46 Jesus and his followers came into Jericho. As Jesus was leaving Jericho, together with his disciples and a sizable crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, Timaeus’ son, was sitting beside the road. 47 When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was there, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, show me mercy!” 48 Many scolded him, telling him to be quiet, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, show me mercy!”
41 Now as the Pharisees were gathering, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
“David’s son,” they replied.
43 He said, “Then how is it that David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, called him Lord when he said, 44 The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right side until I turn your enemies into your footstool’? [Psalm 110:1] 45 If David calls him Lord, how can he be David’s son?”
Jesus went through Jericho, about 12 miles from Jerusalem, just before his life’s last week. Blind Bartimaeus cried out a prayer: “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (“Son of David” was by then a title for the expected Messiah, “Son” meaning “descendant.”) During that last week, Jesus challenged the Pharisees to recognize what it would mean if he really was the “Son of David.” “Jesus is not denying that the Messiah is David’s descendant, a title he has not refused (Matthew 9:27; 15:22; 20:30-31), but is showing that the Messiah is not merely like David. If David addresses this figure as “Lord,” David recognizes one greater than himself, which a mere 'new David' or Davidic descendant would not be.”*
Son of David, Lord of David, Advent is about so much more than tinsel and store specials. Open my heart. Prepare it to welcome the eternal mystery of the God of the universe coming among us with all that saving, loving power in the form of a tiny infant in a manger. Amen.
Place the name of each family member in a jar. Ask each person to draw a name from the jar. Encourage each family member to serve as a “secret servant” to the person whose name they drew. Serve one another by doing kind deeds, drawing pictures, helping with chores, encouraging with hugs or thoughtful words.
During the season of Advent, we are sharing ideas for family activities as we “Countdown to Christmas!” Each day includes a simple way for families to remember what Christmas is all about. See this post and others like it on our @churchoftherez Instagram.
* Zondervan, NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Locations 220689-220692). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
** William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Gospel of Matthew—Volume 2 Chapters 11–28 (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 280.
I love it that Jesus wasn’t at all what was expected. The Pharisees and Sadducees could not wrap their minds around who he was, or how he could be who he was. It wasn’t that they hadn’t read the scriptures, but rather that Jesus didn’t fit their reading. A baby, a boy, a man, flesh among us, King, Messiah, Redeemer, Savior, Author of Life, David’s son, and also David’s Lord, God Incarnate, who came with forgiveness and peace, not judgement. Who invited impure followers, who would then be purified by his atonement for their sin.
In Ephesians 2:8 we read “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” You can see how the gift of Jesus would have been a head scratcher. They didn’t understand the gift. Even today, during a season all about gift giving, this is sometimes the hardest gift to accept. Yet it is the most important gift we have ever been given. The gift is the gospel, the good news, that God became a man for our salvation, that nothing short of God becoming a man to live and to die in our place would do and so God did it, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. It is a lavish and incredible gift, and it is for everyone. This Christmas, all you have to do is stretch out your arms and receive it.
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