Great David’s Greater Sin
“What think ye of Christ? Whose Son Is He?”
The Sonship of our Lord Jesus Christ has various aspects. In Deity, He is the eternal Son; for God subsists as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19). He is the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16-18), the Son of the Father (2 John 3), whose eternal dwelling place is “the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18). In this aspect, “no man knoweth the Son, but the Father” (Matt. 11:27).
In Humanity also, our Lord is the Son of God. Before His virgin birth, Gabriel said to Mary, “That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35 ) .
He is also the Son of Man; this is possibly His favourite title, because He used it so often Himself. (It occurs about 81 times in the four Gospels). This title is employed in connection with matters of vast importance; but significantly, not in connection with the virgin birth. Its first occurrence in the New Testament is somewhat amazing: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head” (Matt. 8:20).
At the beginning of his Gospel, Matthew uses two titles involving son-ship; namely, “Son of David,” and “Son of Abraham.” However, “Son of Abraham” is used only once, whereas “Son of David” is used several times by Matthew.
Jesus asked the Pharisees, “What think ye of Christ? whose Son is He?” They replied “The Son of David.” He asked further, “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?” (Matt. 22:41-46).
The Pharisees could not answer Him, but David’s Lord Himself provides the answer: “I Jesus …am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star” (Rev. 22:16).
A root precedes that which it produces. The One who gave David being was before David, as He was before Abraham (John 8:58). He was before every being and thing. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
He became the “Offspring of David” by the miracle of incarnation. He came “of the seed of David, according to the flesh” (Rona. 1:3) by being born of the virgin, who was of the lineage of David. A. C. Gaebelein quotes an interesting Latin inscription that is said to be of first century origin; it represents the incarnate Son of God as saying, “I am what I was; that is, God. I was not what I am; that is, Man. I am now called both; that is, both God and Man.”
The two genealogies of Jesus differ in certain respects; each is appropriate to the book in which it is placed. Matthew gives the royal line; hence David is designated “the king”. Luke calls him simply “David” (Matt. 1:6. Luke 3:31).
The genealogical roll in Matthew has three sections of equal length (Matt. 1:17). God is Three in One: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Three Persons in the unity of the Godhead are co-essential, co-eternal, and co-equal. Three has to do also with manifestation. Of Him it is written that, “He was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16); and again, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory” (John 2:11). Fulness, too, is symbolized by the number three; it is written that in Christ “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9).
Forty-two generations are recorded in this roll. They are given in three fourteens, equal to six sevens. Six is a number linked with man; seven speaks of completeness. Our Lord Jesus Christ is complete, proper Man — spirit, soul, and body. He is the perfect Man, the second Man, the last Adam, and the Son of Man.
In addition, three is a number connected with the resurrection of our Lord. It is as the risen Lord that He will occupy David’s throne (Acts 2:29-36). Possibly Christ the risen One is the fourteenth generation in the third section of Matthew’s roll. There are only thirteen names including “Jesus, who is called Christ,” but verse seventeen says, “Unto Christ, are fourteen generations.” On the cross hung the inscription, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Matt. 27:37); but in Acts 2:36, it is written “That God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
In the lineage of Jesus, there is a blending of priestly, kingly, and prophetic characters. Aaron married Elisheba, the sister of Naashon (Ex. 6:23), who was “prince of the children of Judah” (1 Chron. 2:11. Matt. 1:5). Accordingly, Jesus’ ancestor. Boaz, had the prince of Judah for his paternal grandfather, and the high priest for his great uncle. How appropriate that Zechariah should write, “He shall be a Priest upon His throne” (Zech. 6:13)! Since David was a prophet as well as a king (Acts 2), the prophetic character is also present. Great David’s greater Son is Prophet, Priest, and King.
Jesus, King of the Jews, was born in a stable, and cradled in a manger. He came unto His own things as Israel’s Messiah and His own people, the Jews, received Him not. When Pilate asked if he should crucify their King, the chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15).
Even while on the cross, His royal claims were mocked. Jesus, the Just One, was betrayed and murdered (Acts 7:52), but never was God’s beloved Son more precious to the Father’s heart than when He was obediently fulfilling the Father’s will, while suffering upon the cross.
Him who was crucified, “God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it” (Acts 2:24). David “being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption” (Acts 2:30-31). This is He whom David called Lord, saying “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool” (Ps. 110:1).