Intro: This morning, we are going to start a new series that may take weveral weeks. We are going to begin looking at Jesus as we see him presented in the gospel of Matthew, and in so doing, look at what it means for us to be like him. This morning we’ll start in Matthew chapter 1.
I think each of us can remember a number of years ago when a man named Alex Haley produced a book and mini-series about his quest for finding his ancestors: Roots. All of America was thrilled to follow the story of Kunta Kinte. I think deep down inside we all have a quest to find out our heritage.
I know that my dad has taken a great interest in tracing our family heritage. He faithfully goes to the local Historical Society looking for clues to find out where his great, great grandfather came from or where he is buried.
Some times people can find out embarrassing things about their ancestors. Sometimes too much searching will find thieves, mixed marriages, and other "skeletons in the closet." I’m reminded of a story about the suave politician who was having a fancy fundraising dinner. Everyone was present in their fancy tuxedos and dresses. The politicians brother from the backwoods was in town that weekend, and he wanted to come to the dinner. The soup was served as the politician got up to speak, but the soup was incredibly hot. Just as the politician started speaking, his brother took a sip of soup,and because it was so hot, he spit it out all over the table. As a hush came across the group and everyone started to stare, the brother said, "Some fools would have swallowed that."
Many times as we look at our families, there can be a shame or embarrassment, but many times those same family members are the ones who can teach us the most about life, love, integrity, and serving God. Jesus was a man who knew his roots. We find here recorded for everyone to read the geneology of Jesus. Let’s read it now. Matthew 1:1.
A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 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.
Tol be like Jesus means to accept our roots: to not be controlled by past failures, but to look at all that has happened in the past as preparation for future ministry.
I. Looking at Christ’s Family Tree
The geneology of Christ is given for several reasons:
1. To show that he was human: Jesus was flesh and blood like you and me
2. To show he was the promised Messiah: he is the one destined to fulfill God’s plan
3. To show he is the Savior of the whole world, not just the Jews
A. Outsiders in the family tree -
We see that Jesus had a heritage that included those outside of the Jewish race. Tamar, the mother of Perez and Zerah, was probably a Canaanite. Rahab was from the city of Jericho. Ruth was a Moabitess. Bathsheba had been the wife of a Hittite.