MUSINGS – December 19, 2018


Matthew 1:1-17
This is the list of ancestors of Jesus Christ, descendant of David and Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah and Tamar were the father and mother of Perez and Zerah. Perez was the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon. Salmon and Rahab were the father and mother of Boaz. Boaz and Ruth were the father and mother of Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of King David. David and Uriah’s wife Bathsheba were the father and mother of Solomon. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah. Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers. They lived at the time when the people were exiled to Babylon. After the exile to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel was the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Joseph, who was the husband of Mary. Mary was the mother of Jesus, who is called Christ. So there were 14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 generations from David until the exile to Babylon, 14 generations from the exile until the Messiah.

Our study of Matthew begins with a genealogy. Honestly, it is the kind of stuff most people just skip over. And I used to do the same thing. However, s few years ago I began tracing my own ancestors.

I’ve traced the Williams line back to my 21st great grand father, Tudor, who born in 1235 in Wales. That was 7 generations before surnames we used. I’ve trance my mother’s line back to my 12th great grandfather, Henchin Cuntze who was born in Germany in 1500. This was all very interesting to me but would probably bore you to sleep.

So why did Matthew begin with this list of Jesus family tree? Because it was important to prove Jesus was a descendent of Abraham and David. Each of these men had received a promise from God about their descendents.

Abraham was promised “Through your descendant all the nations of the earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22:18

David was promised, “Your royal house will remain in my presence forever. Your throne will be established forever.'” 2 Samuel 7:16

Unless Jesus was a descendent, in the natural, of these two men he could not have been the promised Messiah. The Jews kept meticulous records of who was related to whom so it was fairly easy to verify his linage.

Interestingly, when the Temple was destroyed shortly after Jesus death, most of those records were destroyed. That means that no one since that time could prove their linage to David or Abraham. So those who rejected Jesus and are still waiting for the Messiah, have no way to verify any present or future person’s claim to be the Messiah.

That makes Matthew’s beginning of his gosple much more important than even he realized.

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