|Matthew 1:1-17||Luke 3:23-38|
|This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
4 Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
9 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
12 After the exile to Babylon:
Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,
Abihud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Elihud,
15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.
17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
|23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,
the son of Heli,
24 the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi, the son of Melki,
the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,
25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos,
the son of Nahum, the son of Esli,
the son of Naggai,
26 the son of Maath,
the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein,
the son of Josek, the son of Joda,
27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa,
the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,
the son of Neri,
28 the son of Melki,
the son of Addi, the son of Cosam,
the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,
29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer,
the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi,
30 the son of Simeon,
the son of Judah, the son of Joseph,
the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,
31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna,
the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan,
the son of David,
32 the son of Jesse,
the son of Obed, the son of Boaz,
the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,
33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram,
the son of Hezron, the son of Perez,
the son of Judah,
34 the son of Jacob,
the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,
the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu,
the son of Peleg, the son of Eber,
the son of Shelah,
36 the son of Cainan,
the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem,
the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch,
the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel,
the son of Kenan,
38 the son of Enosh,
the son of Seth, the son of Adam,
the son of God.
Matthew, the tax collector who left all he had to follow Christ when He called, is the author of this first book of the New Testament. His purpose in writing this was to prove to the Jews that this person, Jesus, was in fact the long awaited Messiah. Matthew goes back to the old Testament scriptures over and over again to prove this point. As was Jewish custom, the first way to prove yourself as ‘somebody’ was to give an account of your lineage or genealogy. So the disciple opens his book with proof for Jesus’ right to be heir to David’s throne.
The first set of 14 names (verses 2-6a) show the lineage going back to Abraham, in whom the original promise was given that ‘all peoples on earth will be blessed through you‘ (Gen. 12:1-3). This group also represents the first 1000 years of Jewish history, from the first call of God on Abraham to the first King of Israel. The second set of names (verses 6b-11) show the heirs of the throne, the reign of kings for 400 years, and their entrance into captivity in Babylon. The last set of names (verses 12-16) gives account of the kingly ancestors for 600 years from the return from exile and on until the birth of Christ.
The genealogy is not complete in every single person, as Matthew was grouping them to create an aid to memory. The words ‘the father of’ can literally mean that person’s father, or it could mean grandfather. Up until the destruction of the temple in AD 70, those records were kept scrupulously for reasons of proving one’s priesthood or heir rights to property. God records exactly the lineage we need to see that because Christ was born to Mary, who married Joseph (the heir to David’s throne), Christ was the rightful heir in line to inherit it.
In Luke 3:23-38 we see another genealogy, this one commonly referred to as Mary’s lineage. Whereas the genealogy in Matthew is attributed to Joseph to prove Christ’s kingship, the genealogy in Luke is attributed to Mary to prove Christ’s humanity as being a ‘Son of Man’. That lineage takes us all the way back to Adam and Eve. Though the genealogy in Luke starts with Joseph, it was Jewish custom to place the husband’s name as listed instead of the daughter’s. So we could read it today as saying, “Joseph, the son-in-law of Heli”.
An interesting note in this genealogy is that Matthew includes 4 women besides Mary. As we have already stated, women were not generally included in these lists, however, it is important for us to understand why God has placed them here. The first woman mentioned is Tamar (Genesis 38). She was a gentile who married one of Judah’s sons. That son died before they had children so Judah gave her to his next eldest son who also died before they could have children. Judah thought she was cursed so he lied to her about giving her to the last son when he became old enough. She realized the lie and pretended to be a prostitute so she could become pregnant by Judah and thus produce an heir that would keep her in the family of Israel. Though she did it by sinnful means, she had faith that she would be part of God’s people, and He rewarded her for that in being forever remembered as an ancestor to Christ.
Rahab (Joshua 2, 6:17) was a gentile prostitute who lived in Jericho at the time of Joshua’s mission from God to take over the Canaanite land. She harbored the spies Joshua sent out because she had heard the stories of what God had done in Egypt and wanted to work with God, not against Him. She risked her life by faith and God rewarded her by saving her and her families lives. She then went on to become the great grandmother of David. The next woman noted is Ruth (Ruth 1, 4:13-17). She was a gentile who married the son of Naomi that later died and she became a widow. Ruth left everything she had known to be identified with Naomi and the Jewish people saying, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay i will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God.” – Ruth 1:16. God rewarded her selfless faith by giving her a new husband and installing her as grandmother to King David.
In verse 6b we are introduced to another woman who is known here as Uriah’s wife (2 Samuel 11, 12:15, 18, 24). Her name was Bathsheba and she had an affair with King David. She may be mentioned to actually honor Uriah, who refused to go home and lay with his wife because he wanted to honor David by staying with the other fighting men. David and Bathsheba’s child from the affair died as payment for their sin, but later she gave birth to King Solomon who is known for his wisdom and wealth. Lastly, Matthew record’s Jesus’ mother, Mary. We will go more into detail on Mary in the remaining verses of chapter 1.
Profoundly, because the temple containing the records of Jewish lineage has been destroyed, all that is left is the record of the Bible. You can search it for more indepth genealogical study and really get a full image of why so many people were part of this grand story. All of history leading up to the birth of Christ was for this moment, when a child would be born who would save His people from their sins. There were no accidents, no mistakes, and no second plans as God laid out for all eternity the plans that brought forth a man who fulfilled over 1000 prophecies by the time of His death. Let us consider the truths that Matthew is going to lay out before us as he makes the case that Christ is Messiah.
The faith to which this book points is based on evidence. God always gives reasons for belief. Blind faith is not Biblical faith. – Bible Study Fellowship