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In Luke 18:36-37 [NASB]:

Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was. They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he called out, saying, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Why is the blind man calling out "Son of David" instead of "Jesus of Nazareth", as told by the people in the previous verse?

We know that "Son of David" has a very long history, going back deep in the biblical past. And in both Hebrew and Christian context, it is conveying theological meaning. From a Christian outlook, isn't it a little bit to early, for using this title? From a Jewish outlook, is it appropriate, as the reply to the question was "Jesus of Nazareth"? Is this just a Matthew influence in Luke?

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I believe it was common knowledge to the Jews that the Messiah/Christ was to come from the lineage of David. This is based upon notes in my Bible which refer to 2 Samuel 7:12, Psalm 89:3-4, and Psalm 132:11-12. I'm sure there are more but these should suffice. Also here is what Jesus said to the Jews at Matthew 22:42-45, (And I know that the Jews did not have the New Testament) "What do you think about the Christ, whose Son is He?" They said to Him, "The Son of David.'

Matthew 22:43-45

(43) "He said to them, "Then how does David in the Spirit call Him Lord saying, (44) "The Lord said to My Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Until I put Thine enemies beneath Thy feet?" (45) If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his son?"

As a side note the same account at Matthew 20:30 you have two blind men whereas Luke only records one blind man. This is not a contradiction but I do want to make the point that one of the blind men addressed Jesus Christ as "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David."

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  • Yes indeed, that Messiah was to come from the lineage of David was common knowledge. However, my question was rather aiming at the relation between this common knowledge and Jesus of Nazareth as a historical person. Is your answer implying that the blind man is using "Son of David" instead of simply "Jesus of Nazareth" because he knew already that Jesus of Nazareth could be the Messiah? If yes, do we have any evidence that this information (Jesus of Nazareth = the Messiah) was circulating among the people, so that someone from Jericho may have been aware of this? Nov 28, 2019 at 14:57
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    First of all we do not know the operation of one's mind. In other words, we do not know specifically on what basis the blind man chose to address Jesus as the "Son of David." Also notice that the latter part of Jesus' ministry Jesus travels to Jerusalem. Read Luke 18:31-32. In view of this it is a pretty good bet that some of the Jews knew Jesus was the Messiah. If you read John 4:7-25 Jesus ask the Samaritan woman for a drink of water, vs7. Then at vs25 she says the Messiah is coming and at vs26 Jesus says, I who speak to you am He." She then left her waterpot saying "is this the Christ?"
    – Mr. Bond
    Nov 28, 2019 at 17:04
  • Thank you for your comment. As this is a public space, can you please review your answer adding there what you have explained here in your comment? Finding everything that you said in only one place could be helpful for other people who are interested in this matter. Dec 2, 2019 at 17:52
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That Messiah was to come from the lineage of David, was a theological truism for Jews. That's why this blind man by appellation "Son of David" acknowledges the Messiaship of Jesus.

As to the passage from Matthew (22:43-45), here Christ rises the earth-bound theology of Jews to a new and heavenly-bound theology, for they thought about the Messiah/Christ in terms of a political leader, an earthly king, whereas Christ taught them that He is heavenly King, the one who sits on the same throne with the Father, for the "right hand" here means the same level, and the same level with Lord the Father is only Lord the Son, and that's why Christ teaches that even David regarded Him as his, David's Lord, thus He is David's "son" or descendant only from the genetic-bodily sense, whereas at the same time He is David's Lord and Creator alongside with the Father.

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