Family Ties

By Emily Hylden

A Reading from the Gospel of Matthew 22:41-46

41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: 42 “What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying,

44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet” ’?

45 “If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?” 46 No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.


What strange family ties we experience in the gospel and epistle (Eph. 1:1-10) lessons today. King David is father to the Messiah, and we are siblings of Jesus. It’s perhaps more imaginable in our day and age than in the first century when these texts were written, that a familial relationship might be described outside biological expectations, but it does seem that from the beginning of God’s interactions with humanity and carried all the way through, there’s an openness and fluidity to the family tree which comprises the kingdom of God. Some today even go so far as to re-name God’s own chosen seat of rule as a “kin”-dom, further underlining the familial ties which no doubt bind us all.

It’s not insignificant, though, that in both of these passages which address such family ties, there is instilled a hierarchical order. King David himself calls the Messiah “Lord,” and the Christians of Ephesus, though adoptive brothers and sisters of Jesus, still recognize him with the same title, “Lord.” I’ve found great richness in contemplating Jesus as an “older brother” in recent months, but I also believe that Jesus’ lordship reveals a foundational piece of our relationship to God. Our Lord loves us like family, as if we are bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, and from his exalted position as Lord, he cares for us — and is equipped to do so! — like no one else, ever. We’ll see this in even sharper relief tomorrow; don’t forget to tune in.

The Rev. Emily R. Hylden resides with her priest husband and three sons in Lafayette, Louisiana. Find her podcasting at Emily Rose Meditations.

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Today we pray for:

Christ Church Episcopal, Tulsa, Okla.
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