v 23. And it is one of King David’s descendants, Jesus, who is God’s promised Saviour of Israel!
We are now much further along in the history of the early church where Paul is speaking to a Jewish congregation at Antioch Pisidia, a town now part of Turkey. This is the very first recorded sermon by Paul on his missionary travels through Asia Minor. By establishing a link between Jesus and David Paul is able to explain Jesus’ place in Jewish history. In this sermon Paul keeps on looking back to the vital connection with David. He adds
‘“And now we are here to bring you this Good News. The promise was made to our ancestors, and God has now fulfilled it for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus. This is what the second psalm says about Jesus:
‘You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.
For God had promised to raise him from the dead, not leaving him to rot in the grave. He said, ‘I will give you the sacred blessings I promised to David. ‘
It is hard for us as 21st Century Christians from a non-Jewish culture to grasp the significance of this connection between Jesus and David. In Matthew 1 the whole of Jewish history is divided into 3 periods: ‘ All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah.‘
A thoughtful Jew of the 1st Century would have seen these connections with David – one of the vital people in their history – as highly significant.