When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked Jesus a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to them, ‘ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: ‘What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?’ They said to him, ‘The son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How is it then that David by the Spirit* calls him Lord, saying, 44 “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’ ”? If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?’ No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.
We all deal with a myriad of questions during the course of a day. Usually no one is trying to trap us, as is the case of Jesus in this passage, but some questions remain unresolved. We can, as poet Rilke suggested, “live the questions” but there are some essential questions that need to be addressed to live a meaningful life.
- For the church, the question of authority is an essential question. Where do you think authority resides for the church? (i.e., scripture, Holy Spirit, personal experience)
- Where does the authority for your personal faith and action reside?
- What are those “essential questions” for you?
- Paula Northwood
- Minister of Education
- Plymouth Congregational Church