Who is the Messiah? How do we know who this Savior is? As the Jewish leaders understood it, Psalm 89 would indicate that the coming Messiah would be a descendent of David (a “son of David”). This was the totality of clues that they would receive from the Old Testament. Because of this, they kept meticulous records of all of the family members of the Davidic line. All of David’s children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, all the way down to Joseph and Mary, were recorded and verified.
When Jesus came as the acclaimed “Son of David,” this was very important. His arrival into the city of the kings, Jerusalem, on a donkey (like his royal ancestor’s had done) signaled a coming change in the kingdom. The overwhelming shouts of, “Hosanna! Son of David!”, had created a sort of fevered excitement in the city as people were obviously beginning to see Jesus as the great descendent of David that would liberate them from their oppressors.
This was a monarchial society. He was heir to the long lost throne. In their minds, His miracles had proven that God had anointed Him to be their king, and now was the time that they would coronate this “Son of David.” The kingdom would be re-established and this zealot would lead His people to freedom from all foreign powers. They longed for Him to lay His claim to the throne and lead them to victory and international prominence.
They couldn’t have been more clueless. The Messiah was not only going be the “Son of David.” Yes, He would be descended from David, but this was not His full identity. Rather, His identity would be found in another Old Testament text. As Jesus finished out the His teaching during Passion Week, this point needed to be made. He was in fact, the very Son of God. His Davidic ancestry was just a proof, it was not the totality of His identity.
In order to show this truth, Jesus quoted His ancestor David in Psalm 110. In this text, David tells how that God (Jehovah, translated “LORD”) spoke to the Messiah, and in the Psalm, David calls the Messiah, “My Lord.” This was of vital importance. No ancestor would call a mere descendent His “Lord,” this was a massive indication that David respected the coming Messiah as one Who was on par with God, as Paul would say in Philippians 2, “equal with God.” Here, just two days before His sacrificial death, Jesus was shoring up the theology of His disciples. He had explained that resurrection would happen, now He was establishing for them that His purpose was greater than coming to fulfill the throne-claiming role of David’s heir. He had come as the very Son of God who would save the world. David had a lot of sons, but this One was going to be different.
Food For Thought: Read Psalm 110. This was the Psalm that Jesus quoted. What are some other truths that we can see in this Psalm that Jesus Himself would have known?