Right click and save the pdf: Synopsis 003a The Genealogy of Jesus part 1
Right click and save the mp3: Synopsis 003a
Genealogical Accounts of Jesus
Matthew 1:1-17 Luke 3:23-38
sure many of you have family albums as I do.
We have plenty of photos and old movies, half of them I don’t even know
who they are. I’m working on
putting a genealogical account into my computer; I have a family tree program
that is really nice. You can add
people as you find them or attach appropriate names to photos as you unearth
some new tidbit of information. My
wife’s cousin, Thaddeus Crapster, has traced their family back to about the 12th
century, exposing all the black sheep in her family (it includes one who was
married to Henry the 8th before being beheaded).
I’ve traced my family heritage back to the 12th century, but
there are very few specifics in places, with great gaping holes in the
genealogy. There are a few
outstanding individuals in there, and a few that we would like to forget about.
Our savior has a family album.
been studying the Gospel accounts in a chronological order.
One of the reasons we have to jump around so much to do that is because
the different writers were writing from different aspects and for different
people. They didn’t omit things
or remember them differently; they were inspired by God and wrote exactly what
they were supposed to write! Although they are all talking about the King and the Kingdom
of the Heavens, and how both were being rejected, Matthew presents Christ as
king, Mark presents Him as servant, Luke presents him as man, and John presents
Him as the Son of God. If you go on
a little further, the book of Acts tells how the Kingdom of the Heavens was
re-offered and rejected once again.
each writer has his own peculiar set of arrangement and selection in writing,
Matthew’s Gospel is generally recognized as the Hebrew Gospel.
Matthew chapter 1 is the
true commencement of the Greek scriptures, showing how they grow out of the
Hebrew writings. It quotes at every step from the older scriptures. It is both a
history and a fulfillment of prophecy.
[Daniel 2] Matthew’s
Gospel centers around the Kingdom of the Heavens, which is a reference to the
prophecies of Daniel. Now,
remember, every time the Kingdom of the Heavens is mentioned in Scriptures,
it’s always plural; in the Greek, it’s never the Kingdom of Heaven,
it’s always, the Kingdom of the
Heavens. [Daniel 2:44]
It shall not be left to other people; all preceding kingdoms had passed
on to the next generation. This
kingdom, the Kingdom of the Heavens, shall not be passed on to another
[Daniel 7:27] It is a
kingdom in the sense that Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece were kingdoms, but it
is still future; it is the rule of one people over other nations; yet it will
not be destroyed as its predecessors in world dominion; it will last for the
At the point in time that the book of Matthew was written, the Kingdom
of the Heavens was open only to the house of Israel. Matthew 15:24 tells us, “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the
house of Israel.”
This is not talking about unsaved Jews.
[Numbers 18:17] Numbers
18:17 tells us sheep are holy; sheep are saved people; the Lord doesn’t call
lost people holy, they’re going to hell!
This word that is translated as “lost” is a Greek word [apollumi]
that means, “Are being destroyed or are perishing.”
These are sheep that are losing their lives. If you remember what we studied last week, the soul is the
life of man. This is talking about
the Kingdom and not salvation. These
sheep are losing their lives; their souls are being destroyed.
It’s an ongoing action; it’s not some drastic action or some
unforgivable sin. He came for the
sheep of the house of Israel who are not living faithful, obedient lives.
You cannot lose something you don’t have, these sheep have life, but
they’re losing it; THEY ARE PERISHING!
Because this book was written for the Hebrews and Jesus came only for
the lost sheep of the house of Israel, there are very few Gentiles mentioned.
As a matter of fact, He explicitly tells His apostles not to go unto the
nations, or even the Samaritans, which were half Jewish.
Matthew 10:5 says, “These
twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the
Gentiles, and into any city of the
Samaritans enter ye not.” They
Although there aren’t many Gentiles mentioned in this Gospel, the ones
who are mentioned are very significant. There
are four Gentile women mentioned in the genealogy; we will look at these more
in-depth later, but Tamar's sin
introduced her into the line of ancestry, Rahab came in by faith.
In Ruth's case grace triumphed over the law that would ban a Moabite from
the congregation of Jehovah. Bathsheba
reminds us of David's great transgression and shows us grace reigning despite
sin. The magi come to worship Him,
while at the same time Herod seeks His life. The centurion in chapter 8 exhibits
a faith unknown in Israel. The
Canaanitish woman is commended for her confidence in Christ.
Pilate and his wife refuse responsibility when the Jews seek to condemn
Him. The centurion at the cross
acknowledges that He is the Son of God. It
is only at the end of the account in the Gospels, after all authority on earth
is in the hands of the King, that the disciples are commissioned to go and make
disciples of all nations. Thus, at
this point when the book of Matthew is being written, any reference to the
proclamation of the Kingdom of the Heavens is restricted to the people of whom
the prophet Daniel spoke; the Jews.
This Gospel narrative is divided
into two distinct periods, each of which begins with His acknowledgement as Son
of God by a voice from heaven and closes by its acknowledgment by men, the first
ends with the disciples acknowledging Him, the second ends by the nations (or a
Gentile) acknowledging Him as the Son of God. The first period extends from John's baptism in Matthew
3:16-17, and closes with Peter's confession in Matthew 16:16. During this period the kingdom is proclaimed and rejected, so
that Jesus forbids its further proclamation. The second period is occupied with
His priestly preparation for the sacrifice on Golgotha.
It begins with the transfiguration on the mount in Matthew 17:1-5 where
Moses and Elijah spoke of His decease, and continues to the crucifixion, where
the centurion said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
Now, I wasn’t going to have us
read out loud the genealogies listed here, but I changed my mind.
2 Timothy 3:16,17 says, “All scripture is
given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all
good works.” This doesn’t say some Scripture is good, it says all, and
this includes this list of names, so, if you’ll turn with me to [Matthew 1].
Some consider this a dry, laborious study.
On the surface, I would agree. However,
2 Timothy 3 tells us that it is profitable for doctrine and it is profitable for
instruction in righteousness. What
we’re going to do here is look at a few spiritual things that can be gleaned
from this Scripture. [Matthew 1:1-17]
Matthew, in writing to the
Hebrews, doesn’t mess around; he gets right down to the business of showing
them that Jesus meets the criteria for being the Messiah.
This is very important for the Jews.
The law was of utmost importance to them.
The law was not given to Gentiles, neither was the Messiah promised to
them. The Jews were looking for the Messiah, but they were looking
for the wrong type; they were looking for a political Messiah.
When we read this long list of
names that seems boring on the surface, we have to stop and ask ourselves,
“Why? Why did Matthew write
this?” Judging by the long lists
of names in the OT, one might be tempted to just assume the Jews like long lists
of names. But, since it has already
been observed that Matthew wrote for the Jews, the first conclusion must be,
“to convince the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah”.
He was the fulfillment of many prophecies in the OT.
What prophesies? [Isaiah
7:14] Matthew points out in 1:22-23
that Jesus fulfilled this prophesy. [Micah
5:2] Matthew shows this in 2:4-6.
[Hosea 11:1] is shown in Matthew 2:14-15.
[Jeremiah 31:15] is shown to
have been fulfilled in Matthew 2:17-18. Some
have said that this prophecy referred to the Babylonian captivity, but looking
at the context, it’s clear that it’s referring to the times of the Messiah,
in which Herod tried to kill Him by having all male children under the age of
two murdered. [Matthew 2:23; A
Nazarene He shall be called] Note the plural, as indicating not any one prediction in particular, but
a summary of several prophetic statements, such as Psalm 22:6, Psalm 22:8; Psalm
69:11, Psalm 69:19; Isaiah 53:2, Isaiah 53:3, and Isaiah 53:4.
This was a term of contempt among the Jews!
In John 7:52, the Pharisees are talking to Nicodemus about Jesus, and
they say, “They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search,
and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet”.
This was not the truth: The
truth of the matter is that Jonah, Hosea and Nahum were from Galilee and
possibly Elisha, Elija and Amos. It’s
just that these aristocrats from Jerusalem had contempt in general for the
backwards Galilee. I’m sure we
all know examples of this; such as the way those in many cities feel towards
those on the farms. The Pharisees
were merely holding the general and popular consensus that Galilee was
backwards, and surely the Messiah would come from the wonderful, great, urban
area of Jerusalem. After all,
isn’t that where the Pharisees were?
Let me show you something, while
we’re here talking about Jesus from Nazareth.
Turn with me to [Luke 1:26]. Nazareth
is where they are when? Look on
down in verse 31: [Luke 1:31]
Nazareth is where they were when she conceived; they were in Bethlehem
when He was born. Jesus is from
Nazareth; life starts at conception.
Although the Pharisees assumed
that He would come in glory because he would be the King of the Jews, He would
be the basest among men. They were
looking for the wrong kind of king; they were looking for an earthly king, a
political savior who would save them from the Romans. But He was king nevertheless.
Jesus, who is God Almighty, the
highest of the high, for a little while became the lowest among men.
Jesus is the Messiah, come to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
But Israel didn’t accept Him with open arms.
Matthew had to prove to them who Jesus was.
In order to be the Messiah, He
had to meet certain criteria. Genesis
22:18 tells us that He had to be a descendent of Abraham.
Isaiah 11 tells us that He had to be descended from David.
Isaac was promised the Messiah would be of his seed.
Also, Jacob, Judah and Zerubbabel were all three promised that Messiah
would be of their seed. Whatever
else Jesus may have done; no matter how many good works or miracles He may have
performed; if He were not a descendent of these six, He could not be the
Messiah. So, a Gospel directed
specifically to the Jews would have to establish his lineage.
This genealogy in Matthew is the
royal lineage of the Son of David and it gives the title to the land granted to
Abraham; He was a Hebrew and He was of the royal line. In contrast to the
genealogy given by Luke, which we’ll look at later, we are given the actual
physical descent by the male line to Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of
The word “book” is the Greek word “βιβλος”
(Biblios), from which we get our English word, “Bible”.
This is the same word that is used in Genesis 5:1, in conjunction with
another word used here in Matthew 1:1; generations.
In Matthew, this is the Greek word “Genesis” (which is from the word
ginomai); in the Septuagint, in Genesis 5:1, this is the same word.
This word means descent or lineage, life, to be created, or come to pass. “This is the book of the lineage of Jesus and how it came
to pass.” In the Hebrew, this
word “generations” is tholedoth. Tholedoth
is used several times in the Bible, and is always the heading; it’s the
beginning of the story of the generations of whatever is being talked about.
In Matthew 1:1, it’s the beginning of the story of Jesus the Christ.
This tholedoth or lineage of the Messiah would be necessary for the Jews.
Notice, two words are used: Both
“Jesus” and “Christ”. The
first is the name given by the angel to Mary in Matthew [1:21; the angel is
talking to Joseph…] The name
Jesus describes the mission of the child; Jesus means “savior”.
The second name is properly an adjective that means, “anointed”, from
the verb “chrio”, which means, “anoint”.
It is used in the Septuagint to describe the anointed priest, but later
used as a substitute for the Hebrew word for “Messiah”.
So, in John 1:41, we find Andrew and Simon Peter talking, and it says,
“He (Andrew) first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have
found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” You can find this word used hundreds of times in the
Scriptures, in different ways. (Acts
4:27 and 10:38) This word is used
throughout the Gospels as “anointed” or “Messiah”, but eventually came
to be used as a proper name.
The Hebrew word “Messiah”
was the king and spiritual ruler of David’s race that was promised.
(Psalm 2:2; Daniel 9:25,26) Although
today we regularly use “Christ” as a proper name, throughout the Gospels,
since the identity of Jesus as the Messiah is in doubt with the people, the
article is generally used: Jesus
“The Christ”. In
the opening passage of Matthew, the article is omitted, perhaps showing
Matthew’s own faith in Jesus as the Messiah and not leaving any room for
legitimate doubt or questioning.
We say that Jesus was the
anointed one, but what was anointing used for?
[1 Kings 19:16] Here, we
have kings and prophets being anointed. [Exodus
40:15] We have kings and prophets
and priests being anointed! In
Isaiah 45:1, even Cyrus, who was sent to deliver the Jews from captivity is
called, “The Lord’s Anointed”. The
word “Christ” was representative of our Lord who united Himself in the
office of prophet, priest and king and He is our deliverer.
Anointing was also practiced as
an act of hospitality. Jesus was
anointed by the woman in the house of Simon the Pharisee and rebuked His host
for not showing the same respect. Anointing
is practiced upon the sick and the mournful.
It is also done to the dead. In
Mark 14:8, we see the woman at Bethany anointing the body of Jesus in
preparation of His death.
This book or tholedoth that
Matthew has written has to do with pedigree or ancestry.
The Jews cared a great deal about ancestry.
In this instance, there was legitimate reason:
He had to fulfill the prophecies of the Messiah.
Matthew 1:1 says, “The son of David, the son of Abraham.” Nothing is more common in the Hebrew writings than the Hebrew
expression, “the son of David” as a reference that stands alone to mean
“The Messiah”. The son of David
is the Messiah and this is the book of the Messiah who is Jesus.
“The son of Abraham.” [Hebrews
2] Abraham was the first to whom a
particular promise was made. Genesis
22:18 tells us, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be
blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”
The original promise that was made in Genesis 3:15 only tells us that He
would be the seed of a woman, but the promise made to Abraham tells us that the
Messiah would descend from him. [Hebrews
2:16] Jesus took on human nature,
descended from Abraham, and therefore is truly the son of Abraham.
To the Jews, being the “son of” means a descendent of and not
necessarily the literal son (example: Foster
is the son of Danny, but also the son of Jerry.)
“The son of David” is the Messiah, but the genealogy of the Jews
begins with Abraham who is known as “the head of the genealogy”; he is the
root of it; he’s the source; he’s the beginning.
This genealogy is done to satisfy the Jews as to the lineage of Jesus
The Greek word τέκνον/teknon (child)
is often used interchangeably with the Greek word υιου/huios
(son), but is never applied to Jesus. While
in teknon is implied dependence upon the relationship with the parents, huios
focuses on the person himself. It
suggests individuality instead of descent, but if used for descent, brings out
the fact that the descendent was worthy of the parent.
Matthew is telling the Jews (and us) that Jesus was and is worthy!
Therefore, the word marks the son-like relation as carrying with it
privileges, dignity and freedom. Therefore,
it is the only term that is appropriate to describe Christ’s sonship.
A verse we’re all familiar with says, “For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten son (huios) that whosever is believing in Him may
not perish, but have age-lasting life.” [Romans
8:14] Through Christ, the dignity
of sons is bestowed upon mature believers, those who are obedient, so that the
same word is appropriate: Sons of
God; mature children. I pray that
we all strive to be mature.
God always keeps His promises.
He promised these six individuals – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, David
and Zarubbabel - that the Messiah would descend from them.
We can have confidence that God will always keep His word and that Jesus
will return one day. It’s always
man who breaks the covenants between God and man; God is faithful. It has been about the same length of time between the birth
of Jesus and now, as it was between the promise made to Abraham and that promise
Matthew has taken us down the genealogical steps from Abraham to the
Messiah, showing the Jews that His lineage is the lineage of Messiah.
This is His legal right to David’s throne.
Yet, we have a genealogical account in Luke also, and it seems to be
different. Why the difference? We’ll
start looking at that next Sunday.