The “Son of David” Welcomed and Rejected in the City of David
SATURDAY 6.18.22 Matthew 12:16-23; Matthew 15:21-22; Matthew 21:6-15
16 But he commanded them not to gossip about him, 17 so that what had been spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
18 Look, my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I find great pleasure.
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will announce judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He will not argue or shout,
and no one will hear his voice in the streets.
20 He does not break a bent rod,
and he will not extinguish a smoldering wick,
until he causes justice to prevail.
21 And the Gentiles shall put their hope in his name [Isaiah 42:1-4].
22 They brought to Jesus a demoniac man who was blind and unable to speak. Jesus healed him so he could both speak and see. 23 All the crowds were amazed and said, “Couldn’t this man be the Son of David, could he?
21 From there Jesus went to the regions of Tire and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from those territories came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, Son of David. My daughter suffers terribly from demonic possession.
6 The disciples went away and did as Jesus had commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put their clothes on them. Then he sat on it.
8 A large crowd spread out their clothes on the road. Others cut palm branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds in front of him and behind him cried out, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord! [Psalm 118:26]. Hosanna to the highest! 10 And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was agitated. “Who is this?” they asked. 11 The crowds answered, “It is the prophet Jesus of Nazareth in Galilee.
12 Then Jesus entered the temple and threw out all those who sold and bought there. He overturned the exchange tables and the chairs of those who sold doves. 13 He said to them, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer. [Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11]. But you’ve made it a hiding place for scammers.
14 Blind and lame people came to Jesus in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the lawyers saw the amazing things he was doing, and the children cried out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were angry.
A key element of David’s story was God’s promise that his royal dynasty would last “forever” (cf. 2 Samuel 7:16, 1 Kings 9:3-5). As we saw yesterday, in the eyes of man this promise failed – the genetic line of Davidic kings could not continue during and after exile in Babylon. But New Testament writers traced the ancestry of Joseph and Mary back to David (cf. Matthew 1:1, Luke 3:31-32). And people repeatedly hailed Jesus as the true “Son of David,” the one who could finally fulfill God’s promise and did. (“In languages that use ‘son’ to mean ‘descendant’, [Matthew 1:1] must be constructed so that it is clear that David was not the biological father of Jesus, and that Abraham was neither the father of David nor the father of Jesus. Phrases such as “one of his fathers long ago was David and another was Abraham” or “one of his fathers long ago was David, and one of David’s fathers was Abraham” will also be good ways to handle the phrase. *)
- Ultimately, David’s story was about the grace of God. Like many great personalities, David did a lot of good, but sometimes failed spectacularly. But David turned to God after every failure, and God’s people remembered the good as the central story of his life and reign. “David provides the [Hebrew] historian with a model of what it means to be fully devoted to God (cf. 1 Kings 15:3). Only three kings of Judah are positively compared to David: Asa, Hezekiah and Josiah (1 Kings 15:11; 2 Kings 18:3; 22:2)…. David is therefore the one who most clearly models for Israel, even in exile, the way by which salvation could come (1 Kings 14:8; cf. Deuteronomy 30:1-10). ** Matthew recorded, sadly, that the chief priests were angry when they heard children shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” in the Temple. They did not want the “Son of David” to be a meek king who said to love his enemies and who gave his life rather than taking the lives of others. Do you?
Jesus, Son of David, so many things in our world draw me to despair. Renew and strengthen my ability to live in hope, in confidence that your good reign will indeed last forever. Amen.
* Barclay M. Newman and Phillip C. Stine, A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. New York: United Bible Societies, 1988, p. ten.
**Gordon Matties, “David as Example” framed article in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 535 Old Testament.