The Son of David – Psalm 110

41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” Matthew 22:41-42 (NKJV)

While talking with the Pharisees, the religious rulers of that day, Jesus brought up the topic of the coming Messiah, the one who would be sent from the Father to reign forever as King over all the earth.  The religious scholars knew from the scriptures that the Messiah, or Christ in the Greek language, would come in the birth line of King David.  It was also expected that when Messiah comes, He would immediately take control over all world governments. For the people of Judah in that day, that meant freedom from the oppressive Roman Empire. 

As their discussion continued, Jesus quoted from Psalm 110:

43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: 44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?

45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.  Matthew 22:43-45 (NKJV)

The question was puzzling.  No one present with Jesus could comprehend this statement.  How could David call his own son Lord, or God?

Today, we can understand the answer. Though born in the line of David through Mary (and legally, through stepfather Joseph), the Lord that David refers to would be born both of God and Mary, through a miracle of the Holy Spirit. He was both the Lord and David’s descendant.

Just as they could not answer His question, the Pharisees could also not see that the subject of this Messianic prophecy, Jesus, was in their immediate presence.  They did not recognize Him nor would most of them receive Him as Lord. Instead, they would have Him crucified. As the apostle John would later write:

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.  John 1:10-11 (NKJV)

One of the Pharisees, Nicodemus, did over time come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah that David had prophesied about.  Nicodemus had to analyze and re-analyze his own thinking and beliefs, and the Holy Spirit eventually opened his eyes to the truth of God.  He came back to see Jesus alone to ask follow-up questions, as documented in John chapter 3.  But he did so secretly, at night, as this was regarded as blasphemous by his colleagues.

We may find ourselves in a similar situation today.  Some of our friends and colleagues may regard Jesus as fiction, others as a great man of history, a teacher, or moral example to follow for daily living. But not God.

But Jesus is so much more than just a good example to follow.  He is the eternal heir to the throne of David, which is very real and will one day reign over all the earth. He also provides believers with His own righteousness through the shedding of His blood on the cross for us. He has also given us eternal life, as the Father raised Him from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is currently in heaven mediating for us, His universal Church of believers, to help guide us through the challenges of each day, and to build His kingdom through us as we pray, seek to serve Him, and love one another in His name. 

Jesus is coming back one day, to reign on David’s throne, forever. Let’s all be there.

“I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: ‘Your seed I will establish forever and build up your throne to all generations.’” Psalm 89:3-4 (NKJV)


Who is Jesus to me?  Teacher, prophet, example, or more?

Jesus asked His disciples the very same question.  Some thought of Him as a prophet, or a good spiritual mentor.  But through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter recognized Him for who He was – the true Messiah of God, who one day will reign over all governments on earth as well as all powers, principalities and authorities in the heavenly realms.

Father God, help us to recognize and receive Jesus for who He really is today. Help us to walk in the light of His love and forgiveness today, and use us to build His kingdom. We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.


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