Lenten Reader -- Day 12
That night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying: “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, 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.... Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’” (2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-13, 16) ----------
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
But the angel said to [Mary], “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:30-33)
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)
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)
The title “Son of David” carried weighty significance for the Jews of Jesus’ time. They had long awaited a Messiah who would fulfill the promises of Isaiah and would come from David’s line.
David was a great and beloved king. He was humble, valiant, and zealous for God, but his sin was well-known. There were more morally upright men in the Bible whom God could have chosen: Daniel or Joseph. But David signified something which could not be represented by anyone else: the glory of Israel.
During David’s reign, Israel was the best it had ever been. Under David, the Israelites were unified and free. David led the kingdom to liberation from their enemies, to prosperity and greatness, and in devotion to God. For generations, no one in Israel would ever forget what it was like when David was king.
Not long after came a divided kingdom, captivity, exile, and recurrent oppression by enemies. By the time of Jesus’ coming, Israel’s glory was long gone. But they would never forget it.
While Jesus lived on earth, many scholars and religious authorities failed to recognize him as the fulfillment of this Davidic promise, because they missed something in the line that was drawn from David to Jesus. But Matthew did not miss it. He put it right at the front of his gospel. Those 17 verses that put many of us to sleep when we read through the Bible in a year contain some unusual names for a genealogy, names like Boaz and Ruth, Judah and Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba, women, sinners, outsiders.
And now we, too, women, sinners and outsiders can come to Jesus and find the freedom, the unity and the glory too.
God and Father of Abraham and David and our Lord Jesus Christ, your wisdom confounds the brightest minds. All glory, honor and praise are due to you alone not merely because of who you are but because of what you have done. You have destroyed the yoke of sin and slavery that held me captive. Wherever your good news has been preached and accepted, people have been transformed. Walls of distinction have been knocked down. In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for we are all united in Christ Jesus, the Son of David. I praise you for this gift of acceptance that overcomes the bondage of sin and unites us all together now into one Body, of whom Jesus is the head. I pray this in his name. Amen.