16 But he ordered them not to spread the word about him, 17 so that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled:
18 Look, my Servant whom I chose,
the one I love, in whom I find great pleasure.
I’ll put my Spirit upon him,
and he’ll announce judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He won’t argue or shout,
and nobody will hear his voice in the streets.
20 He won’t break a bent stalk,
and he won’t snuff out a smoldering wick,
until he makes justice win.
21 And the Gentiles will put their hope in his name [Isaiah 42:1-4].
22 They brought to Jesus a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak. Jesus healed him so that he could both speak and see. 23 All the crowds were amazed and said, “This man couldn’t be the Son of David, could he?”
21 From there, Jesus went to the regions of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from those territories came out and shouted, “Show me mercy, Son of David. My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.”
6 The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them.
8 Now a large crowd spread their clothes on the road. Others cut palm branches off the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds in front of him and behind him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! [Psalm 118:26]. Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. “Who is this?” they asked. 11 The crowds answered, “It’s the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
12 Then Jesus went into the temple and threw out all those who were selling and buying there. He pushed over the tables used for currency exchange and the chairs of those who sold doves. 13 He said to them, “It’s written, My house will be called a house of prayer [Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11]. But you’ve made it a hideout for crooks.”
14 People who were blind and lame came to Jesus in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and legal experts saw the amazing things he was doing and the children shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were angry.
A key part of David’s story was God’s promise that his royal dynasty would last “forever” (cf. 2 Samuel 7:16, 1 Kings 9:3-5). As we saw yesterday, to human eyes that promise failed—the genetic Davidic line of kings could not continue through and after the exile in Babylon. But the New Testament writers traced both Joseph and Mary’s ancestry to David (cf. Matthew 1:1, Luke 3:31-32). And people repeatedly hailed Jesus as the true “Son of David,” the one who could and did make God’s promise come true at last. (“In languages which use ‘son’ to mean 'descendant,' [Matthew 1:1] must be constructed so that it is clear that David was not the biological father of Jesus, and that Abraham was neither David’s father nor the father of Jesus. Sentences such as ‘one of his fathers of long ago was David and another was Abraham’ or ‘One of his fathers of long ago was David, and one of David’s fathers was Abraham’ will also be good ways to handle the phrase.” *)
Jesus, Son of David, so much in our world tugs me toward hopelessness. Renew and reinforce my ability to live in hope, in confidence that your good reign will indeed last forever. Amen.
* Barclay M. Newman and Phillip C. Stine, A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. New York: United Bible Societies, 1988, p. 10.
** Gordon Matties, sidebar article “David as Example” in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 535 Old Testament.
As the GPS concluded today, David’s story is ultimately about God’s grace. David is a biblical hero, but he wasn’t perfect. He messed up multiple times, yet he was able to turn back to God, and God continued to use David's life for good. God's grace to David illustrates the grace God gives to each of us through the love and mercy of Jesus.
I’ve been thinking about grace a lot lately. In Christian theology, grace is an unmerited gift from God--something we can't earn and don't deserve. And, something that we don't always appreciate.
Sometimes when we get a gift, we accept it, thank the giver, and then put it on a shelf and forget about it--until we need it. Maybe that’s how it is with God’s grace. We need this gift over and over because we’re human, and we are going to mess up, but we forget about it until we need it.
But what would it look like if, instead of keeping grace on a shelf and taking it down when I mess up and need it, I embraced grace and let it radiate through all my relationships and interactions?
This is what a grace-filled life can be. We accept God’s grace and are so filled with God’s love that we naturally extend it to others. Instead of reacting out of anger, we give grace. Instead of assuming negative intent, we give grace. Instead of judging and criticizing, we give grace. And, instead of walking away, we reach out with love and share grace-–unmerited, freely given grace.
Thank you, Lord, for the grace you freely give through Jesus. Help me to live in your grace. Fill my heart with love and mercy as I extend your grace to others.
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