Blake Allen, Young Adult and Student Pastor LHBC
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 Shealtiel, and Shealtiel 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. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations..
Let’s be honest: How many of us blow past the list of names we run across in Scripture? Don’t even get me started on the book of Numbers… It should be called the book of Names but that’s neither here nor there. Sometimes you may wonder: why did God incorporate these lists of names? Why are they important? What am I supposed to take away from them?
Trust me I get it. Hearing God tell us, “I am with you always” is a lot more comforting than hearing, “and so and so begot so and so.” Nevertheless, genealogies have their place. There is a lot we can actually learn from the names on the lists from Matthew 1.
For starters, it is a list displaying incredible grace from God. Think about some of the names on this list. Abraham lied to protect his own life and almost gave his wife to another man. Issac played favorites between his sons which led to sibling rivalries. Jacob stole his brother’s birthright and blessing, didn’t speak to his brother for 20+ years, and played favorites with his wives. Tamar committed incest which led to the birth of the twins mentioned. Ruth was a Moabite (a people known for sexual immorality) and forbidden at one point from assembling with God’s people. Rahab was a prostitute who helped God’s people escape and was spared as a result. Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, found herself included in David’s kingly line through adultery. Her husband was murdered and she was involved with David.
As crazy as it sounds, this is part of the family line that led to Christ. But don’t miss the picture: Christ’s family included a bunch of broken people he would come to save. We are all broken and in need of a savior. We have all committed sins that are an affront to God. And Christ, who was perfect and holy, came for this very purpose. He would redeem the broken, the lost, all of us who were without hope, etc.
Second, this list magnifies our savior. The name Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua or Yeshua. Jesus’ name means Yahweh saves. If you remember the story of Joshua, he was called to lead God’s people into the promised land. And Jesus came to lead us to salvation. And one day believers will dwell eternally in the promised kingdom with our promised savior. Christ is also a title given to Jesus. Christ means “anointed one.” The Old Testament is full of references of an anointed one who would come to bring salvation to God’s people. Jesus is the fulfillment of these promises.
Third, this list points to Christ’s kingship! Jesus is king. He is the king of Kings! Matthew is showing us how Christ came from a line of kings. And guess what? He is still reigning on His throne. He is the sovereign king. He is the eternal king. He is the promised king to come and will set up His kingdom which will never end. Jesus is king!
When we come to text like Matthew 1 it is easy for us to blow past it. But don’t miss what the author is trying to show us. We have a Jewish savior who came to seek and save the lost. He includes broken folks in His family. He rescued us from the grips of sin. He set the captives free. He shows us incredible grace. He is the promised savior who came to bring us salvation. And he is able to do this as the king of Kings and lord of Lords! God made this list to show us these truths. Check it twice before blowing past it. There are some incredible truths and notes of grace found everywhere in God’s word. Even in the lists.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Heavenly Father, may we treasure every word you have written down for us. For your words are the breath of life. For with just one word you speak life. Help us to understand your word no matter how difficult it may seem. For you have given us your spirit to guide us in all wisdom and knowledge. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
How much better to get wisdom than gold!
To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver