Son of David. A loaded phrase in Scripture. It came with ties to royalty, future promises of the Messiah, and an eternal kingdom. Consequently, genealogical records were carefully recorded. Genealogies typically read from father to son as seen in Matthew 1:1-17.
However, in Matthew 1:20, when the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream, the angel doesn’t address Joseph as Joseph, son of Jacob (as recorded in the genealogy), but as Joseph, son of David, “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit (emphasis mine).’”
Why does the angel call out Joseph as a son of David?
Several reasons, I think.
1. The angel emphasized Jesus’ legal tie to David through His adopted father, Joseph.
2. The angel gave Joseph his calling. This scene reminds me of Gideon’s call in Judges 6:12, “When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.’” Was this God’s way of calling Joseph to the task of bringing up the Messiah? Of conveying to Joseph that God didn’t see him as an ordinary Joe, but as a son of David who would rear the One to fulfill God’s promises to David of an eternal kingdom?
If the angelic dream wasn’t enough of a wake-up call, the words, “Joseph, son of David,” would certainly have grabbed Joe’s attention. It called him to the family business. Not carpentry, but the Great Commission. An invitation to play a part in the story of salvation, in the fulfillment of God’s promises to David, and in the arrival of the Messiah.
Joseph, son of David.
You’re called to the family business too, you know. To what is God calling you?
Workout of the Week: The Family Business
Memory Verse: “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit (emphasis mine).’” Matthew 1:20
Meditation Passage: Matthew 1
Do It: Where’s your place in the family business?