We’ve been looking at the names of God and how his names help us understand him better. This week I want to look at the name, ‘The Son of David’, which is used to refer to the second person of the trinity.
Jesus is often referred to as the ‘Son of David’. For example, we see the Jews questioning whether Jesus was the ‘Son of David’: ‘Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” (Matthew 12:22-23). Others were less uncertain, such as the blind men: ‘Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” (Matthew 20:30-31). The crowds as Jesus entered into Jerusalem were also convinced: ‘The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9) .
But what does it mean that Jesus is the ‘Son of David’? Particularly when we know he is the son of God, the son of Mary and the son of Joseph by adoption.
The word ‘son’ can refer to an immediate ‘son’ but also can refer to men born from the family line of someone, e.g. grandsons and great grandsons.
So who is this David that Jesus is supposed to be the ‘son of’? David was the famous second king of Israel whose rise to the throne is recorded so carefully in the Old Testament. But was Jesus a descendant of King David? Yes. Both genealogies of Jesus given in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 are careful to show Jesus was literally ‘a son of David’.
But why is it important to find one who is ‘the Son of David’ as the Jews were trying to do? God had promised King David that one of his descendants would always have someone ruling over his people: ‘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).
So the Jews were always looking for this Davidic ruler who would reign forever. They also expected that this ruler would also be the Christ, God’s promised Saviour. We see this when Jesus questions the religious leaders: ‘While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied’ (Matthew 22:41-42).
Thus by calling Jesus ‘The Son of David’ we learn that God’s Son, the second person of the trinity, is the promised King of Israel who reigns forever. And it is true. The loud voices in heaven proclaim: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever’ (Revelation 11:15).
So have you submitted to the everlasting King? He rules with an iron scepter and destroys rebels who sin against him. But if you turn to him and ask for mercy, the Son of David lovingly grants forgiveness. Joel Radford