Summary: First message in Matthew - about not letting your heritage hold you back and leaving a positive heritage behind you!

Leaving a Positive Legacy

Matthew 1:1-17

November 30, 2003


I have a question for you, and you need to be real honest here, okay?

How many of you skip the genealogies when you read the Bible? It¡¦s okay, I¡¦m not going to embarrass you in front of everybody!

You know, I tend to read through them very quickly, but I have recently been convicted of something: if the Bible is God¡¦s Word, then that means the genealogies as well.

There¡¦s a reason God put these in here. And so now I try to read them carefully, and you know what? I actually find something useful almost every time I do.

This morning, as we begin our look at the gospel according to Matthew, we are going to read through this genealogy.

This is found on page 681 of the Bibles in the seats

And before you tune me out, let me just tell you that I promise you¡¦ll get something out of this, okay? So hang with me.

And as I read this, let me demonstrate how you should read genealogies, okay?

1 A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:

2 Abraham was the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, (Wow! They had Dodges back then?)

4 Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon,

Nahshon the father of Salmon,

5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,

6 and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,

7 Solomon the father of Rehoboam,

Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa,

8 Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,

Jehoram the father of Uzziah,

9 Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,

10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah,

11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

13 Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,

14 Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud,

15 Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,

16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.

What is your family history like? Is it full of people who have made a positive difference?

Maybe it¡¦s got a few nuts that have fallen off the family tree. Maybe your family history is filled or spotted with criminals.

It could be that your history is a sad one.

The idea here is that we all have a family history, whether good or bad.

We can¡¦t do anything about the legacy given to us, but we can do something about the legacy we leave for those who come behind us.

Today I want to talk to you about leaving a positive legacy. The fact of the matter is that we will all leave a legacy. You can choose what kind of legacy that will be.

So today I want to give you three steps to leaving that positive legacy.

1. Acknowledge your own legacy.

You might as well! You can¡¦t do anything about it!

We all have two parts to our history:

„« Our ancestry.

Unless you¡¦re Adam, you have a family history called an ancestry. And if you¡¦re like most people, it¡¦s not made up of perfect people.

You know what? Jesus¡¦ ancestral line wasn¡¦t perfect, either!

The genealogy of Jesus is packed with people who did not meet the standard of perfection.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are recorded in Scripture as men who lied when it was convenient, and cheated people. Yet God chose these men to begin the line of the Messiah.

We go down to verse 3 and we see Judah. He was the leader of the tribe of Judah, and he is named with Tamar.

Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah. She was married to one son of Judah who died. She was then given to another son, who also died. God had put both of them to death because they were evil.

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