Summary: A look at some of the people in Jesus' Family Tree.
The Family Tree
November 27, 2016
Have you ever tried to look up your family tree? We tried to do that. My cousin spent hours trying to determine where my dad’s side of the family was from. She couldn’t get very far. We believe even though our last name is Deutsch, we have no German blood. My dad’s parents were from Romania and Latvia. Too many died in concentration camps, and many scattered all over, so we’re really pretty clueless.
It would be fun to know our family history. It may explain a few things, but also, it would make for some interesting conversations, if there were some interesting people who I’m related to. I can always blame them for me.
Today, as we start Advent, we’re going to look at a passage of scripture you’re not going to see preached from very often. It’s from Matthew 1. And it’s the genealogy of Jesus. Lots of names that many have never heard of, but they’re all important because they’re part of Jesus’ family tree. Just like your ancestors, they were all necessary, so we could ultimately have you in our lives. The same is true for Jesus’ family as well.
Let’s look at His family tree according to Matthew 1:1-17 ~
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram,
4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon,
5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse,
6 and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,
7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph,
8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,
9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah,
11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shelltiel, and Shelltiel the father of Zerubbabel,
13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor,
14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud,
15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob,
16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. – Matthew 1:1-16
Sometimes there are scripture passages which you don’t think you can preach on. At first glance this many be one of them, but it’s not. There’s a lot of meat in this passage.
The fact that we have a genealogy of Jesus Christ establishes an important truth: our faith is rooted in history, not in myth or legend. Notice a few things as we examine the genealogy of Jesus!
Firstly, there are differences in the genealogies in the New Testament.
There are 2 genealogies of Jesus, one in Matthew and the other in Luke. Matthew, written to the Jews, starts at Abraham goes forward to the birth of Jesus. Luke, written primarily to the Gentiles, goes backwards from Jesus, not just to Abraham but all the way back to Adam.
Most people believe Matthew is recording the line of Joseph. Matthew shows that Jesus was legally in the kingly line of David. There are thirty-nine “begats” in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus but the most important one is the one that is NOT there! Matthew is careful not to make the claim that Jesus was the biological son of Joseph. He chooses his words very carefully when he says, “Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.”
By saying “of whom Jesus was born” - “whom” is feminine in Greek, showing that Joseph was not the physical father of Jesus. Still it was important that Jesus be shown to have legal claim to the throne of David through the father’s side, and this was true because he was “legally” Joseph’s oldest son. So, Matthew established the legal claim to the throne Jesus had.