Summary: Christmas lessons from the genealogy of Christ.
Open your Bibles in Matthew chapter one verse one. Yes, you heard me right. Matthew chapter one verse one. When I began reading the New Testament, I admit that I found chapter one of Matthew boring, particularly the genealogy of Jesus Christ. I mean, I was not that excited to read that this person begat another who begat another and on and on and on. I think you felt the same way also.
It is also challenging for pastors like me to preach an interesting sermon on the genealogy or the family tree of Jesus Christ. Yet I believe God has a reason why He placed it in the Bible. It says in 2 Timothy 3:16, “Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live.” (Contemporary English Version) Notice that it says “everything” or “all of it is useful.” That includes the genealogy in Matthew chapter one.
Family trees are important. When we buy dogs, we want to check its pedigree. Or, let us say your surname is “Lee Kwan.” Let’s assume you read in the newspaper that a multi-millionaire whose surname is “Lee Kwan” died without an heir. Wouldn’t you be interested in tracing your family tree?
I think we will only appreciate genealogies if we look at it from the Jewish point of view. At that time, no one can serve as priests in the temple unless he can prove that he belong to the tribe of Levi. They also subdivided all the Promised Land according to tribes. So no one can sell real estate unless he can prove that his family owns the land. And after seventy years they return the land to the family. So the Jews heavily guarded their family tree. But, more than that, genealogies prove who has the right to be king over the land.
That’s why the title of our message this morning is “The Birth of Our King.”
With that in mind, let’s read Matthew 1:1 and 16: “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham… and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” (New Int’l Version)
Note that Jesus is a direct descendant of King David. This leads us to our first point: HIS FAMILY TREE IS THE EVIDENCE OF HIS ROYALTY. Anyone who claims a right to the throne must prove that he is royal blood. Now, in the year 70, the Roman army destroyed the temple where they kept the genealogies. But it is very significant that Matthew wrote his Gospel years before its destruction. So the Jews who read Matthew can actually verify the records if Jesus really was a descendant of King David. The fact that even the critics could not deny it proves that Jesus has a full claim to the throne. He is the rightful king! I like how Dr. S.M. Lockridge described Jesus: “The Bible says my king is the king of the Jews. He is the king of Israel. He is the king of righteousness. He is the king of the ages. He is the king of heaven. He is the king of glory. He is the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. That’s my king. Well, I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? My king is a sovereign king. No means of measure can define His limitless love. He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. Do you know Him? He’s the greatest phenomenon that ever crossed the horizon of this world. He’s God’s Son. He’s a sinner’s Savior. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He’s the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology. He’s the only one qualified to be an all-sufficient Savior. He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He strengthens and sustains. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleans the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharges debtors. He delivers the captives.