Today in church, we talked about the end of Matthew 20 and a little bit of 21. At the end of chapter 20, Jesus is leaving Jericho and two men shouted out to him, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" and Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. They asked for their sight, and so He had compassion on them and gave it to them. It says, "Immediately they received their sight and followed him." -20:34b.
Well, it is interesting that they called him the "Son of David" here. Throughout the book of Matthew, we see Jesus being called the "Son of David" when he heals others. Elsewhere he is called teacher, like when the rich young ruler asks him what he must do to get to heaven, but it's only when he is being called "the Son of David" that He heals people.
Why? What's the connection?
It has to do with the kind of King Jesus was (and is).
Let's look at David for a minute. David was a servant to the people, one who put the people's needs before his own and cared for them, unlike most kings of the ancient near east who only cared about themselves and their power, and getting more. In 1 Samuel 23 we see David asking the Lord if he should go to Keilah and save the people from the Philistines. David saw his people being oppressed, and he knew it was within his power to do something about it.
He had nothing to gain by going to Keilah, and everything to lose. But he did in fact go, and delivered the people. However, the Lord urged him on to go somewhere else because the people would turn him over to Saul, who was looking to kill him. They betrayed him.
It is here we see the similarity between Christ and David.
Again, by going to Keilah David had nothing to gain and everything to lose. But he saw that his people were being oppressed, and knew he could do something about it. Then, the people betrayed him.
Christ came into this world as a man with absolutely nothing to gain, and everything to lose. But He saw that His people were being oppressed, and He knew it was within His power to do something about it. And then, the very people He came to save betrayed Him.
What a King we have! One who came not to be served, but to serve.
It is also interesting that this comes right after the story of the mother asking Jesus to grant her sons permission to sit at the right and left hand of God in His kingdom. Christ responds by stating that even though gentile kings lord their power over others, it is not so in the kingdom of God. Instead, He says, "whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:26-28).
So here we have another confirmation of the kinf of King God is- a King who serves.
To further illustrate this, let's look at Phillipians. Phillipians 2:5-11, it says: "Therefore your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Sorry that was kind of long, but you see how He is? He's a servant!
Thank God for Christ. He's the kind of King I want to have!