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ďThe Genealogy of JesusĒ Sermon Series on Matthew
Matthew 1:1-17
Robert Warren
Westmoreland Church of Christ
February 26th, 2005

A genealogy is a list of a personís ancestor, showing their family tree. To be honest, they are usually not very interesting. They list name after name of people that are mostly forgotten with the rare name that might stand out, if you happen to be related to somebody famous. But in general, they are people that you have never heard of, and their lives are usually boiled down to a few dates and relationships. And for me, genealogies are confusing. I have a hard time making sense of who is related to whom and what relationship they are to one another.
There is a song that sums up genealogies to me. It tells about a widow who remarried. Her grown daughter later married her new husbandís father. Each couple had a child. The song says:
This made my dad my son-in law,
my daughter was my Ďmother,í cause she was my fatherís wife.
Fatherís wife then had a son,
he became my grandchild, for he was my daughterís son.
My wife is now my motherís mother,
now if my wife is my grandmother,
then Iím her grandchild...
As husband of my grandmother,
Iím my own grandpa. (from Holmans New Testament Commentary, "Matthew")
Got all that? Families are confusing, arenít they? Still, all that being said, I think that there is a part of us all that is very interested in our family tree. Deep down inside we want to know the history of our family, to know where we are from. Personally, Iíd like to know what kind of people my ancestors were, to know what kind of struggles they went through, to know how they came to this country and how I ended up where I am. But most of all, Iím always amazed at how unlikely it is that all of us are here. Think about it: if each and every one of your ancestors had not met and produced each and every one of your ancestors when they did, you would not be here. Take away one husband or one wife somewhere down the line and you would not exist. Tracing back your family tree is a lesson in how uncertain life is. Of course, you could argue, youíre here because youíre here, itís just a matter of chance, but imagine if you were trying to ensure that a child would be born generations and generations in the future: it would be impossible. And that brings us to the scripture today.
Matthew begins his account of the story of Jesus with a genealogy. A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, is how he starts his book. Doesnít sound very exciting, does it? To be honest, a lot of people, if they were going to start a study of Matthew, would probably just skim over the first chapter of Matthew. Iíve always wanted to memorize as much as I could of the New Testament, but have never started because I didnít think I could learn all those names. After all, when most people think of the bible and the difficulties in reading it, itís because they think the bible is just a bunch of "So-and-so