After a long day of questions from Jesus' opponents (Matthew 21:1-22:40), Jesus initiates his question to a group of Pharisees (religiously faithful, Jewish Biblical scholars). He asks, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" (v. 41). D.A. Carson notes, "Jesus' question (v. 41) focuses on the real issue--christology, not resurrection or taxes--that turned the authorities into enemies." Unsurprisingly, the Jewish scholars affirm that the Christ is the son of David (2 Sam. 7:13-14; Isa. 11:1). Jesus' uses the Spirit-inspired Old Testament (Mt. 22:43-44; Ps. 110:1) to show them that David recognized the coming messiah as his Lord (adonai in the Hebrew). Though by blood, the Christ would be Davidic, in role, the Messiah would be David's Lord, ruler, and sovereign (cf. Ps. 45:6-7; Isa. 9:6; Jer. 23:5-6; Zech. 12:10).
The questioners are silenced by Jesus' profound understanding; sadly, many never trust in Christ for salvation . . . in fact, it's likely these silenced questioners soon become those who loudly call for Christ's death.
1) No earthly hope is sufficient. Those who are looking for salvation from any mere human source will miss the Messiah who came down from heaven to live, die, rise and then reign again.
2) Faith is the only means of escape. By quoting Psalm 110:1 as a clear text prophesying a coming Messiah (probably written down over 1000 years before Jesus' birth), Jesus affirms that all those who oppose Him will one day be crushed . . . Ps. 110:1 reads, "The LORD (Yahweh) says to my Lord (Adonai), 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." Woe to those who remain as enemies of Christ, their day of humiliation will come. The Bible says the only way to move from enemy to friend is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ's death and resurrection (Rom. 5:1-8; Eph. 2:1-10).
3) And yet the mercy of God is wide enough for even the worst of sinners! "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."