David’s Greater Son

In our world today, Jesus is often called many things; some positive, others far less than that. Some titles for Jesus include the great teacher, the Prophet, another good man, a social activist, etc. When we observe Matthew’s Gospel in Matthew 9:27-31 a new name is cast upon him, one which has yet to be uttered by any so far. Jesus is called the “Son of David”.

Two blind men were calling out to Jesus, and the contents of their cries were simple, “Have mercy on us, Son of David” (Matt. 9:27 ESV) Why on earth is Jesus called the “Son of David”? When we observe the first chapters of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, we learn of the story of the virgin conception and birth of Jesus. The Holy Spirit came over Mary and she became pregnant without means of a man by the His holy mystery. When we look at this passage in particular we have to remember the original audience Matthew was writing to: first century Jews. The people of Israel had a king named David roughly a thousand years before Jesus.

David was a monumental figure in the history of Israel, indeed a “renaissance man” so to speak. His renown has often focused upon his military victories, especially his initial battle as a young man against a giant named Goliath. For David, it was proof that the pen was indeed as mighty as the sword for David’s writings in the Psalms are, to this day, cherished by the Church, as they are both read and sung.

When we consider the life of David, more than anything else we find a man after God’s own heart. A man with whom God made a special promise. A covenant-promise in which God said, “I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body … and I will establish the throne of His kingdom forever.” (2 Samuel 7:12-13 ESV) God had promised to David that one of his offspring would have an eternal throne, and that God Himself would insure the inception of that kingdom’s unending perseverance. However, David’s sons were not faithful, and inevitably their sin lead to Israel’s civil war, and the death of the nation. Israel was a conquered people under foreign kings (even in the days of Christ), yet they nonetheless remembered God’s promise, that one day the Son of David would come and establish perpetual peace.

The brilliance of God’s wisdom and humor shines forth in our passage today. The only people to properly see Jesus’ identity are a couple of blind guys. As is often the case, God uses the last people you would ever expect to accomplish His mission on earth. The Apostle Paul, another flawed vessel of choice, declared what God was doing, “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world … so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-30 ESV) To state it most clearly, God chose the blind to see clearly that Jesus was the Messiah. For the declaration “Son of David” was none other than a claim that Jesus was the long-awaited coming King. And when they drew near to Christ He asked only one question, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matthew 9:28 ESV)

We don’t approach Christ today by following Him on His home; we approach Christ by prayer. As Matthew Henry, the great puritan pastor, wrote concerning this passage, “[Jesus] would teach us: to continue in prayer, to always pray … though the answer do[es] not come presently [nevertheless] to wait for it .. . even when it seems as if our prayers are neglected or contradicted.”

Are we approaching Christ with the same trust that these two blind men did? We need to be honest with Christ, and be persistent in our petitions towards Him, not because He is forgetful but because He bids us to come near. He is ready to listen, but are we quick to speak? Another great puritan pastor, Thomas Watson once wrote, “Christ went more willingly to the cross than we do to the throne of grace.” Christ knows our weaknesses, and will not push us away because of them. I encourage you, trust in Jesus even while you wait for His answer to your prayers, because it is that very process of waiting on God through which God shapes you, molds you, and leads you ultimately closer to Him by our great Comforter, the blessed Holy Spirit.

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