“WHO IS THE SON OF DAVID?” (Matthew 22:35-46)
Semi-Retired Pastor Jeremy Stopford
Palm Sunday Message
Originally preached March 24, 2001, Beaver Meadow (NY) Christian Church
Questions. Life is full of questions – isn’t it?????
Sometimes questions are for discovery, like “where was I born?”, or, “how many grandparents do I have that are still alive?”, or even yet, “how did you decide on what college to attend?”
Sometimes questions are for spiritual discovery, like “is there really a personal God, or is He like the ‘fairy god-mother’ who shows up only when you lose a tooth?”. Well, that’s a start. But then the questions progress: “is God personal?” “How do you know He exists?” “How do you know He cares for you? For ME?”
“Did Jesus REALLY die on a cross? So WHY is that important to ME?”. And best, perhaps: “Is there any evidence in the Bible that there are people like me who are searching for the truth about Jesus?”.
Believe it or not, that question is answered in the chapters surrounding the Sunday that we now call “Palm Sunday”, the day our Savior entered into Jerusalem offering Himself to the people of Israel as their chosen and promised King.
The Savior entered riding on a donkey which had never had a human ride on it before! I’ve seen movies – or shows like Bonanza – where a horse is broken in. The donkey Jesus rode never had been “broken”, but our Savior, the Lord of all, could ride an unbroken donkey with ease. And what did the people shout to Him? “HOSANNA! – Jehovah Saves!”. There was great joy that day, except for among the chief priests and scribes (Matthew 21:15) who in their critical way jeeringly asked, “Do you hear what they’re saying?” (v. 16). The Lord Jesus immediately took them to their own Scriptures, Psalm 8:2, in which the psalmist records that God had given children a gift to perfect praise! The children knew, they KNEW, that they were offering eternal praise to the eternal Son of David Who was right before them all in the flesh!
In an account from an earlier incident (John 7:40-42), there was division among the people as to Who this Man is. Listen to their intense confusion:
“Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the
Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee?
Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”
So there was a division among the people because of Him.”
So just Who is this One Who presented Himself to the people of Israel – as the Son of David AND as the Jehovah Who saves – that first Palm Sunday?
First of all, He is the Son of David, a truth which the Pharisees knew about the Messiah. Let’s look at Matthew 22:41-42:
“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do
you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”
They said to Him, “The Son of David.”
The Pharisees had a plethora of knowledge available to them in their well-studied Old Testament scriptures.
In 2 Samuel 7:16, David is told about One Who will be from his line:
“And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your
throne shall be established forever.”
Of course, David was amazed by that truth. What leader or worker even in today’s generation would not bask in the truth that his work, his position will continue days on end? But in David’s case, the revealed truth is that the Messiah would be in his line. The Messiah would be called the “Son of David” – even though He would come to this world centuries after David!
And let us not forget another Scripture the Pharisees knew, Isaiah 9:6-7:
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
But what they DIDN’T know would later be revealed – NOT to the Pharisees! – but to a young virgin named Mary in Luke 1 (see vs. 30-35):
Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His
name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord
God will give Him the throne of His father David.
And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no
end.” (vs. 30-33)
Jesus is the Son of David!
But secondly, He is also David’s God!
This Biblical truth was not acknowledged by the Pharisees. Neither is it by today’s cults. Thus the truth that the Son of David is also God the Son – the God of David – is a separator from those who follow truth and those who follow (and spread!) heresy.
Listen carefully – perhaps even read out loud – the verses which follow our Matthew 22:41-42 passage:
“He [Jesus] said to them [the Pharisees], “How then does David in the Spirit call Him
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’?
If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”.” Matthew 22:43-45.
The Savior was quoting from a Messianic passage, Psalm 110:1, one with which the Pharisees would be quite familiar. You might say, “Pastor, I’m sure you are going to recite the Hebrew from Psalm 110. But I don’t know any Hebrew – apart from the man who runs the deli down the street.” To that person I would encourage to become familiar with the “Names of God Bible”. It was written for people just like me. [you can find it online at “biblegateway.com“]. From the “Names of God Bible”, we find that Psalm 110:1 is transcribed from the Hebrew:
“YHWH said to my Adonai, ‘Sit at My right hand…”
In other words, the Lord is addressing His Son as “God”! And when the Savior was quoting this before the Pharisees, He was taking familiar Scripture and making practical application:
Jesus is David’s (promised, in generations later) Son
Jesus is David’s (immediate!) God!
I encourage you to read Psalm 110 often! The passage is quoted often throughout the Scriptures!
All our eternity hinges on this truth. The Pharisees had not put this truth together as being fulfilled right before their eyes, right in their immediate presence! As the Pharisees didn’t understand this, neither do our cults. IF a cult or religious group can water down this doctrine, the whole world will follow them – and be eternally lost. Thus Satan will have the victory.
BUT if the Bible declares the Deity of Christ, and all of eternity hinges on this truth, and I YIELD TO THIS TRUTH, then the Lord has the victory.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans:
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is,
the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord
Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be
saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation.” [Romans 10:8-10]
How do you respond to the truth that the Lord Jesus is both the Son of David and is God the Son?
How did the Pharisees respond to this truth?
Let’s read Matthew 22:46. Immediately following the humble entrance on a donkey, the exclamation of the crowd, the revelation of the Son of David and the Son of God, it is recorded thus:
“And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare
question Him anymore.”
The Adonai becomes a Man that He might die for man’s sin.
The Overcomer of death by His resurrection is now at the Father’s right hand…
And He is my Lord. Worship Him!
Look, ye saints, the sight is glorious,
See the “Man of Sorrows” now
From the fight return victorious:
Every knee to Him shall bow!
Crown Him! Crown Him!
Crowns become the Victor’s brow.
Hark! those burst of acclamation;
Hark! those loud triumphant chords;
Jesus takes the highest station:
Oh what joy the sight affords!
Crown Him! Crown Him!
“King of kings, and Lord of lords!”
– – – Thomas Kelly (1809)