Why does the first verse of the New Testament introduce the Lord Jesus as the son of David and the son of Abraham? “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew1:1). It is because God wants to remind us of the important promises that He has made about Jesus in the Old Testament. We know that Jesus Christ is the special descendant promised to Abraham. He is also the special descendant promised to David.
Just like Abraham, David was a man of remarkable faith. David lived about 1,000 years before the birth of Jesus. He was born in the same place as Jesus – Bethlehem, a small town near Jerusalem. He was the youngest son of Jesse. David wrote many of the Psalms in the Bible. They show his love for God and for God’s Word. This is why he is described as a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22).
After Saul’s death, David became king over God’s people and reigned from Jerusalem, where he built a palace. David was concerned about the Ark of God. The Ark was a gold covered chest. It was the symbol of God’s presence right at the heart of His nation. Since the time of Moses the Ark had been kept in the Tabernacle, a special tent where God met with His people. Just before Saul’s reign the Philistines had taken the Ark. It was later returned but not put back in the Tabernacle. David had a fine palace and so he wanted to build a house of God (temple) at Jerusalem for the Ark. David told Nathan, the prophet of God, what he wanted to do. That night God spoke to Nathan, giving him a special message for David. This message contained God’s promises to David.
God promised David a special son who will reign from David’s throne and over David’s kingdom (i.e. God’s kingdom) for ever. God promised to set up a house for David and God promised that the special son will build a house for His name.
David was promised a son who would reign for ever. Other Scriptures show that the Lord Jesus will be this king. The wise men, when they came to worship Jesus as a young child, asked, “Where is he who has been born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2). When Jesus was arrested and taken before Pilate to be tried, Pilate said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “You have said so” (Mark 15:2). This was the Jewish way of saying, “Yes, I am”. Jesus Christ will return to this earth to be King of the Jews and to reign from Jerusalem, which the Bible describes as David’s throne.
A worldwide kingdom
Christ Jesus will not only be the king of the Jews when he returns. God’s future kingdom will be centred on Israel but will extend over the whole earth, and Christ will reign over all nations as king of the world. God says of him in Psalm 72:8,11: “May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!”
In Acts 2 the apostle Peter tells us that David was dead and in the grave (verse 29) and had not gone to heaven (verse 34). Abraham and David and many other faithful people died knowing that in the day of Jesus Christ’s coming they would be raised from the grave and “made perfect” – given immortal life on earth. But Hebrews 11:39,40 shows that immortal life will not be just for these faithful people – it can be for us also:
And all these (the people listed in the chapter), though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
YOU too could be part of this awesome promise… How? Ask us!