Day 5

The Root and Descendant of David

from the Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope reading plan


2 Samuel 7:8-16, Jeremiah 23:1-8, Isaiah 11:1-6, Matthew 12:22-23, Matthew 22:41-46, Revelation 22:16

Have you ever been curious about your own ancestry? Perhaps you’ve even sent off your own DNA sample for a full work-up from a genealogy site. The results are almost always fascinating. Not even thirty years ago, though, if you wanted to know more about where you came from (or who you came from), you had to spend hours and hours digging through public records at the library to piece together birth certificates, marriage certificates, and obituaries. Or perhaps you just happened to inherit the family Bible, replete with a convenient, albeit smudgy, family tree.

Ancestry DNA testing did not exist in the first century, so the Jewish people kept close watch over their family trees, particularly since lineage was so closely tied to the blessings of the covenant: Jacob son of Isaac, Isaac son of Abraham, Abraham son of Terah, Terah son of Nahor… and so on (Luke 3:34). Lineage was incredibly important, and it was seen as “make or break” in terms of purpose or calling.

That Jesus was from the line of David is of monumental significance. Not only did that ancestry fulfill a number of key prophecies about the Messiah, but it also meant that Jesus was intimately associated with all of the most hopeful parts of King David’s reign. To be the root and descendant of David meant that Jesus, by God’s appointment, was called to set right for Israel all that many hundreds of wayward years had set wrong.

We see in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the completion and fulfillment of the Davidic kingship. A completion that David, even on his best days, could not muster. While the Spirit of the Lord filled David as a leader, Jesus and the Spirit were one—intimately and inextricably bonded (1 Samuel 16:13; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:13–17). Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah: “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—a Spirit of wisdom and understanding, a Spirit of counsel and strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD” (Isaiah 11:2).

Jesus, son of David, was and is filled with a Spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and strength, knowledge and fear of the Lord. As the perfect fulfillment of the Davidic kingship, and as the inaugurator of the true kingdom, Jesus actually paved the way for each of us to be grafted into His line. Both fully God and fully human, we joyfully celebrate His birth this season—His life, death, and resurrection, which paved the way for our adoption into the family of God (Romans 8:16–17). By His incarnation, Jesus Christ has expanded the Davidic reach from those with the right lineage to all those who simply lay everything down and call on His mighty name. Praise God.

Written by Andrew Stoddard

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