Jesus and David: The King Who Was Not Yet

Derek Ouellette —  October 25, 2011

In Simply Jesus Wright explores a few would-be Jewish kings between 160 BC and AD 135 and shows the pattern of each being seen as the king and acting like the king prior to their actually crowning and taking of the throne.

Not surprisingly this chapter is titled “The Kingdom Present and Future”. Yet, again, in a fashion that is very much Wrightian, he pulls out an interesting parallel about the familiar story of David and relates it to Jesus as the king is and was to come.

He writes (p.116):

“Think even of King David himself, a thousand years before. David was anointed by Samuel quite some time before he was finally enthroned. Was he king during this period? Well, yes, from one point of view. But, from another point of view, no; Saul was still king, and David in consequence had a price on his head.”

Then he adds,

“It is not insignificant, as we have seen already, that Jesus at one point likens himself to David at exactly this stage of his [i.e. David’s] career (Mark 2:25-28).”

Jesus, the king who was king during his earthly ministry and yet his kingdom was still on the horizon.

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • Brian LePort

    I’ve used this example before as well. It is a great parallel for what we see God doing for Jesus as David. Of course, the one difference is that Jesus presently reigns in the heavenlies so in some sense we can say he has been enthroned while waiting for his Kingdom to come to fullness wherein David had not.

    • Derek Ouellette

      The difference is – and there’s is where Wright left me a bit hanging – is that it seemed he was doing the “Kingdom Present and Future” thing as it related to Jesus during his earthly minister (the present) and after his resurrection (the future). In other words I don’t think he was using “Kingdom Present and Future” in our common “Already but Not Yet” sense. Jesus’ during his earthly ministry was like David in the wilderness – anointed with a following, doing kingly things, but he wasn’t actually on the throne until the decisive battle with Saul (i.e. Satan at the cross) was won. It was only then that he ascended to the right hand of the Father.

      Then Wright points out that Jesus himself – in his own context – point to his earthly ministry in relation to David in the wilderness in Mark 2.

  • Ken Mafli

    “David was anointed by Samuel quite some time before he was finally enthroned.”
    Excellent point by Wright. I honestly had not considered that before… but it is a powerful imagery. David, though anointed king would take his commission and make it a reality by advancing his authority throughout the territory that God gave him. Just like the King we now serve.
    Great Post!