THE SON OF DAVID
Matt 22:41-46 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ, whose Son is He? They say unto Him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, the Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is he His son? And no man was able to answer Him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions. (Also See Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44)
Having successfully answered the questions posed by all of the various Jewish sects that were determined to convict Him, Jesus, in turn, asked this question of the Pharisees: What think ye of Christ, whose Son is He? Jesus was not asking their view of Himself personally, but He was specifically asking their opinion about the genealogy of Christ, the promised Messiah. In different wording, this same question was recorded by Mark as, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David (Mark 12:35b)? Jesus posed this question, not for the self-pride of winning a debate, but to prove their misunderstanding and false interpretation of Old Testament prophecies. Their ignorance of the word of God led to many false interpretations. And, due to their lack of humility, these Pharisees refused to concede any error of judgment in the religious doctrine they unyieldingly practiced. It was Jesus' desire to bring to light the true doctrine about the superiority of the Messiah over that of His forefather, David, the highly respected and mighty king of Israel.
The scholarly scribes had openly admitted that Christ is the Son of David. Now Jesus was asking these Pharisees about the heritage of Christ - specifically, from whom did He descend? Immediately they rightly answered Jesus' question by saying that Christ was the Son of David, that is, He was to descend from the tribal line of David. With this admission, Jesus adds this question: How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, the LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on my right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? Taken from Psalm 110:1, this was, not only a directly inspired quotation that David made while being in spirit, that is, while being led by the Holy Spirit of God, but it was a prophetic acknowledgement of the Messiah as the Son of God. The meaning is this: How is it possible that the LORD, that is God, the Creator of all things known to mankind within the universe, could make such statement unto my Lord, (which is the word translated as the promised Messiah - the prophetic title), which establishes Christ as the Ruler and Head of His kingdom, both in heaven and on earth?
The spiritual problem this scripture presented to these Pharisees could be found in this question asked by Jesus: If David then call Him Lord, how is He his Son? In terms that we all can understand, the question is, How is it possible for Christ to be David's heir and succeed him on his throne if, on the other hand, David acknowledged Him as his Lord? Without any other knowledge of God's word, this recognition of Him as David's Lord should have been sufficient evidence that Christ existed even before David made this statement. Proverbs 8:22-31 is a prophetic scripture which even Hebrew scholars say attests to the fact that Christ was with God in the beginning when all things were created. Later, in the gospel of John, 1:1-14, we find this fact confirmed. There Christ is said to be the spiritual Son of God and having existence from the beginning of time. It was this spiritual form of Christ that David identified as his Lord.
On the other hand, the Messiah sent from God came to earth in the form of a man - He was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and was given the earthly name of Jesus. It was Jesus that was physically born through the lineage of David, therefore He was known as the Son of David. What then is the answer to Jesus question: If David then call Him Lord, how is He his Son? First there must be an admission that Christ, the promised Messiah, was divine - He was the Son of God that had existed before the creation of all things and before time began. This fact, these Pharisees conceded to be true. However, they refused to accept the fact that Christ, whom David recognized as his Lord, was the same being as the Son of David, born in Bethlehem, and given the earthly name of Jesus. That Jesus was the promised Messiah is the fulfillment of numerous Old Testament prophecies, all of which the Pharisees refused to believe and accept as the will of God. Therefore, these Pharisees were not able to answer His question, because to do so, they must confess Jesus to be Christ the Savior. Christ, the divine Son of God, was David's Lord; Christ, the man named Jesus, was David's Son.