Jesus has several names that He’s addressed with, but one that usually raises questions among non-believers and believers alike is the “Son Of David.” Many typically question why Jesus Christ is referred to as the Son Of David, and very few know why. So, why is Jesus called the Son Of David?
Jesus is called the Son Of David because He is literally the son of David as He is his descendant. Still, more importantly, this title is a Messianic title that fulfills a promise God made to David in the Old Testament. As the Bible implies in the New Testament Gospel books, the title “Son Of David” acknowledged that Jesus was the awaited Deliverer God had promised.
If you have always questioned why Jesus is called the Son Of David, this post is for you. So, which son of David did Jesus descend from? Where in the Bible does it say Jesus is the Son Of David? How many generations was David before Jesus? What did God promise David about the Messiah? To learn the answers to all these questions and gain so much more insight, keep reading.
Which son of David did Jesus descend from?
According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus descended from Nathan, one of David’s sons, with Bathsheba. However, according to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus descended from Solomon, also David’s son with Bathsheba. As Luke 3:31 implies, Nathan was the descendant of Heli, son of Matthat, who was Jesus’ maternal grandfather. The Gospel of Matthew does not mention Nathan instead, it traces the roots of Jesus to Solomon, through Jacob, in Matthew 1:16.
Christian Scholars and theologians suggest that Jesus is a descendant of David through His mother, the Virgin Mary, who is Nathan’s descendant, and His father, Joseph, who is a descendant of Solomon. The majority of Christian Scholars agree that both parents of Jesus Christ are descendants of David, the mother being Nathan’s descendant and the father being Solomon’s descendants. It’s worth knowing that some Scholars and believers are still split on this matter.
Christian Scholars have noted that Luke avoids mentioning that Jesus is the son of Joseph and suggests that it might be because of His virgin birth and also imply that this might be the reason Luke traced Jesus’ ancestry through His mother. These scholars have gone on to point out that the Bible mentions Joseph, Jesus’ father, as Joseph of Heli without “son” in the title. According to Greek, this implies that Joseph is the son-in-law of Heli, proving that Mary was Heli’s daughter, making Jesus Nathan’s descendant.
Scholars who support that Jesus is a descendant of Nathan also argue that since He is referred to as the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh, His ancestry has to be traced through His mother.
Where in the Bible does it say Jesus is the Son of David?
Jesus has been called the Son of David numerous times in the Bible, especially in the New Testament. Theologians estimate this number to be about seventeen times, starting in the Gospel of Matthew, Matthew 1:1, where Matthew outlines the genealogy of Christ. Still, in the book of Matthew, several people are recorded referring to Jesus as the Son of David.
Matthew 15:22, “A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” As this scripture implies, the Canaanite woman was aware that Christ was the Deliverer who was promised to her forefathers by God. In this encounter, Jesus went on to heal the woman’s daughter solely because of her faith, as theologians suggest.
Matthew 20:30, “Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Similar to the Canaanite woman, these blind men also knew of God’s promise of a Deliverer and addressed Christ as the Son Of David. Jesus went on to touch their eyes, and they regained their eyesight.
Matthew 21:9, “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Also, during the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the crowds referred to Jesus as the Son Of David, who by now, according to scholars and theologians, were aware that God’s promise for an eternal ruler had been fulfilled.
This title reaffirmed the promise God had made to David and the people of Israel, no wonder it caught the attention of several religious leaders whenever it was used. It is worth noting that although some embraced Jesus and believed He was the promise made to David, many were skeptical, especially the religious leaders.
In Luke, Jesus is also referred to as the Son of David severally, for instance, in Luke 18:38-39, “He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many theologians suggest that people who believed that Jesus Christ was indeed the promised Deliverer God had mentioned to David knew the power the title “Son Of David” held. After the Luke 18:38-39 encounter, the blind man was healed by Christ.
Romans 1:3, “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” This verse also implies that Jesus Christ is the Son of David.
How many generations was David before Jesus?
According to the New Testament, there were 41 generations between David and Jesus.
The genealogy is discussed in depth in the Gospel of Matthew 1:6-16, “David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon, the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam, the father of Abijah,
Abijah, the father of Asa,
8 Asa, the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat, the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram, the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah, the father of Jotham,
Jotham, the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz, the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah, the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh, the father of Amon,
Amon, the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah, the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel, the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel, the father of Abihud,
Abihud, the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim, the father of Azor,
14 Azor, the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim, the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan, the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob, the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary, was the mother of Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
Also, Luke 3: 23-38 discusses the ancestry of Christ in depth, but this genealogy is traced to Nathan, not Solomon, as Matthew does. As mentioned earlier, most scholars and theologians have come to agree that both Mary and Joseph, Jesus’ parents, were descendants of David.
What did God promise David about the Messiah?
According to the Scriptures in 2nd Samuel 7:12-16, God promised David that He would establish an everlasting throne/kingdom from His lineage. God promised David that one of his ancestors would become king and rule for eternity. This promise first began as his son would be a successful king, building a magnificent temple for the Lord. Then, after this promise was made, God went on to also promise David that one of his descendants would be an everlasting king. This promise is also mentioned in; Jeremiah 23:5, Jeremiah 30:9, Acts 13:34, Revelation 3:7, Isaiah 9:7, Isaiah 11:1, Luke 1:32, and Luke 1:69.
The land of Israel waited for the fulfillment of this promise for years, and when the Messiah was finally born, God’s promise to David was fulfilled. Christ then was named the Son Of David and the Deliverer because of this. This promise is also summarised in 1st Chronicles 17:11-14 and 2nd Chronicles 6:16, and according to the Bible and scholars, this promise was unconditional, fully reliant on God’s faithfulness and not on David’s or Israel’s actions.
Scholars also suggest that Christ being born in Bethlehem was crucial as this was also the city of David.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.