By Not Known
There are some people whose names keep getting mentioned in the press. They make the headlines and major events cannot be understood without them. They are key to their era or nation.
The Old Testament figure of David is one of these. His rise from shepherd to king fascinates us. Likewise with the rise of his kingdom whose true dimensions are best seen in his son Solomon. His Psalms provide a vehicle for our praise, pondering, confession and lament. His sins make us shake our heads as we see ourselves in his mirror. The history of kingship in Israel is the story of David.
‘David’ is a big name in the Bible. This continued so 1,000 years after David’s death when Jesus walked our planet. Thus the New Testament has almost 60 references to David. These invariably centre on his kingship and this is what connects him to Jesus.
Let’s listen to a crowd that was hostile to Jesus (Jn 7:41-42). They thought that they knew where he came from (Nazareth in Galilee). They also knew that the Messiah would come from David’s family and Bethlehem (Mic 5:2). Their logic was simple – the gap between Nazareth and Bethlehem proved that Jesus was not the Messiah. We shake our heads as we read of this for we have Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts of his Davidic ancestry and Bethlehem birth.
Paul is explicit about Jesus: as to his human nature (he) was a descendant of David (Rom 1:3). The same is reflected in the common Gospel title Son of David.
Jesus’ links to David are significant for our understanding of Jesus and of what God was doing in his advent. Let’s listen to words that a prophet had said to David centuries before:
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. I will be his father and he will be my son (2 Sam 7:11b-14).
The coming of Jesus was according to promise and vindicates the faithfulness of God. As for Jesus, he is God’s ruler over God’s people in God’s place. When we submit to the gospel of Jesus we enter God’s kingdom and become heir to its blessings. Of course, we must then give our wholehearted loyalty to Jesus. Even more so than his earlier namesake, Jesus is the king whose worthiness deserves our full loyalty.
Let us celebrate and submit to Jesus who is David’s son and our good king.