And yet God had already done incredible things for David. He had taken him as a shepherd and set him as king over Israel. He destroyed all of David's enemies and made his name great among the people of Israel. In everything God had done for him, He treated David like a son. And David looked to him as his Father. But God intended to bring forth another Son from the tribe of Judah. And the relationship with this Son was going to mirror much of God's relationship to David.
When the kingdom had been established and the nation was resting during a time of peace, God sent Nathan the prophet to David, to speak these words to him: “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.” (II Samuel 7:12-14)
This promise was twofold. David's son, Solomon, certainly ruled after David and prospered in everything he did because God's hand of favor was upon him. God established him much like He had established David. But God was speaking not only of Solomon, but another who was to come from the line of David. Perhaps David knew and understood that from him was coming One who would be called the Son of God.
This promise is recorded a second time in Scripture, establishing God's covenant to David: “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you.” (I Chronicles 17:13) So it was that the seed of promise was planted, and it was only God's timing that was needed to fulfill it.
Hundreds of years later, after many generations of spiritual silence, the seed took root. As it grew, it brought forth a baby boy, born of Mary in a stable in the small town of Bethlehem. His name was Jesus. He had humble beginnings, and led a simple and customary Jewish life. There was nothing royal about Him or His upbringing. And yet, within Him dwelt everything that God had promised to David.
Jesus, the teacher and healer that ministered throughout Judea, claimed a greater lineage than simply that of Joseph of Nazareth. And for this the Jews hated Him. Jesus did not fit the description in their minds of the One who had been promised since the beginning. They did not believe His claims to be the Messiah, and they accused Him of blasphemy for His claims to be the Son of God. And yet this Man was the perfect and express image of God, the Word of God in the flesh. He was the One God promised to David, the One who was to be called the Son of God.
The Apostle John emphasized Jesus' Sonship in his Gospel. Nine times Jesus is referred to as the Son of God, more than any other gospel account of His ministry. Everything that God had promised to David was fulfilled through Jesus Christ, including a descendant who knew God as His Father, and whom God called a Son. It was for this purpose that John wrote his gospel.
As he stated, “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31) Through John, God wanted to make clear that He had not forgotten His covenant with David. The One who came from him was truly the Son of God.