Psalm 2; Matthew 3:16-17

52 Weeks at the Table – Week 20

The second Psalm (a numbering that goes back to biblical times, for so Paul describes it in his sermon to Pisidian Antioch, Acts 13:33) is not credited specifically to David. Yet it clearly foreshadows David’s descendent and forebearer (Revelation 22:16). Its declaration in the seventh verse – “I will proclaim the decree of the LORD : He said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father’ ” – expresses the words from heaven at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:16-17) and Jesus’ own intent on beginning His ministry (Luke 4:14-20) while reading the prophet Isaiah. To no angel had God ever bestowed the blessing of His Fatherhood (Hebrews 1:5).

This psalm’s twelfth verse also foretells an aspect of the Son’s nature we shudder to acknowledge: “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” For by the end of His ministry, He showed His anger toward those who had no respect for His Father or His Father’s house; tables were overturned, animals driven out. Their rejection of the Son then culminated in a kiss of betrayal. Those whom He would have gathered under His wings for refuge – but they would not (Matthew 23:37) – put Him to death on a cross. In about forty years, as He predicted, Rome laid waste all of Jerusalem – dashed to pieces like pottery.

And the Son of God lived to prepare a place for His followers – a refuge for the nations, His inheritance.

Lord God, we give you praise and honor; we give you our thanks for this bread, You Son’s body. We remember how You expressed Your pleasure at His baptism. We remember how He was rejected and despised, betrayed and killed. Most of all, we remember Your desire to give Jesus an inheritance of the faithful among the nations. As we share these morsels of bread, we remember Jesus. Amen.

This cup, our God, we realize could just as easily represented your wrath to be poured out on us in our disbelief and sin. But You sent us Your Son, who reflected Your displeasure at sin but personified Your joy in and love for Your people. So we drink a cup, not of wrath – which He drank for us – but a cup of blessing. May we always be grateful for this cup: His blood, and our salvation. Amen.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Psalm 2; Matthew 3:16-17

  1. N.T. Wright, in “The Challenge of Jesus,” raises questions about our traditional understanding of the Temple incident as being a cleansing. He interprets it as a judgment on an unfaithful generation. The fuller judgment would come later with Rome, as you discuss here. Good post.

  2. He said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father’ ” – expresses the words from heaven at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:16-17 and Jesus’ own intent on beginning His ministry (Luke 4:14-20) while reading the prophet Isaiah. To no angel had God ever bestowed the blessing of His Fatherhood (Hebrews 1:5).

    That is a very poor interpretation of what God said when Jesus was baptized.

    Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit of God the Father in heaven, Matthew 1:20 “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

    Jesus knew at age twelve God to be His Father, Luke 2:48-49 “So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

    God was already Jesus’ Father thus when Jesus was baptized God said, Matthew 3:17 “And suddenly a voice came down from heaven, saying “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

  3. Odie, glad you feel free to disagree here!

    Prophetic writing is rarely literal in its meaning. I don’t, in other words, believe that Psalm 2 is trying to be an exact quote of what God speaks from heaven at Jesus’ baptism. It simply expresses the Father’s claim of relationship with His Son.

    Hope I didn’t imply otherwise.

  4. Enjoyed the post, Keith.

    I have often wondered about this phrase in the Sermon on the Mount: “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” (Matt 5:26-27) Good earthly advice? Sure. But it has always seemed a bit out of place, like maybe there is more to it than that.

    As I read your comments about Psalm 2:12…

    “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

    …I couldn’t help but see a tie to Jesus’ exhortation. Is it possible that HE is the adversary? That he walks with us along the way to the judge, and we have that time to settle matters with him “or else”?

    I, for one, hope to show up at court with his arm around me…having taken “refuge in him” on the journey, and to then have him as my advocate instead of my adversary.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s