After the Pharisees tried and failed three times to get Jesus to say something they could use against him, they gave up. So, Jesus turned the tables on them and asked them a question about Ps 110:1 that they could not answer. Even if they knew the answer, they would not dare answer the question. To do so would be to admit that they believed in the incarnation. That is, they would have to admit that their Messiah was God manifest in the flesh. In fact, he was (1 Tim 3:16). However, they wouldn’t believe Jesus so they rejected him.
Jesus’ question concerned how Christ could be the Son of David and yet the Lord at the same time. The answer can be clearly seen in scripture.
The Son of David
According to Ps 132:11, David’s throne was to be occupied by his descendants only. Therefore, Christ would come from David and rule on David’s throne. Thus, when Jesus was born in the line of David (Matt 1:1), wise men came looking for the King of the Jews (Matt 2:2). It is amazing that these wise men knew who Jesus was and the Pharisees didn’t. Even Pilate, at the end of Jesus’ ministry knew more about Jesus than these Pharisees did (Matt 27:22).
In Is 11:1, we see that Christ is a “rod out of the stem of Jesse,” (David’s father) and a “Branch” out of his roots. The rod is compared to the rod of Ps 110:2. The Branch can be seen in the next reference in Jer 23.
In Jer 23:5-6, this Branch was to be a King called THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS and he was to save Judah and Israel. Jesus would have saved them had they accepted him. Instead, he will wait to save them when he returns (Rom 11:25-26; Heb 8:8-12).
The Samaritans realized who Jesus was the day they met him (Jn 4:42). These Pharisees couldn’t figure out who he was even after watching him closely for nearly 3 ½ years.
Jesus was plainly born of a virgin according to the prophecy of Isaiah (Is 7:14). So, Christ is a descendant of David literally through Mary but he is also a descendant of God Almighty through the Holy Spirit (Matt 1:20; Lk 1:35). He is the Son of the Highest and heir to the throne of David at the same time (Lk 1:31-33). Hence, as the Son of God “he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever.
The Pharisees should have known that Christ was the Lord because he was the Son of God. They read this in the Psalms (Ps 2:6-12) but refused to believe what they read. Why even Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, knew about the Son of God (Dan 3:25), something he would have learned from Daniel.
Even in passages like Is 53:9-12, where Christ was prophesied to die, the Pharisees could have seen that Christ had to be supernatural because he sees his seed, prolongs his days and divides a portion with the great. Only the Lord could do a thing like that, die and yet live for ever.
With all of this prophecy, how they missed Is 9:6-7 and its application to Jesus Christ is inconceivable. Is 9:6-7 prophesies the birth of a son who is “The mighty God” and who rules on the throne of David for ever.
As the Pharisees should have seen, Jesus is truly both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).