Jesus: The Son of David

Jesus is described as “the Son of David,” or “David’s son,” or some equivalent, more than a dozen times in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Matthew’s account begins with the genealogy of Jesus, saying – “Jesus Christ, the Son of David” (Matthew 1:1).  He is recognized, as the son of David, by many, including: two blind men (Matthew 9:27); a Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:22); two more blind men near Jericho (Matthew 20:30); multitudes (Matthew 21:9 cf. 12:22-23).

What does this phrase mean?  (1) It refers to fleshly genealogy.  “Jesus Christ our Lord, was born of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3).  It should be pointed out that the term “son” does not always refer to immediate off-spring.  It can refer to a more remote descendant in scripture {Matthew arranges Jesus’ genealogy, from Abraham to Jesus, into 3 groups of 14 generations.  Perhaps, he does so as a memory devise. The numeric value of the name David in Hebrew is 14. He lists 28 generations from David to Jesus.  [Four names are omitted from group two: Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, and Jehoiakim (cf. 1 Chronicles 3:10-16).  One name is counted twice.  Some believe that Jechoniah is counted in both group two and in group three.  Others believe that David is counted in both group one and in group two].  Luke follows a different genealogy list [Mary’s, I think, See: “Who’s Your Grandfather by B.H.].  He lists 76 generations from Adam to Jesus; 55 generations from Abraham to Jesus, 39 generations from David to Jesus}.  The Pharisees understood that the Christ was to be the son of David (Matthew 22:41-42).

(2) It, at times, may mean more.  (a) On one occasion, when Jesus had healed a demon-possessed, blind and mute man – the multitudes said, “Could this be the son of David?” (Matthew 12:22-23).  They had in mind the Christ (cf. John 7:31).  J.W. McGarvey comments, “It wakened the hope that Jesus might be the Messiah, the Son of David” (McGarvey, The Fourfold Gospel, p. 299).  William Wilder comments, “They saw Him fulfilling prophecy… He fulfilled the words of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 35:5)” (ed. Garland Elkins and Thomas B. Warren, The Book of Matthew, Spiritual Sword Lectureship, p. 356).  (b) Later, when Jesus entered Jerusalem the multitudes cried out, “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9).  This is a reference to Psalm 118:26.  “Hosanna” means “Save we pray.”  However, “the word seems to have become an utterance of praise rather than of prayer” (Vine’s).  They saw Jesus as Savior.  This is Messianic.  Luke’s account reads, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38).  Mark’s account reads, “Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mark 11:10).  Wayne Jackson comments, “They hailed the coming kingdom (Mark 11:10), though they doubtless perceived it as a political entity at the time” (Wayne Jackson, A New Testament Commentary, p. 48).  Notice that the context concerns a king and a kingdom.

(3)  It involved more than the understood.  Jesus asked the Pharisees, “What do you think about the Christ?  Whose son is He?”  They answered “The son of David.” (Matthew 22:42).  He then asked, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying ‘The LORD said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool’?  If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?  (Matthew 22:43-45).   Jesus quoted from Psalm 110:1.  They were not able to answer this question (Matthew 22:46).  Wayne Jackson provides this answer, “As a human being, Jesus was David’s son.  As a divine being, he was David’s ‘Lord.’  He is the God-Man (John 1:1, 14)” (Jackson, p. 54).

Let us summarize.  His earthly genealogy is in view.  Moreover, Christology is in view.

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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