In ancient Israel, the coming Messiah was often referred to as “the son of David”. This is the title by which blind Bartimaeus used when he cried out to Jesus as he was passing by: “O son of David, have mercy on me!” But one day when the Messiah was teaching in the temple in Jerusalem, he pointed out, by asking a simple question, that “son of David” was an inadequate title for him. How could it be, he asked, that the Messiah is David’s son, when David, speaking by the Spirit of God, referred to the Messiah as his Lord (Mt. 22:45, referring to Ps. 110:1). It was a good question. Why would any man call his son his Lord?
The central revelation of the New Testament is that from the foundation of the world, God has had a Son and that God’s Son was His agent in the creation of all things. Only with this revelation can we see the wisdom in Jesus’ penetrating question. God’s Son did not come from David; on the contrary, David, along with all creation, came from God’s Son.
This truth, hidden at the time, lies behind one of David’s prophecies of the fathers of Israel someday reigning over the world with the Messiah. David must have wondered what the Spirit meant when it spoke these words through him, for David was ignorant of the Son. He didn’t know that the Messiah had been with God from the beginning or that the Son was the perfect reflection of the Father. And so, David didn’t know what the Father meant when He spoke through David’s mouth to the Son about the fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and said, “Instead of being your fathers, they will be your sons, and you will set them as princes over all the earth” (Ps. 45:16).