April 12, 2017/Clever Traps

Back in the ‘old’ days of fiction (think Ian Fleming and his James Bond series), there was a term relating to espionage: honeypot. In those days, it refered to women (usually foreign agents) who attempted to entrap a man (usually via seduction) in order to have a means of blackmail. If you’ve ever seen FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, you have a sense of a beautiful blonde ‘honeypot’ at work as James is obviously in danger of falling under the spell of his leading lady who is working for his enemies. Now, a honeypot is more of a computer term which refers to a security system that sniffs out attempts of unauthorized use in information systems.

Setting a trap to catch someone is nothing new. As we continue with Holy Week it might be good to take a look at one of the ways Jesus’ enemies set out to trap Him. Matthew 22: 41-46-While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Chirst? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from day forth ask him any more questions.

The Pharisees and Sadducees had earlier attempted to trap Jesus by utilizing questions that they believed would be his downfall. Asking about the wisdom of obeying Caesar in paying tribute money in what was obviously a corrupt and murderous government; asking about divorce and remarriage situations after death when one attained heaven. They were attempting to trap him into making statements that would go against religious and governmental laws so as to anger their leaders. Jesus had replied in a way that left them no ammunition.

They could have repented right there and then but did not.

Jesus, in turn, decides to ask them a question. A doctrinal issue that these supposedly ‘learned’ leaders should have had no problem answering: Whose son is the Messiah?

Can you imagine their anger and chagrin? This ‘nobody’ in their eyes being acclaimed by the common rabble asking them a question? And then, their in ability to answer?

Jesus is quoting Psalm 110:1-The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

If the Messiah was to be a man who would come AFTER the death of David who is asking this question in this Old Testament passage, how then, could the Messiah have existed to be an ancestor of David, let alone the one David calls Lord? As teachers both Pharisees and Sadducees were used to being revered for their knowledge and wisdom. Now, here comes this lowly upstart who people are flocking to listen to and follow and who dares to question them.

It is their ‘right’ to question Him. After all, they are the upper echelon of teachers. revise their whole ideas of the Messiah for they were ignorant and had no humility. But for Him to question them?

Unthinkable! What is more outrageous is that He has given them a question to which they know they have no answer!

The Pharisees were short-sighted in that ‘they’ had expected a POLITICAL ruler. They expected their Messiah to be a king like all other kings. They had no clue of the kingdom about to be established with Jesus’ impending death.

The enemies of God may not all be subjected to His judgment here on earth, but one day they will have to kneel before Him. It will be then when He will judge all who appear. The Holy tribunal of God/Christ/Holy Spirit will call all to account.

The time for questions and discussions will be over.

The day of reckoning is fast approaching for Jesus, but our day of reckoning can come with the blink of an eye.

No one knows how long they will live, when they will die, or how.

Are you ready to bow down before the ultimate tribunal? Who will claim YOU as you are in God’s presence? How will you enter into the perfection of God’s presence when you are part of humanity and have sinned?

This week, when God’s plan all comes together for humanity, may be the perfect time to examine what you believe about the life and death of Jesus Christ.

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