Summary: In the ancestry of the King we see wonderful evidences of the grace of God.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Advent means “coming,” and so Advent is the first season of the Christian Church calendar in which we anticipate and celebrate the first coming of Jesus Christ.
For the next four weeks of Advent I would like to preach a series of sermons titled “The Advent of the King.” This series of sermons is based on Matthew’s Gospel, chapters 1 and 2.
Commentator Warren Wiersbe notes, “If a man suddenly appears and claims to be a king, the public immediately asks for proof. What is his background? Who pays homage to him? What credentials can he present?”
Matthew anticipated these questions. So, he began his Gospel with a careful account of Jesus’ background and birth. Matthew presented the following facts about the kingship of Jesus in Matthew 1-2, which we will examine in the coming weeks:
1. 1st Sunday of Advent: The Ancestry of the King (1:1-17),
2. 2nd Sunday of Advent: The Arrival of the King (1:18-25),
3. 3rd Sunday of Advent: The Adoration of the King (2:1-12),
4. 4th Sunday of Advent: The Anger Against the King (2:13-18), and
5. Christmas Eve: The Anticipation of the King (2:19-23).
So, as we begin our study of the Advent of the King, let’s begin today by examining the ancestry of the King. This is found in Matthew 1:1-17:
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,
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. (Matthew 1:1-17)
My New Testament professor and advisor, Don Carson, begins his commentary of Matthew’s Gospel in his New Bible Commentary by saying that “the modern reader finds this list of names a dull way to begin a book”!
I suppose that some of you may be thinking the same thing as you noticed that I am planning to preach an entire sermon on a genealogy! You can’t believe that there is anything profitable in a genealogy. Why, you can think of about 212 other things to do than to sit and listen to a sermon on a boring genealogy!
Well, I hope to dispel that thought this morning. Genealogies can be wonderful, fascinating, and interesting. And the genealogy of Jesus Christ is certainly wonderful, fascinating, and interesting.
About fifteen years ago my wife Eileen’s brother Dick began working on their family tree. He was able to trace their ancestors on their mother’s side to the early 1700s. We learned a lot of interesting information about Eileen’s ancestors. Dick’s research came in handy when our daughter Lauren had to do a family tree project when she was in the third grade.
The way Lauren viewed her family tree was perhaps not as interesting as the way Linda Click’s daughter viewed her family tree. One day Linda sat down with her daughter and explained with great pride that her grandfather was a preacher, her great-great grandfather was a preacher, and her great-great-great grandfather was a preacher. To which her daughter replied, “Wow! We sure come from a long line of grandfathers!”