Jesus – Son of David
Mark 10: 46-47 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (that is, the son of Timaeus) a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and to say, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have mercy on me’.
What is the importance of the title “Son of David”?
A promise was made by God to King David through the prophet Nathan;
2 Samuel Ch 7: vs 16 – Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established forever.
This is called the Davidic Covenant.
Let’s have a look at Jesus’s lineage as given in Matthew and Luke.
|Matthew Ch 1: vs 1-17||Luke Ch 3: vs 23-38|
|Adam (son of God)|
|A genealogy of Jesus Christ||Serug|
|son of David, son of Abraham||Nahor|
|Joseph, husband of Mary of her was||Joseph|
|Born Jesus who is called||Jesus (son of Joseph, as was thought)|
Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus runs from Abraham and Luke’s starts with Jesus and reaches back to Adam.
Both genealogies run parallel for a while and then diverge after David. For a time, the thinking was – so they’re different, get over it.
Now the thinking is they are different because they are two separate genealogies, after all, don’t we all have two genealogies – one paternal and one maternal.
So, Matthew’s genealogy is of Joseph – Jesus’s guardian or legal father.
Luke’s genealogy is of Mary and Heli then is father-in-law of Joseph.
Ref) Ignatius Catholic Study Bible – New Testament, footnote to Luke 3:23-38;
There are several differences between the generations of Jesus in Luke and Matthew that make it difficult to reconcile them in every detail. Two considerations should be noted to put their differences in perspective.
- Matthew traces Jesus’ lineage forward from Abraham, the forefather of Israel (Mt 1:2), while Luke traces his ancestry backward to Adam, the father of humanity (3:38). Thus, while Matthew is stressing the kingship of Jesus over Israel, Luke is stressing his qualifications to be the Saviour of Mankind as a whole.
- The two genealogies are substantially the same from Abraham to David, but diverge significantly in the generations that span from David to Jesus. It is quite possible that Matthew records the ancestry of Jesus’ legal father, Joseph, and Luke records that of his biological mother, Mary. In this case, Matthew gives us the dynastic line that passes from David to Joseph through Solomon (Mt 1:6), and Luke gives us the Davidic line more generally as it passes from David to Mary through Nathan (3:31). As with his Infancy Narratives, Luke may have obtained information about Jesus’ family traditions from Mary herself.
In conclusion then we have a double emphasis that Jesus is ‘Son of David’.
Why is this important? You may have noticed that I have put some of the names in the table above in purple. This is because they were kings. One name has also been written in scarlet italic – Jeconiah.
Jeconiah was a bad king and the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah pronounced this curse on him;
Jeremiah 22: 30 – The Lord says this, ‘List this man as: Childless; a man who made a failure of his life, since none of his descendants will have the fortune to sit on the throne of David, or to rule in Judah again.
So, it could be said that Jesus could not occupy the throne of David by Joseph’s line in Matthew, but he can through Mary’s line in Luke.
Jeremiah 23: 5 says – ‘For the time is coming’, says the Lord, ‘when I will raise up a righteous descendent (branch) from David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land.’
Conclusion – Some of the apparently driest pieces of scripture contain great truths.
“Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.