by Eusebio A. Tanicala, Ph.D.
After Adam and Eve disobeyed God in Genesis 3, the coming of the Messiah was promised immediately. The Messiah was going to be a seed of the woman (3:15).
Old Testament prophecies additionally declare that the Messiah would come from the house of King David. Please see 2 Sam. 7:11-16; Micah 5:2 as explained in Luke 2:4-7. David is from Bethlehem of Judah says 1 Samuel 16.
Also King David served as the type and the Messiah the antitype in many prophecies which show their kinship. Read Psalm 2:7; 22:1, 7-8 & 17-18; 35:11 and 45:6-7.
Even the Pharisees confessed (Matt. 22:41-46) that the Christ is the Son of King David
based on Psalm 110:1.
However, we sometimes wonder how Jesus Christ in the flesh could be traced back to King David when the gospel genealogy reckons the lineage of Joseph (Matt. 1:16, 20; Luke 1:27 and 2:4). Yet Joseph did not touch Mary before Jesus was born (Matt. 1:24-25). But the conclusion and prophecy is that the Messiah must descend from the seed of King David. So we have to trace the blood lineage thro Mary. Joseph should be excluded as a “seed” link. Joseph’s name being in the genealogy of the Messiah is a Jewish practice that the family head represents the family including the wife.
By inference we could establish the “seed” connection of the Messiah to King David through the Virgin Mary.
First, it could be inferred that the Virgin Mary, like Joseph her betrothed husband, or their ascendants, originally were from Bethlehem of Judea, but in the year recorded by Matthew 1 and Luke 1-2, the couple were settled down in Nazareth of Galilee. This Galilee location of the Messiah’s parent and himself was prophesied in Isaiah 9:1.
Second, from Luke 1:26-33, we are told that Joseph didn’t touch Mary, but v. 32 says the Angel Gabriel announced that her son will inherit “the throne of His father David.” King David’s link to the Messiah must be Mary. The Angel Gabriel could not be wrong. He could not lie.
Third, Mary knows the area of Judah because she went to stay there at the start of her conception of Jesus (Luke 1:39). Mary stayed with Elizabeth, wife of Zachariah the priest. The Holy Spirit thro Zachariah, prophesied that his son John (the Baptist) will prepare the way of the Lord (1:76) and this Lord springs from the house of David (1:69). Therefore, the link between David and the Messiah is through Mary who was present in Zachariah’s house and not Joseph.
Fourth, Genesis 3:15 pronounced that the seed of the woman will crush the serpent’s head; Isaiah 7:14 prophesied that the Messiah would be conceived by a virgin and Galatians 4:4 confirmed that Jesus was born of a woman. These three passages exclude Joseph as a link between David and the Messiah. Jesus is the seed of Eve and Mary is the woman virgin who provides the link between King David and the Messiah. Not Joseph.
Fifth to consider is the Roman government’s specific instruction that the census registration be done in the subjects’ very “own city” (Luke 2:3). So from Nazareth of Galilee Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem of Judea for the enrolment (Luke 2:4). Since Joseph and Mary both registered in Bethlehem, such act proves that Mary herself or her family originally came from Bethlehem, the town of King David. This census registration proves that Mary is a descendant of King David.
Sixth, this census trip of Mary to Bethlehem is the time of the Messiah’s birth. So the Messiah was born of a Virgin daughter of King David and born in the town of King David.
The above inferences are sufficient grounds to conclude that Mary is related to the house of King David and these inferences are sufficient to link the Messiah’s humanity to King David.