What Think Ye Of Christ?
James L. Reynolds
(Matthew 22:35-46)  "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, {36} Master, which is the great commandment in the law? {37} Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. {38} This is the first and great commandment. {39} And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. {40} On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. {41} While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, {42} Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. {43} He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, {44} The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? {45} If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? {46} And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions."
    This morning we would like to briefly focus our attention on five words from the above verses of scripture. Those words are recorded for us by God the Holy Spirit as they were spoken by God the Son. Those five short words comprise a question that is of eternal importance to every person who has ever lived or who shall ever live upon this earth.
    Listen as our Lord and Savior ask that everlastingly important question. "What think ye of Christ?"
    In the immediate context of the above Scriptures our Lord follows up with another question, "whose son is he?" And while we certainly are not attempting to separate the words of our Lord we feel that we are doing no violence to the inspired Word of God when we submit unto you that there is much more to be answered to our Lord's first question, "What think ye of Christ?" than, "whose son is he?".
    Trusting in the leadership of the blessed Holy Spirit this morning we would like to take note of how three classes or groups of people might respond to the weighty and penetrating question of our dear Lord, "What think ye of Christ?"
    I.) How would the irreligious or infidels of the world reply to that question?
    II.) How would the religious world reply to that question?
    III.) How would God's saints reply to that question?
    I.) First let us momentarily ponder how the irreligious or infidels of the world reply to the question, "What think ye of Christ?" What do the self proclaimed intellectuals of this world think of the Lord Jesus Christ?
    I would imagine that if we were to ask a hundred people of that group the question, "What think ye of Christ?" that we would probably get a hundred different answers. But, undoubtedly upon examining each of those answers we would see that they all flow from the same stream of total corruption and depravity.
    Many of them will claim that they think that the 'historical Jesus' was a good man who upset the establishment and that led to His death. Now while we certainly take no exception with the statement that Jesus was a 'good man', in fact He is the only good man who ever walked upon this earth, we take exception to the implication in their statement. For by implication they are saying that He was ONLY a man!
    When the rich young man came to Jesus, addressed Him as 'Good Master'  and asked Him what must he do to inherit eternal life, Jesus replied to him by also asking him a question.
(Mark 10:17-18)  "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? {18} And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."
    Some have attempted to pervert this Scripture, as they have many others, and use it in their blasphemous denial of the deity of the Lord Jesus. They irreverently proclaim that Jesus said He was not good and therefore He was not God.
    Our sinless Lord did not say that He was not good. He posed the question to the young man, "Why callest thou me good?" He was in fact once again proclaiming and asserting His divinity by posing the question to the young man, "Do you know that only God is good and that I AM GOD?" The young man was absolutely correct when he addressed our Lord as 'Good Master'.
    The Bible clearly declares: "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)
    Therefore we greatly err when we expect the lost person to understand those spiritual things of God's word and therefore have a correct concept of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    There is however such an overwhelming amount of historical evidence that the Lord Jesus Christ did indeed live, and that He was indeed crucified by the Romans at the express wishes of the Jews that the intellectuals can not deny His existence. As a result of that irrefutable evidence they attempt to put forth the vile lie that although there was indeed a man who was named Jesus, he was just a man. Many will concede that he was a man and a good man but, they affirm, just a man.
    Beloved I assure you, based on the inspired Word of God, that they all will one day acknowledge that not only was He a man, yea a good man, but that He is also God!
(Philippians 2:9-11)  "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: {10} That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; {11} And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
    Those self proclaimed intellectuals have come up with all sorts of blasphemous stories relative to the conception and birth of our sinless Savior. I will not profane this pulpit by mentioning any of them but will emphatically declare to you this morning, that any account of the conception and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ which does not clearly, boldly and unashamedly declare that He was conceived of a virgin by the miraculous workings of the blessed Holy Spirit and that He was born of that virgin, who knew not her husband until after His birth, is a damnable lie brought forth by the father of lies, that fallen angel, satan!
    Then there are those who, while not so vile as to attempt to discredit or dishonor our Lord's birth, claim that while they don't believe Him to be the Son of God or God the Son they are not against Him and acknowledge that much good has been done in the world in His name.
    Beloved, there is no middle ground or neutrality concerning what one thinks of Christ! A person is only deceiving themselves when they say that although they are not for Him they are not against Him either.
(Matthew 12:30)  "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad."
    The people of the world need to be told that if they are not with the Son of God they are against Him.   And what a frightening thing it is to be on the other side of or against God!
    Remember that the question under consideration is, what do the irreligious or infidels of the world think of Christ.
(Psalms 10:4)  "The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts."
    The psalmist, in speaking of the wicked says that "God is not in all his thoughts", and I propose unto you that in many of the wicked God is not in their thoughts at all. They attempt to put God out of their mind. For if they acknowledged that there is a God then, they reason, He might hold them accountable for their actions. They may receive some comfort in their sins from their denial of God but rest assured that it is only a temporary relief.
    We might also note in the psalmist's above declaration that it is wicked who have not God in all of their thoughts. There is certainly a lesson for God's people in that statement.
    Those who claim to have no thoughts of the Lord Jesus or those who make vile and wicked statements about Him will surely one day regret their lack of thoughts or those wicked thoughts. Assuredly, in this world or in the world to come everyone will acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God!
    In the courts of this land an 'eye witness' is often sufficient to affect the outcome of a verdict. Note if you will what one eye witness to the death of the Lord Jesus Christ had to say on the subject of "whose son is he?".
(Mark 15:34-39)  "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? {35} And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. {36} And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. {37} And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. {38} And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. {39} And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God."
    II.) How would the religious world reply to that question "What think ye of Christ?"
    When we speak of the religious world we are referring to Christianity, so-called. Islamism, Hinduism, Buddhism and all of the other 'isms' can be lumped, in the main part, with the God deniers of the previously considered point, for to deny Christ is God is to deny God.
    The so-called Christianity which we refer to is comprised of religious people who are unsaved. These people may "outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye (are) full of  hypocrisy and iniquity." (Matthew 23:28)
    These people outwardly appear righteousness and disgusted by those who take no thoughts of the Lord Jesus Christ or by those who make profane and sacrilegious statements about Him. Yet, upon examination of their thoughts or concepts of Him, in light of His Holy Word, we find that they are also guilty of blasphemous and heretical statements relative to God the Son.
    Whereas many of the  irreligious or infidels of the world have no concept of the Lord Jesus Christ, that is they have no thoughts about Him, the religious (but unsaved) have many thoughts about Him. But in many instances they have a malformed concept of Him!
    Certainly one of the common heresies which many of the religious world attempt to put forth under the guise of Christianity is the denial of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. That denial of our Lord's divinity and deity is the common thread which binds most of the cults together.
    Personal conversations with a Mormon and a Russelite (I prefer not to call them Jehovah's witness) along with some readings about their founders and their beliefs have convinced me that they do not know the Jesus of the Bible. Not only do they not know about Him, they do not know Him.
    When posed with the question, "What think ye of Christ?" these cultists reluctantly admit that He is the Son of God, but most will adamantly refuse to admit that He is God the Son. I once had a Mormon tell me that he indeed believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. When I asked if he also believed that Jesus was God the Son he responded something to the effect that he did not understand the question.
    These heretics claim that the Lord Jesus never asserted He was God. However, the inspired narrative gives many examples of our Lord's declaring that very fact.
    The Jews knew exactly that the Lord Jesus was claiming to be God and their response was to take up stones  to stone Him to death.
(John 10:29-33) "My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. {30} I and my Father are one. {31} Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. {32} Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? {33} The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God."
    Those Jews to whom our Lord asked, "whose son is he" would feel right at home with the cults of today. Those Jews said that He was the son of David and their clear implication is that while He was the son of David He was only a man.
    While it is true that Christ was of the lineage of the house of David, He was before David. In fact He was before David's oldest ancestor. He told the Jews on one occasion, "Before Abraham was, I AM". (John 8:58)
    In refusing to acknowledge the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ these religionists are guilty of thinking lightly, disrespectfully and dishonorably of Him.
(John 5:22-23) "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: {23} That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him."
    When one denies that Christ is God they are certainly not honoring Him or the Father.
    Then there are those who, while acknowledging the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, think of Him as inferior to the Father. In the graduated Godhead of their concept God the Father is superior to God the Son who is superior to God the Holy Spirit. Such a graduated Godhead is totally foreign to the Bible. The Bible clearly and expressly declares that all members of the Godhead are divine and are all equal.
    Certainly there are different offices (for want of a better term) or positions in the Godhead but none are superior or inferior to the other.
    When the Lord Jesus declared, "I and my Father are one" He did not add any exceptions or stipulations.
    When the apostle, speaking of the Lord Jesus' relationship to the Father declared that He was,
"the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person" he did not add any exceptions or stipulations.
    The apostle Peter had no such false concept of a graduated Godhead, for when he asked the deceiver, Ananias, "why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost" he was referring to God the Spirit which is evidenced by the very next verse of Scripture "thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God."
    The false concepts which the religious world hold of our Lord and Savior are certainly far too many to mention in the short span of time which we will be gathered together this morning.
    Before moving on however I would like to briefly mention, what I believe to be a false concept as to the appearance of the Lord, when He walked upon this earth, which is put forth in the guise of piety and dedication to our Lord.
    It goes without saying that there are no photographs of our Lord. If there had been a need for His people to have a likeness of His physical person then there would have been one provided. Since there was none provided we can be assured that we have no need of one.
    However, religious, but unsaved mankind felt the need of an image so their depraved hearts, with satan's help conjured up that image. Rest assured, the visual images which they came up with are nothing like the verbal images given to us in His inspired Word.
    Most if not all of the artists renditions of what they conceive our Lord to look like are without a doubt an abomination to our thrice Holy God.
    I am offended by those 'pictures' which portray my Savior as an effeminate and weak looking person. Beloved, my Savior was not a sissy nor was He weak! He was a strong, powerful and courageous man.
When He drove out the money exchangers from the temple we do not read of anyone standing up to Him or attacking Him. When He publicly exposed the hypocrisy of the Sadducees and Pharisees we do not read of anyone standing up to Him or attacking Him.
    It was the cowardly Jews who sent, under the cover of darkness, "a great multitude with swords and staves" to apprehend Him. The leaders didn't even have the courage to come themselves.
    There was nothing weak or cowardly about our Lord and Savior.
    One web site which I once visited, to confirm my theory that satan not God is behind these pictures, boasted that they had over 500 images online. I spent only a few minutes there because I am convinced that such images are an abomination to our Holy God. I do not believe that God is at all pleased with these images.
    Any picture which we need of our Lord is given unto us in the pages of His inspired Word. For a picture of His physical perfection take a verbal look at the paschal lamb. The Jews preparing to flee Egypt were given strict orders concerning that lamb. "Your lamb shall be without blemish." (Exodus 12:5)
    The slightest blemish would make the lamb unacceptable. Beloved, I believe that our Lord is the most physically perfect person who ever lived upon this earth. I believe that He, although subject to fatigue, hunger and thirst was not subject to ANY physical deformities or infirmities. His vision was perfect. His hearing was perfect. His teeth were perfect. His speech was perfect. Every cell of His body was absolutely and totally perfect! Being so perfect in body and mind, if had He so desired, He would have been the best athlete or scholar that this world has ever known.
    The Lord Jesus was in the prime of His life when He voluntarily laid down His life for His people. If the Lord Jesus had not voluntarily laid down His life He would have still been living in that same robust, perfectly healthy body which He had some  two thousand years ago.
    We get old, we get sick and we die because of sin. "For the wages of sin is death;"  (Romans 6:23)
Now while we are aware that it is spiritual death referred to in the primary sense in the above Scripture we also acknowledge that because of sin physical death also reigns over us all. We all die daily. Why is it that those who claim to have achieved sinlessness in the flesh still get old, still get sick and still die?
    The Lord Jesus Christ had no sin of His own. He had done no sin. Though He was "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet" He was without any sin.
(John 8:46) "Which of you convinceth me of sin?"
    Which of you, our Lord asks, can point to any sin in my life? None could point to any sin in Him because there was no sin in His life. He was perfect in body, soul and spirit therefore sickness and death had no claim on Him.
    The Lord Jesus Christ was perfect in mind. In all things which we deem to compose the mind our Lord was perfect. Jesus Christ was perfect in emotions, perfect in intellect, perfect in reasoning and discernment.
    Solomon, during his lifetime, was esteemed the wisest man living.
(1 Kings 10:24) "And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart."
    The wisdom of Solomon was smaller than a droplet of water as compared to the largest ocean when compared to the wisdom of our Sovereign Lord and Savior.
(Matthew 12:42) "The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."
    The apostle John says that the world could not contain the books which would be necessary to list all of the things which Jesus did. Nor could the world contain all the books which would be necessary to list all of the things which Jesus knows.
    We have briefly noted the physical and mental perfection of the Lord Jesus Christ. For a few moments let is ponder upon another perfection which so fully equipped Him to satisfy God the Father's just demand for exact adherence to His holy and just law.
    That perfection is the perfection of His spirit and soul. As the paschal lamb was to be without blemish in body so our Lord was without blemish in soul and spirit. Born of a virgin by the immaculate conception of the Holy Spirit He had no sin nature in Him! He took upon Himself the human nature of His people, whom He would redeem, that is their flesh and bone nature, but He did not take upon Himself their sinful and depraved nature. Having a human nature He could be tempted but having a perfect soul and spirit He did not sin.
(Hebrews 4:15) "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
    Our Lord and Savior had such a perfect, holy and righteous soul and spirit that He never succumbed to those many temptations and or ever committed the first sin!  The Lord Jesus Christ is impeccable and therefore it was impossible for Him to sin.
    Only a perfect soul could satisfy the demands of an offended and holy God. The Lord Jesus Christ had that perfect soul and He alone could completely satisfy the demands of a thrice holy God.
(Isaiah 53:11) "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."
    The Father saw the travail of His Son's righteous soul as he stood in the room and stead of His condemned people and was satisfied that His holy justice had been met and that the price for the release of each one of His elect had been paid in full.
    As a result of our Lord's suffering, all those for whom He suffered the Father's wrath are as acceptable in His sight as if they had never sinned!
(2 Corinthians 5:21) "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
     III.) How would God's saints reply to that question, "What think ye of Christ?"
    Those who have been enabled by the blessed Holy Spirit to acknowledge their sin and their condemned position before God and who have been caused to look to Jesus Christ as their only means of acceptance in God's eternal presence should think long and often on the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    The Bible contains many beautiful expressions which bring great joy to the saint when they think on them as pictures of the person and work of the Son of God who is God the Son.
    We would like to list but five of those verbal pictures of the person and work of Christ.
    He is our Advocate
(1 John 2:1) "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:"
    He is the Almighty
(Revelation 1:8) "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."
    He is God's Anointed
(Psalms 2:2) "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed,"
    He is the Author and Finisher of Our Faith
(Hebrews 12:2)  "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
    He is the Everlasting Father
(Isaiah 9:6) "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
    Beloved, there are many more beautiful and comforting names which the Holy Spirit used to refer to the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    The Lord Jesus Christ procured eternal salvation for all of those whom the Father had chosen unto salvation and given Him to redeem in the eternal covenant of redemption. He did not make it possible that they could obtain eternal life, He obtained eternal life for them!
    It is such a sad thing when those who are indeed the very objects of the Father's eternal love and electing grace and who are the recipients of Christ's eternal salvation not only deny those blessed truths but vehemently oppose them.
    Could it be that the years of viewing pictures of a feeble looking person has contributed to the false idea that Christ is unable to accomplish His will unless the creature will allow and assist Him in doing so?
    We should be greatly humbled when we are caused to think on those great mercies which God has so freely and undeservedly bestowed upon us.
    We rejoice that we have been given a glimpse of the majesty and power of the Son of God, who is God the Son.
    Unlike the Christ that many of His own people think of, a Christ who they believe is attempting (although sometimes unsuccessfully in their reasoning) to get His creatures to do His will, the Christ of the Bible, the Christ which we think of, is in absolute and total control of everything in His created universe. He is working all things after the counsel of His own will. What He has eternally purposed He will in the fullness of His time do.
    We have looked briefly this morning at how three groups of people may answer the question,
"What think ye of Christ?".
    We have attempted to show that only by the Spirit's enablement can we think properly of Christ, the Christ of the Bible.
    In closing let us ask ourselves one final question. We have looked at the question,
"What think ye of Christ?".
    Now let us look ever so briefly at the question, "What does Christ think of thee?"
    There are three way in which we would like you to consider how Christ thinks of His creatures. Please note that I said His creatures and not His people. All of His people are His creatures but not all of His creatures are His people.
    1.) To all those who never took time to think on the Lord Jesus, to all those who permitted or encouraged their depraved hearts and minds to form their concept of Jesus Christ instead of seeking the inspired Word of God as the foundation of their concept, the Lord Jesus Christ has declared what He thinks of them and what His pronouncement of their eternal destiny will be.
(Matthew 7:23) "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
    All those who loved a lie and defiantly declared they would not "have this man reign over us", all those who thought only on the carnal "pleasures of sin for a season," taking no thought for their eternal destiny will be forever banished from the acceptable presence of the sinless Lamb of God. "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever:".
    2.)  There are many servants of the Lord Jesus who have not wisely used those things which He made them stewards of. The cares of this world have choked them and they were unfruitful. They trusted in the Lord for salvation yet refused to submit themselves unto the authority of His word and of His church. All of the Lord's servants will stand before the Bema or judgment seat of Christ and be judged according to the faithfulness of their service.
(2 Corinthians 5:10) "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
    It is at this Bema seat that rewards will be dispensed or lost. Some who did not labor according to the rules will have their works burned up.
(1 Corinthians 3:14-15) "If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. {15} If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
    We are admonished by God's Word to be diligent so that we will receive the fullest measure of reward which the Lord has made available for us.
(2 John 1:8) "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward."
    When God's saints are slothful and disobedient to His Word they are guilty of grieving the Godhead.
(Ephesians 4:30) "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
    The Greek word here translated grieve is lupeo, (loo-peh'-o;) and it means: to distress; to be sad: cause grief, grieve, be in heaviness, (be) sorrow (-ful),  be (make) sorry.
    The Lord Jesus was saddened when looking upon Jerusalem and thinking of the blessing which it COULD have had if it had been obedient to God's Word. It is with utmost reverence and respect I say that I feel our Lord is saddened by the slothfulness and disobedience of many of His precious, blood bought servants.
    3.) And finally, what does the Lord think about the good and faithful servant who is doing their Lord's will, who is looking for, even longing for their Lord's return? What does the Lord think about that servant who asks from a loving heart, "Lord, what will thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6)
    Those faithful servants will one day be invited into the joys of the Lord and will receive rewards for those things which He had enabled and led them to do.
(Matthew 25:21) "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
    It is my heart's desire that all of us may have the Lord Jesus Christ in our thoughts continually and that those thoughts will be based only upon His inspired Word. And that when we think of Christ we will think of the Christ of the Bible and not the Christ of depraved man's imagination.
    I desire to hear, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: ... enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
    And I also desire that each of you may also hear those words of eternal assurance and joy.

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