Messiah in the New Covenant Scriptures
The first verse of the New Testament is "The book of the genealogy [genesewV] of Yeshua the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham." (Mt.1:1) The verse could be restated: 'The family lineage of Yeshua the Messiah, heir of David, King of Israel, descendant of Abraham, the father of the Jewish people.' The New Testament begins with this genealogy because it is indispensable. Without this Jewish genealogy, there is no Messiah, there is no gospel. That is why God put it first.
God created the Jewish people to bring redemption to all the earth. What He promised, He will do.
Two thousand years ago, God sent the angel Gabriel "to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Miriam....And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Miriam; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Yeshua. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.'" (Lk.1:27,30-33) The Hebrew name of Jesus is Yeshua, which is a shortened form of Yehoshua, i.e. Joshua.
The parallel between Gabriels proclamation and Isaiah 9:6-7 is evident "There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom." Yeshua comes to receive the throne of His father David, King of Israel, and to reign over the house of Jacob, i.e. the Jewish people, forever.
When John the baptist was born, "his father Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying; 'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a
horn of salvation for us in the house of David his servant, as He spoke by the
mouth of His holy prophets from of old, salvation from our enemies, and from
the hand of all who hate us; to show mercy toward our fathers, and to remember
His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us
that we being delivered from the hand of our enemies might serve Him without
fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.'" (Lk.1:67-75)
What the Holy Spirit said through Zachariah parallels what He said through Jeremiah. Messiah is the king descended from David who will bring salvation, security, and righteousness to Israel. In other words, in the time of John the baptist, God was about to begin to do what He had promised to David and to Abraham.
The Gentile wise men came to Jerusalem looking for the Messiah, but they did not know His Name. Their question was in accord with all that they did know about Him. "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the East, and have come to worship Him." (Mt.2:2) They came to
worship the King of the Jews.
Their question and their purpose made Herod very nervous. "And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Messiah was to be born. And they said to him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet, And you Bethlehem, land of Judah; are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a ruler, who will shepherd My people Israel.'" (Mt.2:4-6)
Herod's inquiry as to where the Messiah was to be born showed that he
understood who this King of the Jews was. The chief priests and scribes responded by quoting Micah 5:2. Yeshua is the shepherd of Israel, who comes
forth from Bethlehem to be a ruler over Israel.
On numerous occasions, the gospels record that Yeshua openly responded to and accepted worship as "the Son of David," i.e. Messiah the King. For example, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, "began to cry out and say, 'Yeshua, Son of David, have mercy on me!'...and Yeshua said to him, 'Go your way; your faith has saved you.'" (Mk.10:47-52)
Matthew records that the entry of Yeshua into Jerusalem on a donkey was in fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah: "Say to the daughter of Zion, 'Behold your king is coming to you gentle, and mounted on a donkey even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'" (Mt.21:4,5)
The Rabbinic identification of this verse with the Messianic King of Israel
was so strong that it was said in the Talmud, "If anyone sees a donkey in his dreams, he will see salvation." 2 [Berakhot 56b] Matthew identified Yeshua as Israel's King.
"And the multitudes going before Him, and those who followed after were crying out, 'Hosanna to the Son of David!'" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!'" (Mt.21:9; Mk.11:9-10) The multitudes were rejoicing in, and receiving, Messiah, David's Son. They knew that the kingdom of David would come with him. Their understanding was correct.
Yeshua did not rebuke them or refuse to receive their worship. "And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to Him, 'Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.'
And He answered and said, "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!" (Lk.19:39-40) Yeshua was saying that all Creation would recognize Him as the Son of David, the Messiah, the King of Israel, the Redeemer for all people.
When Yeshua was arrested and brought before Pilate, "Pilate asked Him saying,
'Are you the King of the Jews?' and He answered him and said, 'It is as you say.'" (Lk.23:3) Pilate went out and asked the mob, "Shall I release for you the King of the Jews?" (Jn.18:39) "Then Pilate therefore took Yeshua, and scourged Him. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and arrayed Him in a purple robe; and they began to come up to him, and say, 'Hail, King of the Jews!' and to give Him blows in the face." (Jn.19:1-3) The mockery of the Roman soldiers showed how they despised the Jews and their king. It was political as well as religious.
Pilate brought out a scourged, bleeding man, "And he said to the Jewish
leaders, 'Behold your King!' They therefore cried out, 'Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!' Pilate said to them, 'Shall I crucify your King?' The chief priests answered, 'We have no king but Caesar.'" (Jn.19:14-15)
Like every other criminal, Yeshua was crucified with His name and His crime on His cross, so that everyone could be warned by who He was and what He had done. It was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek. All four of the gospels record it: "Yeshua King of the Jews." (Mt.27:37; Mk.15:26; Lk.23:38;
Jn.19:19) There are not many things that are recorded in all four of the gospels.
"And so the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, 'Do not write,
"The King of the Jews"; but that "He said, I am King of the Jews." '" (Jn.19:21) The chief priests were not willing to recognize Yeshua as the King of the Jews. They did not want a public proclamation of their own guilt in putting Messiah, the Hope of Israel, to death. They also did not want the crucifixion of Yeshua to arouse popular sympathy.
Everyone recognized the title, "King of the Jews," as promising Messianic
deliverance from oppression. Given the hostility of the people toward Roman occupation, the execution of "the King of the Jews" might cause popular rebellion.
Throughout the gospels, Yeshua is identified by the Messianic prophecies and titles that designate the King of the Jews. That designation is inseparable
from the gospel itself. It is the King of the Jews who gave His life to atone for the sins of the world.
Next: Can the Messiah Die?
Why is a Jew? Home Page