Matthew 22:42-45 42 saying,
“What do you think about the Christ?
Whose son is he?”

They said to him,
“The son of David.”
43 He said to them,
“How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet”’?
45 If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”

Does Jesus here somehow mean to imply that David recognized the Christ to already be his Lord (not LORD) at the time of the vision? What is the support for this view?

  • Well there are lots of different non-Trinitarian views. Modalism and Tritheism wouldn't have any issue with a pre-existent Jesus. Unitarianism would.
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 3, 2021 at 5:28
  • @curiousdannii, fair enough.... though only certain kinds of Unitarians (the most vocal kind). What's the most efficient way to exclude views where Jesus is identified as the Almighty God?
    – Austin
    Aug 3, 2021 at 5:34

1 Answer 1


Does Matthew 22:43-45 imply the pre-existence of Jesus?

No, what here would suggest that?

As Jesus did, he quotes a Psalm knowing that they had many of these memorised. He reminds them of what was prophesied and promised, and as was the case many times, it was coming true in part before their unbelieving eyes and minds.

In a similar manner he quotes Psalm 22 on the cross - but only the first and last lines. They knew the rest and all he had to do was get them started and they could join the dots of a prophecy coming true right then about who and what he was.

David is able to, 'in the spirit' (Ps 110), as Jesus reminds, look forward to when his descendant, his Lord to be, would sit at Yahweh's side. He understood, in part at least, what and who was coming.

1Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 2The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together, against the LORD and against His Anointed One (Acts 10:38)... 6“I have installed My King on Zion, upon My holy mountain.” 7I will proclaim the decree spoken to Me by the LORD: “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father. 8Ask Me, and I will make the nations Your inheritance^, the ends of the earth Your possession. Ps 2

Heb 1:2 But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things

We know when Jesus took his place at God's side. (Acts 2:32-) After his resurrection, ascension, exaltation to the right hand of God with new spirit life. Even Abraham saw Jesus' day and was glad, just as David did.

Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad. John 8:56

Paul also noted the order of things;

Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. It does not say “and to seeds” as of many but “and to your seed” as of One, who is Christ. Gal 3:16

If therefore David calls Him Lord, how is He his son? Matt 22:45

The Jews were aware of the one to come, they knew of this 'other Lord', but they were limited by the veil that God allowed to remain over their understanding.

And even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 2 Cor 3:15

Can a pre-existent Jesus, who obviously cannot be a man, be David's son? No. We know how he came to be Lord - made so by God and Father Acts 2:36. Clearly David had awareness of God's process and plan and why his inspired Psalms all came perfectly true.

In summary, according to scripture, if Jesus is made heir, appointed, anointed, prophesied to come, foreknown to come, fulfilled prophecy, sits by God's side, made Lord and Christ by God (Acts 2:36) how then could he possibly pre-exist if no verse says he did.

The concept of Jesus pre-existing his conception and birth has no clear revelation in scripture. Only by inference and speculation may this have any credence. By such methodology, many strange ideas have arisen.

  • 1
    "We know how he came to be Lord - after he was raised from the dead by God and Father, who made him Lord." But Jesus claimed otherwise while He walked the earth: You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. - John 13:13. So I am, He said, not so I will be. Aug 3, 2021 at 12:05
  • "God hath made" in Acts 2:36 is in the aorist tense (which indicates the mere fact of the action, with deliberate silence about when the action takes place or how long it would last). Aug 3, 2021 at 12:10
  • Yep correct - well spotted.
    – steveowen
    Aug 3, 2021 at 12:11
  • 1
    @MikeBorden Actually Luke 2:11 states, "for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Jesus was already the Lord before He was "made" Lord at Acts 2:36. Read the context, Acts 2:29-36. Strong's word "made" in Greek is "epoiesen," Strong's #G4160. It means "declare one anything." Romans 1:3-4 explains, "concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, vs4, who was "DECLARED/HAVING BEEN MARKED OUT" the Son of God with power BY THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD etc." The resurrection validated that Jesus was the Lord.
    – Mr. Bond
    Aug 3, 2021 at 20:07
  • 1
    @AlBrown "Before [Abraham] was, I am" Might find the idea of notional pre-existence interesting. Aug 3, 2021 at 23:50

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