Summary: I have read the Bible several times, but to be honest I must admit that I sometimes skip the genealogies. But it occurs to me that since the Spirit of God used so much ink to give them to us that there must be something in there that we need to know.
Genealogy of Jesus Christ
Luke 3:23-38 (Focal Passage)
23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli,
24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph,
25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,
26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah,
27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,
28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er,
29 the son of Jose, 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 Jonan, the son of Eliakim,
31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, 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 Cainan,
38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
Admittedly, most people find genealogies very boring. I have read the Bible through several times, but to be honest I must admit that I sometimes skip the genealogies. But it occurs to me that since the Spirit of God used so much ink to give them to us that there must be something in there that we need to know, and that makes them very important.
The New Testament rests upon the accuracy of the genealogies, because they establish the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ came from the line of Abraham and the line of David and from the tribe of Judah. This is very important.
The genealogies were important to the nation of Israel, because with them they could determine if a person had a legitimate claim to membership in a particular tribe. For example, when Israel returned from captivity, we find in the book of Ezra, “These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean” (Ezra 2:62). It was possible for these people to check the register of the tribe of Levi, and when they did, they found out that some made false claims to family membership.
Evidentially, the government, probably in the temple kept these genealogies, and people had access to them. They may have been available to the public until the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. Now this is very interesting because the enemies of Jesus could have checked the records to see if Jesus came from the lines of David and Abraham and from the tribe of Judah, and they probably did check. It is also interesting to note that the religious rulers challenged every move that Jesus made, even claiming that He cast out demons by the power of Satan, and offering substitutionary explanations for His resurrection, but they never once questioned His genealogy. The reason must be that they checked it and found it to be accurate. This is very important because it puts Jesus in a unique position and it supports what He said about Himself. He said in John 10:1-2, “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.” He said that the shepherd enters by the door, but a robber must enter some other way. The “sheep pen” here is the nation Israel. Jesus did not climb over the fence, come through the back door, or slip through a side window. He came legally, through the gate. He was born in the line of David and in the line of Abraham. What Matthew is telling us is that He is the fulfillment of everything in the Old Testament. They had to find some other way to discredit Him.