Summary: The genealogy of Jesus teaches us some important lessons about God

(adapted from a message by Darryl Dash)




INTRODUCTION: A. How do you feel about the genealogies in the Bible?

1. Do you feel it’s about as exciting to read as the phone book?

2. People don’t readily admit it, but it is understood: when reading the Bible, it’s

okay to skip over the genealogies

3. Listen closely to a Bible verse that you probably already know pretty well

--2 Tim. 3:16 – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for

doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

4. That statement in the New Testament includes the “begats” – the genealogies

5. I’m inviting you to join me this evening as we study something you may never

have heard preached on before: Jesus’ genealogy

B. I need some audience participation for the beginning of the message this evening

--I need you to help me

1. I’m going to read a paraphrased version of our scripture

2. I’m going to teach you some hand signals that correlate with a specific response

a. When I give you the hand signal, I want you to give me the response

b. Please help out

--This won’t work if you don’t help. Don’t feel awkward because it’s part of

helping you to understand our scripture passage

c. It’s kind of like one of the old silent movies

3. Here are your hand signals

a. Thumbs up = clap and cheer

b. Thumbs down = boo and hiss

c. Palms forward (two-hand stop motion) = say, “Huh?!?”

d. Hand behind ear = say, “Who?!?”

C. Okay, here we go:

This is the list of the ancestors of Jesus Christ (thumbs up), a descendant of David

(t u), who was a descendant of Abraham (t u)

Abraham was the father of Isaac (t u), who was the father of Jacob – the man who

stole his brother’s birthright (thumbs down)

And Jacob was the father of Judah and his brothers who sold Joseph into slavery (t d)

And Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (stop) by Tamar (ear) and Perez was

the father of Hezron and Hezron was the father of Ram and Ram the father of


And Ammindab was the father of Nahshon, who was the father of Salmon who was

the father of Boaz by Rahab, the prostitute (stop)

And Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, a great woman whose story is told in a

book of the Bible bearing her name.(t u)

And Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David the King. (t u)

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah who he had murdered. (t d)

And Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, a good king (t u), but one who disobeyed

God for several years. (t d)

And Rehoboam was the father of Abijah, who had fourteen wives. (stop)

And Abijah was the father of of Asa, a good king but later disobeyed God and died of

gangrene of the feet. (t d)

Asa was the father of Jehosophat, a king who ruled wisely most of the time. (t u)

Jehosophat was the father of Joram (stop), the father of Uzziah, whose pride caused

his downfall. (t d)

But Uzziah was the father of Jotham , a very good king in every way. (t u)

And Jotham was the father of Ahaz, a very bad king in every way. (t d)

And Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah, who cleansed the temple and re-established the

kingdom. (t u)

Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, who ruled for fifty-five years (t u), but was evil

for most of that time. (t d)

Manasseh was the father of Josiah, who did right in the eyes of the Lord. (t u)

Josiah was the father of Jechoniah (shrug), who was the father of Shealtiel (ear), the

father of Zerubabbel, a governor of the people who was chosen by God. (t u)

And Zerubabbel was the father of Abiud (ear), who was the father of Eliakim

(ear), the father of Azor (ear, the father of Zadok (ear) the father of Achim

(ear), the father of Eliud (ear), the father of Eleazer (ear), the father of Matthan

(ear), the father of Jacob, not the one we mentioned earlier (stop).

And that Jacob was the father of Joseph, the carpenter (t u), who became the husband

of the Virgin Mary (t u), of whom was born Jesus, who we call King of King and Lord

of Lords – the Christ! (t u)

(I had adapted this paraphrase from another source but I can’t remember where)

D. What’s obvious from the prominence given to these names at the beginning of the

gospel of Matthew is that what we consider to be boring and uninteresting was of

great importance to the original audience.

1. Regardless of what you think, genealogies were important in Jesus’ day

--and they’re sometimes important to us today, too

2. Libraries all across our nation contain entire rooms dedicated totally to

genealogical records

--Huge numbers of sites on the Internet are dedicated to the sole pursuit of

researching genealogies

3. When Jesus was born, genealogy determined a lot of things:

a. In order to own land in Israel, you had to be able to show public documents that

proved your genealogy

--Your genealogy gave you the right to own a piece of the Holy Land

b. Most certainly, it would trace you back to Abraham

--It would show your true bloodline

c. Certain privileges were reserved for certain tribes

--For example, to be a priest you had to of the tribe of Levi and – are you ready

for this – you had to have Levi’s genes

4. God’s chosen people knew that the Messiah would come from a certain family of

the house and lineage of David

E. The genealogy given to us in Mt. 1:1-17 is a carefully constructed genealogy

1. The interpretive clue is in vs. 17

--“Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen

from David to the exile in Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.”

2. It’s a very stylized and theological genealogy

--There have been names included and other names excluded for a purpose

3. As 2 Tim. 3:16 teaches, there are some important lessons for us in Jesus’ genealogy


A. Vss. 2-6 summarizes a great period in Israel’s history

1. It begins with Abraham, the father of Israel, and rises through to David

2. It covers the period of the Exodus, the conquest of the Promised Land, and the glorious reign of David

– the greatest king to rule over Israel.

B. Now, you have to dig just a little, but if you do, you’ll find God’ mercy

1. What’s surprising in this section is the mention of four women

2. Today, it’s not a surprise to see the inclusion of women in our genealogies

--But, back then, it was very unusual to do so (and usually only done to highlight the purity of the


3. You would expect, then, for Matthew to mention some of the grand women of the Old Testament:

Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel – the wives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

4. Instead, we see these women listed: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba

C. Let’s look at who these women were:

1. Two of these women aren’t Jewish at all

a. Rahab was a Gentile prostitute and Ruth was a Moabite woman

b. These were women who failed to bring credibility to Jesus’ Jewish heritage

--People would have considered them contamination to the bloodline

2. But God is teaching us about His mercy

a. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy reaching beyond the Jewish people

b. God is letting us know that His love is bigger than the Jewish race, that Jesus is the Savior of all

people, and that what God had promised to Abraham was true:

--“Through you shall all the nations of the world be blessed.”

c. God is not sexist nor is He racist

--God lets us know that the blood of two Gentile mothers coursed through the blood of the Savior of

the world

3. Let’s look at bit closer:

a. Tamar tricked her father-in-law, Judah, into having a child by her by disguising herself as a


--Rahab didn’t have to disguise herself as a prostitute – she was a prostitute; she prostituted herself

to get her own way

b. A cloud still remains over Bathsheba – was she a willing participant or just a victim?

1). Matthew doesn’t even mention her by name

--All we read in vs. 6 is simply, “And David, the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah.”

2). A thousand years have passed at the writing of this genealogy and she still isn’t David’s wife!

--She’s the wife of Uriah, and yet a distant grandmother of our Lord

D. We don’t exactly hold up Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba as role models in our Sunday school

1. God is teaching us that His love is bigger than our sins

--God’s love embraces us even with our sinfulness

2. God used stained, soiled, but repentant sinners, to bring us the Messiah

3. Most importantly, He can use you, too

--In the genealogy of Jesus, there’s an important message about God’s mercy


A. At the beginning of paragraph two in the middle of vs. 5, Israel is riding high on the reign of David

--They thought they were on the brink of paradise in 1000 BC when David was at the height of his reign

1. But everything crumbled; everything went downhill

2. These fourteen generations, from vss. 6-11, carry us to the dark period of Israel’s history – the exile

into Babylon

a. Israel entered into a period of great unfaithfulness to God and Hid commands

b. As we read the stories of the kings who succeeded David, we find that their hearts weren’t fully

devoted to the one true God

1). They worshiped false gods

2). They engaged in immoral acts

3). They showed no concern for the poor

B. God is teaching us about His judgment

1. It’s very easy to mistake God’s love and mercy for indulgence

2. God doesn’t take sin and unfaithfulness lightly

--God always judges sin

3. In the messages given to Israel, God was longing for His people to repent and return to Him

C. We cannot take God’s mercy and love for granted this evening

1. In fact, God just might be waiting for some of us to repent and to stop serving other gods and living a

life of only partial devotion to Him

2. God longs for all of us to return to Him in repentance

--In Jesus’ genealogy, there’s an important message about God’s judgment as well as an important message about God’s mercy


A. The one thing that all forty-two of these people in this scripture passage had in common was this:

--they were all waiting

1. The promise had first come to Abraham

--Gen. 22:16 – “And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have

obeyed me.”

2. Then it came to David

--Ps. 89:4 – “I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.”

3. And people waited, generation after generation, and still no Messiah

4. So, they waited some more

1). You know how hard it is to wait

--We wonder why God is not acting in our lives

2). God did not forget His promises – He remained faithful

a). Gal. 4:4 – “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born

under law…”

--explain what God was doing during the 400 years of silence between the close of the Old

Testament and the birth of Christ

3). God will always accomplish what He promises

--he uses His perfect timetable and not ours

CONCLUSION: A. Not only was Jesus the son of David, He was the Son of God

1. When you read through Jesus’ genealogy, you read, “So-and-so was the father of so-


2. But when you come to vs. 16, you see a peculiar phrase: “And Jacob was the father of

Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.”

a. He’s not Joseph’s son, He’s Mary’s son

b. Not only that but He is God’s Son!

--uniquely conceived through the Holy Spirit

B. When Jesus was born, things changed

1. Whereas, before Jesus came, it was the blood-line to Abraham that was important

a. Now what matters is our relationship to Jesus Christ

b. Now it’s not Abraham’s bloodline but the blood of Christ that washes away our


2. Whereas, before Jesus came, people would say, “Abraham is our father”

--What matter now is not the fatherhood of Abraham but faith in Jesus Christ

C. The amazing thing is that we can enter into this genealogy

1. By faith in Jesus Christ, you can become God’s child

2. Jn. 1:12-13 – “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he

gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor

of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

D. You might be far from God this evening, but God has a message for you:

1. I am merciful

a. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve messed up in your life

b. God is merciful and He loves you

2. I will judge sin

a. Don’t be complacent with God’s mercy

b. Without accepting God’s mercy, you will face His judgment

3. I am faithful

a. God has not forgotten

--He has been faithful generation after generation

b. And He will be faithful to His promises today