Messiah Son of David



Who is the Son of David? Tracing family histories is a growing hobby. Today people spend thousands of dollars on special computer software, research books, and even trips to the place of their ancestors. There’s often a strong tug to feel connected to where we come from. Genealogies were exceedingly important to the Jews.

Matthew records one of Jesus' last conversations with the Jewish religious leaders where He began the interchange with a question...

"What do you think about the Christ Whose son is he?"

"[The son of] David," they replied. (Note: "the son of" is added by translators)

He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him Lord? For he says, "The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question. (Matthew 22:42-46).

What is interesting is that although this story is found in all three synoptic Gospels, there is no record that Jesus every gave an answer or explanation. In any case, just the question alone was enough to shut the mouths of the Jewish leaders. Did they understand what He was driving at? The text is silent on that. But study of the passage makes it abundantly clear that what Jesus is saying is that Messiah is not just the Son of David in the human sense (which is what the Jews believed), but that He was David's Lord. The only way Messiah could be David's Lord would be if He was Divine, for no middle eastern father would ever call his own son "Lord." So in quoting Psalm 110:1 which was familiar to all religious Jews, Jesus was using this Old Testament Messianic Prophecy to prove that Messiah was not just a man like David, but was also God. 

The Touch of Jesus On the Eyes for Vision - "Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” 

Matthew 9:27-29 Two blind men followed Jesus. They cried "Son of David have mercy on us". When they came to Him in the house He touched their eyes and their eyes were opened. The touch of Jesus on the eyes for vision. How much we need that touch!

All glory, laud and honor,
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

Thou art the king of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s name comest,
The King and Blessèd One.

What think ye of Christ?" Why," they said, "He is the son of David." "Well, then, if He is the son of David, how did David call his own son Lord?" And they couldn't answer him, and the question has never yet been answered by them. It was really this question, What think ye of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ? Was He the Christ? Was He the God-man? Did He come from heaven? Was He sent from the besom of His Father as He claimed to be sent? And, really, that is the question that is troubling Boston to-day.

John treats Messiah as the Son of God. Matthew treats of Him as the Son of David, Mark as the servant of God, Luke as the Son of Man.

Wiersbe - “These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” (Rev. 3:7). A key is a symbol of authority, and “the key of David” relates to Christ’s authority over the house of David in fulfilling the promises God made to Israel.

Ancient locks and keys were much different from their modern equivalents. We insert metal keys that move the bolts horizontally in the locks, but the ancients had large wooden keys that were pulled vertically. This pushed up the iron bolts and unlocked the door. The person who carried this key was the most important person in the palace, next to the king, and everyone did his bidding. Jesus holds not only the key of David but also the keys of death and Hades (Rev. 1:18). He is the one who has the authority.

The background for this image is recorded in Isaiah 22:15–25. Shebna was in charge of the palace; he was the man with the key. But he selfishly used his authority for his own purposes, including having an elaborate tomb cut out for him at the king’s expense. But the prophet Isaiah told him he wouldn’t be honored with a great, royal funeral but would die an exile in a foreign land and be buried there. Eliakim was appointed in his place and given the key and he was a faithful steward who brought honor to the Lord and to the king.

The Jewish rabbis saw Eliakim as a picture of Jesus Christ, the faithful steward over the house (family) of David. The church in Philadelphia was given great opportunities for ministry, doors that the Lord opened for them that nobody could close (Rev. 3:7–8). Jesus had the key and He determined what the church should do. There was in Philadelphia a “synagogue of Satan” that claimed to be Christian but was actually made up of counterfeit Christians, and Jesus would deal with them. Jesus has the key—the authority—and we must listen to Him and obey Him. If He closes a door, we must not try to pry it open.

While the spiritual application of this passage belongs to all Christians and encourages us to be faithful stewards, we must not forget the basic interpretation to the people of Israel. They rejected Jesus but He is still in charge of their future and will fulfill the covenants and promises that He gave them. There are believers who say there is no future for Israel, but as long as Jesus holds the key of David, nobody can close the door.

To call Jesus “the Christ” or “the Son of David” is to call Him “Son of God.”

Matthew’s Gospel opens with, “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David” (1:1); and Mark calls Him “Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (1:1). At the close of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus calls Himself “the Christ” and states that the Old Testament Scriptures teach about Him (24:26, 46). John wrote his Gospel so that people might believe “that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” and have “life in his name” (John 20:31). The people in Jerusalem lauded Him as “the Son of David” (Matt. 20:30; 21:9, 15). Andrew and John confessed that Jesus was the Christ (John 1:40–41), as did Peter (Matt. 16:13–16) and Martha (John 11:27).

During our Lord’s earthly ministry, the main question was, “Is this Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah, the Christ?” and it was asked by leaders and common people alike. The religious leaders asked Him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly” (10:24). The rabbis applied 456 Old Testament passages to the Messiah, and Jesus Himself said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me” (5:46). In his sermon at Pentecost, Peter told the crowd that Jesus was “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36; and see 5:42; 10:36). This was also Paul’s message (9:22).

Matthew had in mind a mainly Jewish audience, and he wanted to assert Jesus’ credentials as the Messiah. Christ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term, Messiah. To introduce Jesus as “the son of David, the son of Abraham” called to mind the whole tradition of messianic prophecy (Mt 1:1). God had told Abraham that through him all nations would be blessed, and had promised David that his throne would endure forever (Gen. 12:3; 2 Sam. 7:16).

There are many who imagine that the four Gospels cover the same ground and tell the same story. They think that it was unnecessary for God to have written four times about one thing.

In addition, Matthew quoted or alluded to the Old Testament more than any other book in the New Testament. He used Jewish terms such as kingdom of heaven and assumed a knowledge of Jewish tradition and history.

Mat 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Ps 132:11 The LORD has sworn to David, A truth from which He will not turn back; “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne. , Isa 11:10 Jer 23:5, Jer 33:15

Acts 2:30 And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAT one OF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,

Ro 1:3 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,

2Ti 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel,

David was promised that one of his offspring would rule forever. Jesus was called the "Son of David" while he was here on the earth. He was born in David's city, Bethlehem. The gospel of Matthew records that various people, on six different occasions, acknowledged Jesus as the Son of David. This is a messianic title. Jesus never denied that he was the Son of David.. In fact, on Palm Sunday he received the praise and worship of the people.

So what did the Jews of Jesus' day believe about Messiah? They believed the same thing modern orthodox Jews believe. Here is their belief summarized at the interesting site Judaism 101 -

The mashiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The mashiach is often referred to as "mashiach ben David" (mashiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments (Isaiah 11:2-5). He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being. It has been said that in every generation, a person is born with the potential to be the mashiach. If the time is right for the messianic age within that person's lifetime, then that person will be the mashiach. But if that person dies before he completes the mission of the mashiach, then that person is not the mashiach.


Question: "What does it mean that Jesus is the son of David?"

No mistake is more dangerous than mistaking the identity of Jesus.

All hail the power of Jesus' name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all. |

Answer: Seventeen verses in the New Testament describe Jesus as the “son of David.” But the question arises, how could Jesus be the son of David if David lived approximately 1,000 years before Jesus? The answer is that Christ (the Messiah) was the fulfillment of the prophecy of the seed of David (2 Samuel 7:14–16). Jesus is the promised Messiah, which means He had to be of the lineage of David. Matthew 1 gives the genealogical proof that Jesus, in His humanity, was a direct descendant of Abraham and David through Joseph, Jesus’ legal father. The genealogy in Luke 3 traces Jesus’ lineage through His mother, Mary. Jesus is a descendant of David by adoption through Joseph and by blood through Mary. “As to his earthly life [Christ Jesus] was a descendant of David” (Romans 1:3).

Primarily, the title “Son of David” is more than a statement of physical genealogy. It is a Messianic title. When people referred to Jesus as the Son of David, they meant that He was the long-awaited Deliverer, the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.

Jesus was addressed as “Lord, thou son of David” several times by people who, by faith, were seeking mercy or healing. The woman whose daughter was being tormented by a demon (Matthew 15:22) and the two blind men by the wayside (Matthew 20:30) all cried out to the Son of David for help. The titles of honor they gave Him declared their faith in Him. Calling Him “Lord” expressed their sense of His deity, dominion, and power, and calling Him “Son of David,” expressed their faith that He was the Messiah.

The Pharisees understood exactly what the people meant when they called Jesus “Son of David.” But, unlike those who cried out in faith, the Pharisees were so blinded by their own pride that they couldn’t see what the blind beggars could see—that here was the Messiah they had supposedly been waiting for all their lives. They hated Jesus because He wouldn’t give them the honor they thought they deserved, so when they heard the people hailing Jesus as the Savior, they became enraged (Matthew 21:15) and plotted to destroy Him (Luke 19:47).

Jesus further confounded the scribes and Pharisees by asking them to explain the meaning of this very title: how could it be that the Messiah is the son of David when David himself refers to Him as “my Lord” (Mark 12:35–37; cf. Psalm 110:1)? The teachers of the Law couldn’t answer the question. Jesus thereby exposed the Jewish leaders’ ineptitude as teachers and their ignorance of what the Old Testament taught as to the true nature of the Messiah, further alienating them from Him.

Jesus’ point in asking the question of Mark 12:35 was that the Messiah is more than the physical son of David. If He is David’s Lord, He must be greater than David. As Jesus says in Revelation 22:17, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David.” That is, He is both the Creator of David and the Descendant of David. Only the Son of God made flesh could say that.

Brought to you with permission of Don Stewart, the Bible Explorer
God had promised David, the first rightful king of Israel, that his throne would be established forever.

When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Samuel 7:12-13).
This caused the people to long to see David's greater son - the one who would rule forever.

Jesus Is The Son Of David

On a number of occasions in the gospels Jesus is called the, "Son of David." Matthew calls Jesus the, son of David in the very first sentence of his gospel.

A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1).
People Called Jesus The Son Of David

Six times in the gospel of Matthew it records people calling Jesus the, "Son of David."

There were two blind men who needed healing who addressed him this way.

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying out, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" (Matthew 9:27).
After Jesus performed a miraculous healing the crowd wondered if Jesus could be David's son.

All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, "This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?" (Matthew 12:23).
A Canaanite woman who wanted her daughter healed used this title of Jesus.

And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed" (Matthew 15:22).
In Jericho, two blind men called out to Jesus.

And two blind men sitting by the road, hearing that Jesus was passing by, cried out, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!" (Matthew 20:30).
Jesus Was Called The Son Of David During The Triumphal Entry
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the people acknowledged Him as the "Son of David."

The crowds going ahead of him, and those who followed, were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!" (Matthew 21:9).
In the temple in Jerusalem the people addressed Jesus as David's son.

But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they became indignant (Matthew 21:5).
Jesus Was Born In Bethlehem - The City Of David

Jesus was born in David's city - Bethlehem.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east and have come to worship him" (Matthew 2:1,2).
He Had A Messianic Title
The Son of David was, therefore, a messianic title. Jesus called this to the attention of the religious rulers.

"What do you think about the Christ Whose son is he?" "The son of David," they replied. He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him Lord? For he says, "The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions (Matthew 22:42-46).
David was promised that one of his offspring would rule forever. Jesus was called the "Son of David" while he was here on the earth. He was born in David's city, Bethlehem. The gospel of Matthew records that various people, on six different occasions, acknowledged Jesus as the Son of David. This is a messianic title. Jesus never denied that he was the Son of David.. In fact, on Palm Sunday he received the praise and worship of the people.