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Summary: Just a list of names? (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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it shows his humanity

it shows his authority

it shows his divinity


all people are important

all people will die

Sermon Text:


• “Who Do You Think You Are?” is a BBC television documentary series,

• In each episode, a celebrity goes on a journey, in order to try to trace their family tree.

• Four series have currently aired and a fifth series will air in 2008.

• Already planning a sixth series in 2009.

• Some of the celebrities have discovered they are related to royalty;

• Others that there was a rogue or two in the family tree!


The children in a prominent American family;

• Decided to give their father a book of the family’s history for a birthday present.

• They commissioned a professional biographer to do the work:

• Carefully warning him of the family’s ‘black sheep’ problem:

• Uncle George had been executed in the electric chair for murder.

The biographer assured the children:

“I can handle that situation so that there will be no embarrassment,

I’ll merely say that Uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important Government Institution.

He was attached to his position by the strongest of ties and his death came as a real shock.”

• To the casual reader of the Bible;

• These verses are about as interesting as reading the telephone directory!

• But if we give them time we discover they are more than ‘Just a list of names’;

• Those names relate to people who play an important part in world history!

In the four Gospels we have two different genealogies (family trees):

• One by Matthew and one by Luke;

• And if you put the two together you will see some big differences.


• Matthew’s genealogy begins with Abraham and moves forward to Jesus.

• Luke’s genealogy begins with Jesus and moves backward to Adam.

• Matthew’s genealogy is descending from Father to Son.

• Luke’s genealogy is ascending from son to father.


• Matthew’s genealogy goes back to Abraham.

• Luke’s genealogy goes back to Adam.

• Matthew is writing primarily to a Jewish readership (Abraham – Father of the Jews);

• Luke is writing to a world-wide readership (He shows Jesus linked to the first man).


• Matthew genealogy contains 42 names.

• Luke’s genealogy contains 77 names (if you include the names Jesus, Joseph & God).

• Many scholars believe that Matthew gives us the genealogy of Joseph.

• While Luke gives us the genealogy of his mother Mary.

• ill: The stories recorded in the opening chapters of each gospel show;

• Matthew focusing on Joseph & Luke seems to focuses on Mary.


• Although there are differences in the lists;

• Both family trees show the ancestry of Jesus was through King David.


• What you cannot do is just add up the ages of those on the list;

• And find out how old humanity is – some have tried that!

• It was the accepted norm to only record key or certain people;

• Some generations are deliberately missed out, but not the key individuals.

• Now although there are differences in the lists;

• Both family trees show the ancestry of Jesus was through King David.

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