“Have mercy on us, Son of David!” (Matt. 9:27)After Jesus went inside a building they followed him in, and this is where Jesus confronted them with the above question.
They said yes:
"Yes, Lord," they replied. (Matt. 9:28)One of the essential points of this exchange is that the blind men greeted Jesus in an appropriate way, and he responded to them. They addressed Jesus as the “Son of David.”
But we know that Jesus’ body was not born of David’s semen. We know that David lived about a thousand years before Jesus’ time - his life is put at around 1040 BC to 970 BC. So how could Jesus be David's son?
Yes, Matthew gives a genealogy connecting Jesus’ ancestry to King David, this hardly makes Jesus David’s son.
Furthermore, there are glaring problems with this chronology of Matthew, and the interpretation that Jesus is David's son.
The first problem is that according to New Testament texts and their translations, Mary was a virgin. This means that Joseph did not father Jesus. If we accept that Joseph did not father Jesus we cannot accept that Jesus' physical body is in line with David's family, which according to Matthew 1:1-16.
And yet, two verses later, it states in Matthew:
This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 1:18)And yet Matthew 1:1 still states, before it lists the fathers and sons supposedly leading up to Jesus:
This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matt. 1:1)So how could Jesus be the "son of David" who was the "son of Abraham" if Joseph - the son of Jacob the son of Matthan the son of Eleazar and so on up to Abraham according to Matthew 1:1-16 - was not the father of Jesus' physical body?
Furthermore, the lineage detailed in Matthew 1:1-18 is completely different than the lineage detailed in Luke 3:23-38. This genealogy starts backward from Joseph:
Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, (Luke 3:23-25)This lineage continues not just back to Abraham, but also to Adam. The problem is that the genealogy is completely different between Joseph and Abraham. Consider just the portion of the lineage right before Joseph according to the Book of Matthew:
Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph (Matt. 1:13-16)This says that Jacob is Joseph's father, but in Luke it says that Heli is Joseph's father. The Book of Matthew says that Matthan is Joseph's grandfather and Eleazar is his great-grandfather while Luke says that Matthat is Joseph's grandfather and Levi is his great-grandfather.
The contradiction between the genealogies of Luke and Matthew doesn't stop there. The genealogy is completely different all the way through to David. In Matthew, Joseph is in line with David's son Solomon while in Luke, Joseph is in line with David's son Nathan. And there are other differences as well between the two genealogies.
So they are completely different genealogies to Joseph, and Joseph was not even the father of Jesus' physical body according to the texts.
Furthermore, we find this statement in Luke's genealogy to consider as it rises up the chain to Adam:
the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:38)So rather than Jesus being the son of God, Adam is the son of God? And Jesus, who is by these texts, not Joseph's son, is the son of David - though David lived 1,000 years before?
So what is going on?
The central problem is the misunderstanding - and subsequent misinterpretation and mistranslation - relates to Jesus' relationship with the Supreme Being as well as to David, Abraham and other prophets. The other part of the issue is the mistranslation and misinterpretation - and therefore the manipulation - of the texts by those ecclesiastical scribes who did not understand the basics regarding Jesus' relationship with the Supreme Being.
A critical element relates to the translation and use of the Greek word υἱός (huios). It is clear from not only the lexicon, but other uses of this word throughout the scriptures, that this word does not always mean "son" as in the male son - the physical body - of a father. Just consider these other uses of the word υἱός (huios) (in bold):
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (Matt. 5:9)We can see from these translations of υἱός (huios), that the word doesn't always mean "son" as in the physical male son of a father.
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matt. 5:44-45)
"And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges." (Matt. 12:27)
Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage." (Luke 20:34)
"They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection." (Luke 20:36)
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are." (Matt. 23:15)
"Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:12).
The lexicon elaborates on this meaning:
used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower 1) a pupil
Thus we can apply the word υἱός to the situation where a person is a follower of another - or dependent upon another. These two applications cover many of the uses above.
And in the case of Jesus being the "son of David" - we can clearly understand this is a mistranslation by those who wish to focus upon the physical body rather than the spiritual teachings of Jesus.
This would relate to Jesus being a follower of David. Or a servant of David.
In other words, one who is practicing the teachings of David. One who is in line with David's teachings.
This is the same misunderstanding with respect to those who were "anointed" - which was translated in the New Testament to "messiah."
While the ecclesiastical interpreters of the Old Testament texts would like us to thing the "anointed one" relates to someone who was the king of Israel - it actually refers to someone who was a spiritual teacher - someone empowered by the Supreme Being to represent Him. This is confirmed in this statement by God:
"Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve Me as priest. Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve Me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue throughout their generations."Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve Me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue throughout their generations.” (Exodus 40:15)This word - anoint - coming from the Hebrew word מָשַׁח (mashach) is a synonym of the Greek word Χριστός which also means "anointed". It relates directly to the empowerment of someone by the Supreme Being to be His representative:
"so they may serve me as priests"This was in fact Jesus' role, and he admitted this was his role:
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me." (John 7:16)Jesus also said:
"For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken." (John 12:49)These two statements - along with many others - clearly indicate that Jesus was empowered by the Supreme Being as His representative. This is Jesus' role and identity.
Certainly this does not reduce Jesus' importance. The issue is that when we are reading about Jesus' teachings and his activities, we can understand that those teachings are coming from the Supreme Being, and those actions are pleasing to the Supreme Being. This was confirmed by Jesus:
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)This specifically relates to Jesus' statement above - “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)
Jesus is not feeling that by having faith that Jesus is able to do this is only having faith in Jesus alone. Jesus is referring to the power and authority given by the Supreme Being to Jesus.
And thus believing in Jesus' abilities is believing in the Supreme Being. He said this specifically:
“Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the One who sent me." (John 12:44)This is a central point about who Jesus was and where he gained his authority. When Jesus went to John the Baptist to be baptized, this sends the message of Jesus' authority. Jesus was not teaching on his own authority. He was clearly accepting himself a student of a teacher following and teaching the teachings of David, Abraham and Moses. Becoming a follower of John made Jesus a follower of David, Moses and Abraham.
John had also trained under a particular teacher in line with David. This tradition of teacher and student has been an honored tradition and the process for passing God's information and becoming linked up with God. We can see this also when Jesus took students, and then told them to go out and pass on his message to others - taking on their own students. In other words, Jesus wanted his students to in turn teach and take on students - which they did.
Since Jesus was also passing on the same message as John the Baptist, and John was passing down the message of his teacher, we can know that the God utilizes a lineage of messengers as His representatives, in order to pass on the essence of how to return home to Him to different generations and cultures.
Therefore, the authority to represent God is not created by an election by men in an ecclesiastical-political process. It is transmitted and given via a personal relationship between the teacher and the student - and ultimately, the Supreme Being.
This defining of the position and authority of Jesus in no way diminishes Jesus’ position as our savior and master. Jesus had an intimate relationship with God: A relationship that transcends time and space. A special and deep relationship of loving service. Though the writings of Jesus' followers we become aware of the teachings of Jesus. These followers - to the degree they were empowered by their relationship with the Supreme Being - became linked up with Jesus' mission, and recorded Jesus' teachings for us. For it is through them that we know today that Jesus' most important instruction mirrored Moses' most important instruction:
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)
(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Book of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus - translated from the original Greek texts.)