This week’s scripture reading – Matthew 9:27-31,
And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, [Thou] Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See [that] no man know [it. ]But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.
Exploring the Old Testament
This week’s scripture study focuses on the statement, Jesus is the Son of David. Given the complexity of this subject throughout scripture, this study is indeed a bit of a long one but it will hopefully prove to be informative, enlightening and inspiring. Did Jesus say he was the son of David, no not exactly, but we shall see many people associated this title with him.
Scripture in the Old Testament indicates King David was the father of many sons, all of whom were documented in 1 Chron. 3:1-9. Six sons were born unto him by Eglah his wife in Hebron. Four sons were born unto him by Bathshua (Bathsheba) in Jerusalem. Nine sons were born unto him from other wives making a total of nineteen sons of David. In addition, it is also noted in 1 Chron. 3:9, [These were] all the sons of David, beside the sons of the concubines, and Tamar their sister. Ancient Israel tended to record the sons as part of its history of leaders and rulers, comprising their family lineage. If this was the case then, why did the blind men come to Jesus and address him as, [Thou] Son of David. For this, we will have to do a little research and sleuth work to uncover more scriptural references to identify the meaning behind the phrase Son of David.
Let us first start with the Lord God speaking through Nathan the prophet during the reign of King David, upon the defeat of all of his enemies from 2 Sam. 7:12-14, And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. This prophetic verse indicated that in a future time after David’s death a kingdom would be established through his family lineage.
Why is Jesus the son of David and who is the son of David? Well, most notably, the person’s throne of this kingdom would be established forever. David wrote of this in Ps. 132:11, The LORD hath sworn [in] truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. The ancient prophet wrote of this in Is. 11:1, And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. Another prophet also spoke of this coming leader out of David in Jer. 23:5-6, Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Exploring the New Testament
With the background information covered, it now allows us the opportunity to move into the New Testament to discover just who this Son of David is from the Old Testament. This takes us to the very first verse in Matt. 1:1, The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Matthew documented an incredible account of the family lineage dating right back to the Patriarchs. As the family tree was recorded, Matthew then notes King David along with this father in Matt. 1:6, …And Jesse begat David the king. The family lineage continues to progress in the same chapter right up to the record of Joseph in Matt. 1:16, And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. The account from Matthew is then summarized in Matt. 1:17, So all the generations from Abraham to David [are] fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon [are] fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ [are] fourteen generations. Readers may recall from previous studies how Matthew tailored his gospel account to a Jewish audience, thus documenting a family that would ultimately bring forth the Christ.
This was also recorded by another apostle with the same account recorded in Luke 1:27, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name [was] Mary. Even the angel of the Lord addressed Joseph with this family lineage reference in Matt. 1:20, But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. This was even further corroborated by the apostle Paul in several letters to the early churches such as in Rom. 1:2-4, …the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Another account was made by Paul from 2 Tim. 2:8, Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead.
Before leaving the gospel accounts entirely though, there are some additional scripture references worth noting. As the ministry of Jesus commenced with his teaching, preaching and healing of the multitudes, scripture records the reaction of the people in Matt. 12:23, And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? By asking this question, the people were in fact asking whether this was the Christ, or Jewish Messiah whom they had been waiting to come for centuries. Other people who approached Jesus also called him by this same title such as in Matt. 15:22, And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, [thou] Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
Eventually the multitudes began to further question who Jesus was and attempted to determine by scripture whether he was indeed the very Christ as shown in John 7:42, Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? Had they realized though, Jesus was indeed from Bethlehem as documented in Luke 2:11, For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Confusion prevailed however with several records indicating this as in John 7:41-42, Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
Skepticism among Rulers
The religious rulers, who should have been the most knowledgeable on the scriptures, either did not recognize who Jesus was or refused to believe who he was claiming to be as their Messiah. This was despite the fact that the multitudes were clearly starting to identify Jesus as their Messiah as noted in Matt. 21:9, And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. This did not deter the religious rulers to look upon Jesus with contempt and envy as recorded further on in Matt. 21:15, And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased. The true followers of Jesus though were asked by him who they thought he was and they rightly confirmed this in Matt. 16:16, And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. This comment from Peter was recorded in all gospel accounts giving further credence to the statement (Mark 8:29 Luke 9:20 and John 6:69).
With the unbelieving religious rulers, there were some very compelling interactions between them and Jesus as he attempted to illustrate who he was based on the scriptures as recorded in Matt. 22:42-45, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, [The Son] of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? This comment from Jesus clearly brought to light the fact that they were missing the point that Christ was also Lord as referenced in scripture. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, he also spoke with his disciples to explain this same fact as shown in Luke 24:25-27, Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Believers in Christ
Nevertheless, during the earthly ministry of Jesus, now declared the Christ and the Son of David from scripture, tremendous confusion continued with much consternation surrounding him from the multitudes and religious rulers as shown in John 7:26-31, But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this [man] hath done? Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
Thou art the Christ
Here was the tragic irony though in that the religious rulers were more intent on undermining the ministry of Jesus and persecuting him to his death and yet even the devils knew who Jesus was as noted in Luke 4:41, And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking [them] suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. The religious rulers even went to the point of threats to excommunicate people should they acknowledge who Jesus was in John 9:22, These [words] spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Again for his true followers and believers, this in no way deterred them from making a worthy confession such as from Martha in John 11:27, She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
Let us now have a look at the ministry of the early apostles to see how this correlates to Old Testament prophecies and gospel accounts. The Acts of the Apostles provide substantial scripture references in this regard as his disciples preached to the Jews, starting with Acts 2:36, Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Their methodology was the same as the gospel accounts in proving that Jesus was the Christ and if he was, then he was also the Son of David such as noted in Acts 9:22, But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. The apostles also linked in the sufferings experienced by Jesus in Acts 17:3, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. The apostles continued to make statements affirming Jesus as the Christ from Acts 18:5, And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews [that] Jesus [was] Christ.
Following Paul’s conversion from being ardently against the early Christians to now being the strongest advocate for the Lord, his ministry efforts were recorded in Acts 18:28, For he mightily convinced the Jews, [and that] publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. Paul was also recorded in this same effort in Acts 13:23-24, And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the [son] of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to [his] promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus. In one of Paul’s notable letters, he consistently gave this same message in Rom. 1:3-4, Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
The evidence therefore becomes quite overwhelming in seeing just how many times Jesus is referred to as the Christ and consequently the Son of David. Take for example two more accounts from the gospels such as when Andrew speaks with his brother in John 1:41, He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. Or the people from Samaria after first hearing from a woman who spoke directly with Jesus at Jacob’s well, followed by them speaking with Jesus in John 4:42, And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard [him] ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
Understanding the Scriptures
As the ministry of Jesus continued throughout scripture, he always endeavoured to enlighten his followers as shown in Luke 24:44-47, And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Jesus also endeavoured to bring this truth to the religious rulers but in most cases it fell on their hardened hearts as he spoke in Matt. 22:42-45, While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, [The Son] of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
The Son of David
To close off this detailed and lengthy study, we have covered a lot of ground in researching and proving that Jesus was prophesied to be the coming ruler from the seed of David, who would bear the title of Christ and Lord. Fast forward now to John’s visionary account from the angel of the Lord in Rev. 3:7, And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth. Here Jesus is reaffirming his lineage through David and he continues in this same manner in Rev. 5:5-6a, And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain. Finally, this culminates in the last chapter of the New Testament with Jesus once again making this connection back to David in Rev. 22:16, I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.
As the apostle John finished writing his earlier gospel account, he concluded his book with the phrase from John 20:31, But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. For believers in Christ, this study should give further peace and assurance in whom they believe in. For seekers of faith, perhaps this is now the time to realize the incredible accuracy and congruent nature of scripture with the recording of countless references to Jesus. He was not merely a man who walked the earth at one time. He was rather from the seed of David, the long awaited Christ, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.! (Jer. 23:6) To reiterate from above, as John noted these passages were all written for a very specific purpose for seekers of faith, …that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. Why not choose to have eternal life through his name right now by believing in him.
Bible Study Questions
- The title of Son of David ascribed to Jesus pertains to the family lineage dating back to King David, true or false? Hint 2 Sam. 7:12-14
- Fill in the blank from the last part of Jer. 23:5-6, “…and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE ___________ OUR _______________________”.
- In Matthew chapter one, why do you think it was so important to record the family lineage of Jesus Christ right back to the ancient Patriarchs? Hint John 7:42
- Why do you think the chief priests and scribes were displeased with Jesus teaching, preaching and healing the people?
- In scripture the devils knew that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, true or false? Hint Luke 4:41
- Fill in the blanks from Andrew’s statement to his brother Simon Peter from John 1:41, “We have found the ____________, which is, being interpreted, the ______________.
- Review from above, the three verses from Revelation where Jesus identifies himself in relation to David.
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