January 14, 2018
"Did Jesus Just Happen?" We continue our comments on the Life of Christ and this week we will comment on His Genealogy.
In both Matthew and Luke we find a long list of names tracing the Ancestry of Jesus. For the most, this is only a monotonous list of names which seem to have no special significance. These genealogical tables are usually passed over with little or no attention and they do make dry and underlying reading for those who have not sought to find their underlying purpose and significance. I am convinced that these records of Jesus's ancestry were placed in the Sacred Text for a purpose. It is with this in mind that I mention the Genealogy of Jesus.
First, what is the meaning of genealogy? By genealogy we mean the listing of man's ancestors in chronological order. It is a study of earthly lineage. The ancient Jews were strong on keeping such genealogical records. All ancient Jewish writings give evidence of the care the Jews in keeping family records. Good examples of this may be found in the writings of Josephus. In the modern era we give little attention to the study of a man's ancestry.
Occasionally a person may be assigned the task of digging into his or her ancestral background in connection with a course of study in genetics or eugenics in some college class. Otherwise there is seldom a reference to it. I have come to think that the important thing about a man's ancestral background which is not only interesting from a standpoint of curiosity but also helpful and inspiring, ( and I might also add, sometimes embarrassing). We are deeply indebted to our forbears, whether we have a record of who they are or not. It is true that we do not prove our own worthiness by proving the worthiness of some ancestor. While each person must stand on his or her own record, the knowledge of his or her ancestor's great life many inspire a person's own life. However, this was the purpose in giving the genealogy of Jesus.
The object of introducing into the Gospels the genealogy of Jesus was to show that He as the Messiah was the Son of David. Matthew's table begins with Abraham and traces His line in 14 Generations to David. then through Solomon in 14 generations to the time of the Babylonian captivity. then in 14 generations to Jesus.
Luke begins with Jesus and traces His decent to Nathan, the Son of David, then back to Abraham, but not stopping there as Matthew did, he carries the pedigree to Adam, the Son of God.
Next week we will deal with the many discrepancies in the Genealogies of Jesus.
Wayne McDoanld, Pastor