Why that Genealogy?

Why that Genealogy?

Sunday, we examined some of the members of Jesus’ family tree. We focused our attention on the genealogy in Matthew’s Gospel. Matthew begins with these words: “This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham.” (Matthew 1:1) Matthew’s primary audience was the Jewish people and his opening comments established Jesus as Jewish and having a royal bloodline; both necessary evidence for Jesus being the Messiah. He concludes the genealogy with this statement in Matthew 1:17.

Three observations about Jesus’ “family tree”:

  1. There are some individuals in the family tree that we know nothing about–Hez-on, Akim,  Eliud and Matthan.
  2. There are some individuals in the family tree who are notable ‘standouts’—Abraham, David, Hezekiah, and Mary.
  3. There are some individuals in the family tree who are notable blemishes (these were the “horse thieves” of the family tree)—Judah, the father of Perez-whose mother was Tamar (see Gen. 38). Salmon, the father of Boaz- whose mother was Rahab (see Joshua 2). David, the father of Solomon– mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah – Solomon was the offspring of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). Hezekiah, the father of Manasseh.

Matthew wanted to include Jesus’ genealogy in his Gospel to establish that Jesus was of the Messianic line.

But, why did Matthew include these individuals to the genealogical record? Possibly, Matthew had a dual purpose in constructing it. It was not only designed to show that Jesus was of royal lineage but also to show that he associated with sinners. Remember, Matthew was a Tax Collector (poor reputation). Matthew could identify with the ‘dark side’ of Jesus’ family tree. But, Jesus connected with Matthew (Matthew 9:9-13). Matthew knew that Jesus came to associate with people like him and his friends.

Challenge: Don’t just be friends with those who know Jesus, be friends those who need Jesus!

 

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