Key Verse: “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham.” Matthew 1:1
Around a thousand before Jesus walked the earth, David was appointed King. The little shepherd boy who was left out in the field has become one of the most important people in Jewish history. So much so, Matthew begins his gospel by pointing out that Jesus is a descendant of David.
One of the first titles given to David in the Bible is a shepherd. When the prophet Samuel was told to go to Jesse’s house to anoint a king, he found David he was tending to his father’s sheep (1 Samuel 16:11). David didn’t look like a king, but he was the one God had anointed.
Later as David’s title changed from shepherd to king his heart was still to protect, guide spiritually, and feed the people. 2 Samuel 8:15 says, “David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.”
We see these attributes reflected in the prophecies relating to Jesus. Isaiah 9:6-7, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
There are many similarities between Jesus and David. Jesus introduced himself by saying “‘I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” (John 10:14). Jesus, like David, was born in Bethlehem, some 1,100 years after David’s time. In the eyes of many, Jesus too did not look like a king. Just like Samuel didn’t expect a shepherd boy, the people didn’t expect a baby in a manger.
There are many other comparisons, but there is also one vital difference. David was a good king, mightily used by God, but he wasn’t a perfect king. Scripture doesn’t hide David’s mistakes or sins from us. Jesus stands unique because he isn’t just a good king, he is the perfect King. He is not just a good shepherd; He is the perfect Shepherd who laid down his life for us. Jesus didn’t reign and then reign no more. Jesus kingdom is without end. He reigns forever and forever. (Luke 1:33)