“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”–Luke 1:32-33
The angel Gabriel said unto Mary concerning Christ, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
It was a tremendous moment when the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth. The angel was sent to announce that the Messiah was to be born of the Virgin Mary. Concerning the Messiah, Gabriel stated six events would take place. First, the baby, born of a virgin, would be called Jesus. Second, the child would grow to greatness. Third, He would be called the Son of the Highest or the Son of God. Fourth, the Lord God would give unto the child the throne of His father David. Fifth, the child would one day reign over the house of Jacob forever. Sixth, there would be no end of His kingdom.
During the advent season, as hearts are focused upon the baby born at Bethlehem, it is important to realize that every one of the prophetic utterances has been, or is being fulfilled. Jesus was born of a virgin. He did grow to be great. He was called the Son of the Highest. He is still worshiped by millions today as the Son of the Living God. And there was a time when the Lord God gave to Him the throne of his father David. The Father could give the “throne of David” to Christ in a natural, legal sense, because He was entitled to it as the two genealogies reveal (Matt. 1; Luke 3).
This concept of giving the throne to someone is understandable when the case of Charles, Prince of Wales is considered. According to English custom and law, Charles is the next heir to the British throne. No one else in all of the Empire, or in the entire world is in a position to be the next king of England, for that honor belongs to Charles alone. It is his because he has been born of royal blood by Queen Elizabeth II. The Prince of Wales is unique, and according to established law, he will no doubt one day be crowned the King of England. He was born to be king.
In like manner, Jesus was born to be the rightful ruler over the nation of Israel. According to His natural genealogy, he was a direct descendant of David. Had the Romans not ruled the world, and had royal Jewish lineage been preserved, the natural honor due to Jesus would have been rendered. Some people, like the Magi, understood this point. They recognized the crown rights of Jesus as the legitimate heir to the throne of David, which is why they went to Herod, and asked, “Where is he that is born king of the Jews?”
Herod had not been born a king. He held the title and office due to a political appointment by Rome. That was why he was so jealous and so zealous to kill the Christ child. The baby was a threat to his security, for Jesus was born to be king. And the day came when Jesus was crowned as king for our text says that the Father would give Him the throne of his father David. The obvious question is, “Did this ever happen, and if so, when?”
The simple answer is, “Yes!” Jesus did receive the throne of David, but the prophecy was fulfilled in a spiritual way. It must never be forgotten that behind the literal, there is the spiritual understanding of human events. The Lord Jesus received the spiritual throne of David at His ascension following His resurrection. Peter made this plain on the Day of Pentecost as per Acts 2:32-36. “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
“Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
It has been the faith of the Christian church for almost two thousand years that Jesus Christ was crucified, that He died according to the scriptures. He was buried and rose again on the third day. He ascended into heaven and was seated on the right hand of God the Father from which place He now reigns in an exalted manner over the nations of the earth in general, but over the “House of Jacob” in particular.
The “House of Jacob” is the Old Testament name for the spiritual people of Israel. The “House of Jacob” goes beyond the racial Jew to include the regenerate Jew. The regenerate Jew is anyone who has the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
To this select group are added all Gentiles, who, by faith, also embrace the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The New Testament expression of this union of spiritual Jew and spiritual Gentile is the church, the ecclesia, the called out ones. It can be argued that from His exalted throne in heaven, in fulfillment of ancient prophecies, Jesus Christ does rule, and He does reign over the “House of Jacob.”
It is a proper gift of God the Father for His Son, the King of all kings.