Why Is Jesus Called The Son Of David? Exploring His Royal Lineage

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Published by Kenneth Garcia


Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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Jesus is referred to as the Son of David in seventeen verses throughout the New Testament. Specifically, the Gospel of Matthew calls Jesus the Son of David. Jesus was also called “Lord, thou son of David,” multiple times by those seeking compassion or healing through faith.

Several accounts in the Bible are recorded—two of them depict a lady whose child was being possessed by an evil demon (Matthew 15:22) and a pair of blind men sitting by the roadside (Matthew 20:30) who called out to Jesus, asking for assistance as the Son of David.

But how could Jesus possibly be the son of David, knowing that King David [1] lived about a thousand years before Him?

Key Takeaways

  • The title “Son of David” signifies Jesus as a messianic figure and a direct descendant of King David.
  • Jesus’ genealogy, as outlined in the Gospel of Matthew, traces 27 generations from King David to Jesus, emphasizing His rightful place within David’s lineage and the fulfillment of God’s promise to David.
  • The New Testament contains multiple instances where Jesus is recognized as the “Son of David” by those seeking healing or acknowledging His messianic role.

What Does It Mean That Jesus Was The Son Of David?

The Messianic title, “Jesus the Son of David,” means that King David and Jesus were connected in some particular way. This does not literally suggest that David was Jesus’ biological father.

It is made abundantly evident in Matthew 1:6–16, the account of Jesus’ life, that He was a direct descendant of King David through His mother Mary’s husband, Joseph. However, an entire gap of 25 generations, or roughly a thousand years, separated Jesus from David.

27 Generations All The Way From King David To Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:6–16)

1. David

2. Rehoboam

3. Abija

4. Asa

5. Jehoshaphat

6. Jehoram

7. Uzziah

8. Jotham

9. Ahaz

10. Hezekiah

11. Manasseh

12. Amon

13. Josiah

14. Jeconiah

15. Shealtiel

16. Zerubbabel

17. Abihud

18. Eliakim

19. Azor

20. Zadok

21. Akim

22. Elihud

23. Eleazar

24. Matthan

25. Jacob

26. Joseph (Jesus’ legal father), the spouse of Mary (the mother of Lord Jesus Christ).

God Promised David A New King

The Davidic kingdom ended long before Jesus arrived in Jerusalem. The family of royalty was among the countless people who had to flee after the city collapsed. The city and the neighboring region, known as Judah, diminished to a tiny province reliant on the large empires that controlled it repeatedly. In the end, it was merged into the Roman Empire.

The final outcome of the exile was foretold by several prophets. People who had gone into exile would return. In fact, some did return (Ezra 2 and 7). And in keeping with an earlier promise (2 Samuel 7:12-16), a prediction is made by the prophets that one of David’s descendants would regain and rebuild his kingdom forever (Jeremiah 30:18-21; Isaiah 9:5-6; Zechariah 6:12-13; and Micah 5:1-4).

God promised His servant David that his throne would be established forever. And the fulfillment of this promise was anticipated. There were high hopes for the coming of the kingdom revival during the days of the Son Jesus (Luke 2:25–26)—the only one who could see the fulfillment of the prophecy, while others were only concerned about what would happen if someone tried to seize King David’s throne.

a golden crown with jewelry and why is jesus called the son of david

Why Was Jesus Called The Son Of David?

People Called Jesus Christ The Son Of David

  • After Jesus healed someone miraculously, the crowd speculated that He might be David’s son (Matthew 12:23).
  • When they heard that Jesus was walking by, two blind men who were sitting by the roadside shouted, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” in Matthew 20:30.
  • When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem during the triumphal entrance on Palm Sunday, the crowds acknowledged Him as the true “Son of David,” (Matthew 21:9)
  • The title, “the Son of David,” was used by a Canaanite mother who wished to heal her daughter (Matthew 15:22).

Mary Gave Birth To Jesus In Bethlehem, The Home Of David

In Bethlehem (the hometown of David), Jesus was born. The Magi who came from the east showed up in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him,” (Matthew 2:1-2) just after Mary gave birth to Christ in Judea, specifically the city of Bethlehem, during the ruling of Herod the Great.

He Held A Messianic Name

The appellation “Son of David,” is a messianic one. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy, making Him the rightful king as mentioned in several Bible verses. Jesus brought this discussion to the religious authorities.

“What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied. He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,

“The Lord said to my Lord:

‘Sit at my right hand

until I put your enemies

under your feet.”’

If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

— Matthew 22:42–46

Furthermore, in Mark 12:35-37, it was pointed out that the scribes had an insufficient view of the Messiah. As Jesus taught in the temple, He asked, “‘Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:
“The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.'” David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?’ The large crowd listened to him with delight.”

How Is Jesus The Son Of David?

It is clear from the opening of Matthew’s chapter that David is the direct ancestor of Jesus. This is the beginning of the New Testament’s initial passages, which also include Jesus’ genealogy (recording generations after generations). According to Matthew 1:17, there were 14 generations between David and Abraham, 14 generations from King David to the ancient Babylonian exile, as well as 14 generations between the captivity of Babylon and Jesus Christ.

It can be seen that the promised Messiah was indeed a descendant of King David in accordance with the Holy Scripture. In addition, because Christ is a lineage of David, He is also qualified to be a part of the Hebrew community of Judah, just as David was.

A different passage in the New Testament, Luke 3:23, contains information about the exact lineage of Jesus. Luke, however, offers us a different viewpoint and extends way back to the beginning of Adam, the very first man God created. On top of that, while Matthew claims that Jacob is the father of Joseph (Jesus’ lawful father), Luke argues that Heli is Joseph’s father.

close up of jesus wearing a golden crown and why is jesus called the son of david


Jesus is known to be the “Son of David,” which denotes that He is descended from David. But this title is not just a description of physical ancestry; it has a Messianic meaning. And with Jesus’ birth, through the help of the Holy Spirit, testament prophecies are fulfilled.

By referring to Jesus as the Son of David, people indicated that He was the prophesied Deliverer, the Savior, the Messiah, or the Anointed One, whom God promised and vowed to Israel’s third king (2 Samuel 7), as well as the absolute completion of the Old Covenants predictions. Matthew highlights in his Gospel how this prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus, which is further acknowledged in the Gospels of Mark and Luke.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does It Mean When Jesus Is Called The Son Of David?

When Jesus is called the Son of David, it signifies His messianic title and highlights His rightful place in the lineage of King David, fulfilling Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah’s descent from David’s line.

Why Is The Title “Son Of David” Significant In The New Testament?

The title “Son of David” is significant in the New Testament because it connects Jesus to David’s royal lineage, emphasizing His role as the promised Messiah and King in the fulfillment of God’s covenant with David.

How Does Jesus’ Lineage Trace Back To King David?

Jesus’ lineage traces back to King David through the genealogies listed in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, which show His descent from David, thereby fulfilling the biblical prophecy of the Messiah’s royal lineage.

Can Jesus Be The Son Of David If He Was Born A Thousand Years After David?

Yes, Jesus can be the Son of David despite being born a thousand years after David because the term “Son of David” refers to His messianic lineage and not a direct father-son relationship, signifying Jesus’ fulfillment of the prophecies regarding David’s descendants.

How Do The Gospels Of Matthew And Luke Differ In Tracing Jesus’ Genealogy?

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke differ in tracing Jesus’ genealogy in that Matthew traces Jesus’ lineage through Joseph, His legal father, to David and Abraham, emphasizing Jesus’ Jewish heritage and royal lineage, while Luke traces Jesus’ lineage through Mary, back to Adam, highlighting Jesus’ universal significance as the Savior of all humanity.

Why Did People In The New Testament Times Call Jesus The Son Of David?

People in the New Testament times called Jesus the Son of David to acknowledge His messianic identity and the belief that He was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah who would come from David’s lineage.

What Role Does The Title “Son Of David” Play In Jesus’ Ministry?

The title “Son of David” plays a crucial role in Jesus’ ministry by affirming His messianic authority, fulfilling the Jewish expectations of a savior from David’s line, and emphasizing His mission to establish God’s kingdom.

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