. And Jesus says, look at this. If the works that I do are the works of Messiah, if the words that I say are the words of Messiah, if my origin is the origin of Messiah, obviously I am Messiah. And remember the Psalm 110 verse 1. The Father said to the Son, sit in my honor, the place of honor at my right hand, until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.

By the way, do you know when that occurred? Get this. Jesus on Earth is arrested, placed on trial.

They're all illegal. He's declared guilty, not proven guilty. He's nailed to a cross and he dies for the sins of the world. He's taken down from the cross and he's buried. He is resurrected from the dead and is on Earth for a brief period of time. And then he ascends and takes his place at the right hand of God the Father. It's called the doctrine of satian. The doctrine of ascension is followed by the doctrine of satian. He is seated at the Father's right hand. That's where he is right now.

In visible form. The only member of the Trinity who is visible. Learn a little theology. It'll help straighten all of this out in your mind.

But this has not yet happened. Jesus is quoting from a psalm that is prophetic and messianic, but he's referring to himself. And he's saying, in effect, the Son of God, the Son of David, yes, but more than that, he is the Son of God.

That's the answer that will do. I love the words of one man. Here then, Jesus makes his great claim. There would be few that day who caught anything like all that Jesus meant. But when Jesus spoke these words, even the densest of them felt a shiver in the presence of the eternal mystery.

Don't you love those words? They felt a shiver in the presence of eternal mystery. They had the odd and the uncomfortable feeling that they had heard the voice of God for a moment in this man, Jesus.

They glimpsed God's very face. Every Christmas, I look forward to a particular song, not one of the familiar carols that we've sung through the centuries, but the song Mary Did You Know? Many of us would say it's probably among our favorite of the Christmas songs. And it's an imaginary account of Mary with her son, and she's being asked the great questions. Mary, did you know that the one who redeems all of us will one day redeem you? Mary, did you know that when you touch the face of your baby, you touch the face of God? And it ends with a great crescendo that he is the great I am.

And we all want to come out of our seats at that point when that song ends. Now, I've saved all of this for this moment to tell you that this is the place where no other word fits but awesome. I said it. I know I've warned you about overusing that word. Everything is awesome. I heard it 15 times this week from all every car salesman.

You know, people are doing insurance. People are saying the roof is awesome. Oh, brother. And all of this is awesome. Only God is awesome. And in this moment, Jesus is awesome.

Awesome. But you know what it says? No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared ask him any more questions.

Why? Because they wouldn't allow the truth to sink in. They would rather follow the dictates of their carnal lives than to surrender their souls to the only one who could transform them from darkness to light. So they kept their mouth shut. They let it hang. I'm not through until I ask, what are your questions?

What are yours? How about this question? How could I have lived all this time and never realized the importance of Jesus Christ? Sunday morning happens.

I get up, shower, dress, eat a quick breakfast, come, see friends, take a seat, sing songs that are familiar. But I don't know Jesus. I participate in religious activities. But I don't know Jesus. I don't love God with my whole heart, my whole soul. Why?

Why don't you? What is it going to take for you to realize the importance of Jesus? Now that this has begun to make sense to you, what's keeping you from giving him your life? And a man in our service that I'd not met before from another city say to me, it was back in the early 80s, you were on the radio and I listened and I heard enough to know that I don't know Jesus and I gave my life to Christ. Nothing thrills me like a story that ends like that or really begins like that. Following my telling that in our first morning service, I had three different people tell me something similar.

Their story is different. But when they heard of what Jesus can mean, they realized, the question is, why don't I trust him now? Why don't you? What is it going to take? May I rush to a place that you'd like me not to go? Is it going to take a stroke? Is it going to take some dread disease? Some sudden loss that pushes you to the wall and you realize I can't handle this? Why not now?

Why wait till then? One of Jesus' closest followers was named John. John was among the disciples, one of the faithful eleven. And he was on Earth when Jesus died. He was standing by Jesus' mother as they witnessed the crucifixion.

Can't imagine that awful moment. John had a place in his heart and home for Jesus' mother. After Jesus died and later was ascended and seated and was gone from the Earth, John went on with his life of faith. He changed from a life of sight, walking with Christ, to a life of faith.

And he, like I, when I was set in that room in 1959, he didn't know what the future held. All he knew was he loved Jesus with his whole heart. And so he began to serve Jesus by faith, remembering how much he had meant to him. And get this, he didn't know he was going to be a writer. But God used him to write a story of Jesus called the Gospel of John.

That's that man. And before John died, he wrote three small letters. First, second, and third letters of John. And while he is exiled on the island of Patmos, he writes the Revelation of Jesus Christ. This profound book of prophecy that opens the veil of eternity future. This is John, this simple man who writes simple Greek, but with a heart of love for Jesus. All of that became a part of the New Testament.

Think of that. I want to close my message today by quoting for you a couple of lines from John's first letter. And this is what God has testified. He has given us eternal life. And this life, get this, is in his Son. He who has the Son has the life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

That's as clear a presentation of the truth as you can find in all the Bible. You have the Son, you have the life. You don't have the Son of God in your life, you don't have eternal life, the life of God in your life. Why would you want to leave in that condition? Why would you want to live with that risk? The possibility of dying without Jesus. If you're not absolutely certain that you have the life, make certain now. Let's bow our heads.

Just sit right there. He who has the Son has the life. Whoever does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

Crucial question. What is it going to take for you to have the Son of God in your life? This is your moment. Trust in Jesus now. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you'll be rescued. You'll be secure and safe throughout life and beyond death.

You can't beat that. We can help you in this decision. We want to do that. That is why we exist. Simple prayer, Lord, I'm just lost. I'm religious, but I'm lost. I go through the motions of religion, but I don't know Jesus right now. I acknowledge I'm a sinner and we're distant from each other, but I thank you for the cross. And as I come to you across the cross, I come by faith and I trust in your Son, Jesus. Thank you for coming into my life.

That's it. He who has the Son has the life. We have our wonderful friends who work with those who are seeking this decision and how to do it and they just need help. They're there for you today.

Come today. Thank you, Father, for giving us, giving us your life. And thank you for providing us with a model like Jesus to follow.

Thank you for your patience over these years. And I pray on behalf of my friends who hear these words, who've never trusted in Christ, that they may trust Him now, today, right now, that they might know eternal life for the rest of their days and throughout eternity. This I pray through Jesus Christ. Everyone say it. Amen.

Amen. Matthew chapter 22 records this epic standoff between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day. And in the end, Jesus brings His listeners to a crossroad of decision.

He said, What do you think about the Messiah and whose son is He? You're listening to Insight for Living and the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll. And to learn more about Chuck and this ministry, please visit us online at insightworld.org.

Well, it's possible these two questions from Matthew 22 have brought you to a critical moment of decision as well. Nothing is more important than recognizing and receiving Jesus as Lord. And if you have made a decision to trust Christ as your Lord and Savior for the first time today, or you've simply made a decision to pursue Christ in new and meaningful ways, we'd like to point you to a free resource that will guide you. Insight for Living produces a daily devotional that's sent by email. Chuck's practical writings cover a variety of everyday issues that will help you merge biblical truth with the realities of your life. To receive the free devotional email from Chuck, just follow the instructions at insight.org slash devotional. Over and over in scripture, we see that our God is just, He's fair and He's compassionate.

And yet nothing stirs His wrath quite like injustice. Well, in light of growing tension in our culture over fairness, Chuck is highly recommending a new book from a fellow pastor. Vody Baucom has written a thought provoking book called Fault Lines that helps Christians understand the nuances of the social justice movement.

You can purchase a copy right now by going to insight.org slash offer. And let me add that when you give a donation to Insight for Living, your gift empowers us to provide Chuck's Bible teaching on radio and the Internet. And to contribute right now, here's the number to call.

If you're listening in the United States, dial 800-772-8888 or give a donation online at insight.org. You've heard him teach about the Holy Land using word pictures to make us feel like we're actually strolling through the old city. Learning about Jerusalem is fascinating for sure. But seeing the land of Israel with your own eyes is life changing.

In fact, it's absolutely magnificent. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and the gracious hosts and experts assembled by Insight for Living Ministries. Join us on an unforgettable 12 day tour, March 6th through 17th, 2022. At special sites along the way, I will teach from God's word. We'll worship at the Mount of Beatitudes and share the Lord's table at the Garden Tomb. In fact, we'll sail the Sea of Galilee together and we'll visit places where Jesus walked and taught.

To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444. Just imagine walking along those sacred sites and seeing the Bible come to life before your very eyes. Mark your calendar for March 6th through 17th, 2022. And make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444 or go to insight.org slash events. Insight for Living Ministries tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. And now for my friend Dave Spiker, I'm Wayne Shepard, inviting you to join us again tomorrow to hear the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll on Insight for Living. The preceding message, The Two Ultimate Questions, was copyrighted in 2017 and 2021, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-18 16:01:30 / 2023-08-18 16:10:16 / 9

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