And he said to them, How say they that Christ is David's son?…
"How say they that Christ is David's son?" Reading David's history, we might exclaim, "How, indeed!" Son of David, Son of God: is not this like son of sin, son of grace? But if in the ancestor sin abounded, in the descendant grace much more abounded; and wisdom will inquire whether there is any relation between the superabounding grace and the abounding sin. We may think of Christ as a spiritual David, and we may think of David as a natural Christ, in this way: we may suppose a nature like Christ's, but without what we know He possessed — a governing, harmonizing spirit of holiness. Imagine that. Imagine one whose natural endowments resembled Christ's, but without the presiding spirit of holiness; then, we say, you would have another variety of David's life — one more distinguished by nobleness, but one marked and saddened with many an act of dishonour. On the other hand, if you suppose David to become perfectly spiritual, to have that presiding holiness which Christ had; amongst all the ancient saints, there would have been none so like the Lord Jesus Christ, though still less than He. And thus it is that we have in David the nature of Christ, but without the Divine harmonic regulation; and we have in Christ the nature of David, but not now with the fleshly irregularities, not sullied by blots, not made the shame as well as in part the glory of Israel, but utterly free from evil. Christ is, then, considered as David's descendant, the inheritor of his sensibilities, which shine in our Lord with completest lustre. He is also the inheritor of his contests; and our Lord overcomes with unvaried and complete victory those temptations which assaulted His ancestor. And by being at once the possessor of his sensibilities and the inheritor of his contests, He becomes the expiation of his sins. You will often find in the history of families that troubles accumulate, and as it were ripen, until they are "laid upon" some one individual; that on this individual rests the burden of evil which has been slowly accumulating. Now, you may have a case in which it seems that the burden of evil so rests that the man is borne down, crushed, and destroyed; and here you say, through the wickedness of his House, this, the last descendant, is utterly shaken and ruined. But you may also have a successful fight; the burden is on the back, but the strength is in the man. This is at once the most burdened and most powerful individual sprung from the race. It is he who, grappling with the evil in its fullest strength, shall retrieve the fortunes of the family. There are historic cases which illustrate that principle. In every family history evil goes on worsening, or good goes on strengthening; and we may have instances of men borne down by the evil, and other instances of men oppressed very greatly and yet triumphing, and so retrieving honour and fortune. Now our Lord Jesus Christ was a spiritual David; He shares — possesses, indeed, to the full — David's sensibilities; He engages in the moral contests in which David so often failed; and He becomes the expiation of David's sins — that is to say, He utterly annuls that power of sin so manifest and hateful in David, and brings in a strength of holiness which, as gradually diffused in the breasts of men, shall cause the instrument that else would be discordant to be a harp of joy — shall refine from earthly alloys that sacred metal which, as God's gold, he will work up into the ornaments and harps of heaven.
(T. T. Lynch.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David's son?