About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Every Christmas we sing
or hear being sung "The First Noel".
My favourite line from that song is "born is the King of
Israel." Here's how I
understand these words.
Part of what the angel
Gabriel told Mary is as follows. "The
Lord God will give Him (Jesus) the throne of His father David.
He will reign over the House of Jacob (Israel) forever … (Luke 1:31 - 33 HCSB). Although
it's not known for sure, the words "born is the King of Israel"
might be inspired by this passage of Scripture.
Gabriel said that David
was Jesus' father. How is that
so when God is Jesus' father and when Joseph was His adopted earthly
father? In Hebrew culture a
grandfather, great grandfather, great great grandfather, and so on, were
considered to be one's father. In
this respect David was the father of Jesus.
Gabriel also told Mary
that Jesus would
In theological terms,
God's promise to David in 2 Samuel 7 is called the Davidic Covenant.
It's one of those prophecies that have a duel fulfillment.
It was first fulfilled in David's son Solomon but since elements of
this prophecy have eternal implications we understand its ultimate
fulfillment to be found in Jesus. Solomon
was David's son, but according to Hebrew culture Jesus was also David's
son. Like Solomon, Jesus was
born in the lineage of David, thus fulfilling the second fulfillment of
When David heard this
promise he was the king of the great nation of Israel. It was probably easy for him
to understand how this promise would be realized in his son Solomon.
When Mary heard the same promise Israel
was not a nation. Many Jews
lived in the Roman
never did become a nation in Mary's lifetime.
Jesus never did restore Israel
to its former glory. Jesus
never did rule as
If the rebirth of Israel
in 1948 means anything to this issue, which I believe it does, the
realization of the promise made to David and Mary could be around a few
prophetic corners. So, when we
sing "born is the King of Israel" we're not only singing about
Jesus' birth into humanity, we are singing about His physical return to a
restored nation of Israel
where He will sit on David's throne forever.
will finally fulfill its original calling to be the priest of God to the
nations (Exodus 19:6 - Isaiah 49:6). This
is my understanding of the phrase "born is the King of Israel."