A record of the ancestors of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Aram. Aram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz was the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam was the father of Abijah. Abijah was the father of Asaph. Asaph was the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was the father of Joram. Joram was the father of Uzziah. Uzziah was the father of Jotham. Jotham was the father of Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh. Manasseh was the father of Amos. Amos was the father of Josiah. Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers. This was at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel was the father of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud. Abiud was the father of Eliakim. Eliakim was the father of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok. Zadok was the father of Achim. Achim was the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar. Eleazar was the father of Matthan. Matthan was the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary—of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Christ.
So there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen generations from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen generations from the exile to Babylon to the Christ (Matthew 1:1-17, Common English Bible).
Before I entered the ministry I did a fairly significant amount of research into my family’s genealogy. It started because my mother-in-law had been researching Cindy’s family story. I was working the graveyard shift at the time and got off for the weekend on Friday morning. She didn’t like driving into Houston so I would pick her up and we would drive to Houston’s genealogy library. For me, it was important because it wasn’t names in a history book (which I do love to read), these names and stories were the story of my family.
As we begin our study of Matthew’s Gospel, we begin with a short genealogy of Jesus. These family histories are not an uncommon thing in Scripture. The pages and pages of genealogy in 1 Chronicles are among the most disliked reading in all the Bible. if research was done, it would probably be second only to all of the law readings in the second half of Exodus and the book of Leviticus.
While the genealogy texts are not popular reading that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. That importance increases exponentially in the case of the history that is our lesson for today because this is the earthly genealogy of Jesus himself.
This genealogy is important because it shows the fulfillment of not one, not two but three promises God made to the Israelites. In the first promise, actually three promises, God promised Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) a special land, that God would make Abraham’s family a great nation and that through Abraham, all the nations of the earth would be blessed.
God fulfilled the promise of the land when God gave the Israelites the Promised Land. God fulfilled the promise of a great nation in the creation of the nation of Israel. This nation grew to be one of the Super Powers of its day. The third promise from God to Abraham was that through Abraham and his family all the world would be blessed. That blessing came through Jesus Christ, one of the descendants of Abraham.
In the second promise (I know, there were three above but I am counting that as one), God promised David that one of his descendants would sit on the throne(2 Samuel 7). Of course that promise starting its fulfillment with Solomon and continued through many other kings. But, with Jesus it reached its ultimate and eternal fulfillment.
In the third promise, comes after the great Israelite failure to follow God and God then exile’s them to Babylon. In the book of Zechariah the Israelites return again to the Promised Land.
In the history, and the genealogy, in other words, the family of Abraham, play out over 42 generations. That makes for quite a story, a story that includes almost all the Old Testament.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved