The Family Tree.
Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38
“This is the record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham.” – Matthew 1:1 NLT
God took on human flesh. But while it might be easy to assume that Jesus could have come as just anybody, as some nondescript, obscure no-name, it was important that He not only come just when He did, but as who He did. Paul tells us, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law” (Galatians 4:4 NLT). Jesus came at a divinely chosen moment in time. This date was picked from before the earth was created. In God’s all-knowing, sovereign wisdom, He had marked this date down and He had picked just the right place, time, and people group into which to send His Son.
These two genealogies give us a glimpse into the details of God’s plan. It provides a backdrop of unbelievable specificity that shows us that Jesus didn’t just pop onto the scene, like some superhero falling from the sky. His arrival was well-planned and meticulously orchestrated by God over centuries of time. You see, Jesus is the fulfillment of a promise made to a man called Abraham. All the way back in the book of beginnings, Genesis, we have recorded God’s promise to Abraham: “I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3 NLT). Now, generations later, we read the fulfillment of this promise to Abraham. Matthew records for us that Jesus was a direct descendant of Abraham. He is the means by which “all the families on earth will be blessed.” But Luke takes it a step further. His genealogy goes all the way back to Adam. In essence, Luke is reminding us that Jesus is related to all mankind, not just the Jews. He is the Savior of all the world, not just the Hebrew people.
Both of these genealogies, while perhaps boring reads, are significant in their detail. There are names woven throughout that give us a glimpse into God’s remarkable plan and how intricately it was worked out over time. They both reveal that Jesus was royalty. He was a direct descendant of David. This was important because it reveals that He was royalty and a legitimate heir to the throne of David, fulfilling a promise God had made to David many, many years before. It would be easy for us to overlook the significance of these genealogies and even refuse to read them. But don’t lose sight of the incredible nature of what is being revealed in them. This story is real, not myth. Jesus was a real man, not a made up one. He came into time. He was literally born as a man. And while Joseph was not His biological father, his place in the lineage of David gave Jesus legal rights to the throne of David as the step-father of Jesus. Mary, as the literal mother of Jesus, and as a direct descendant of David, provides Jesus with legitimacy as well. Think of the details behind these names. Think about all that could have gone wrong along the way. Consider the miracle that these two family trees both meet at the same place – at the birth of Jesus. God is indeed amazing. This story is remarkable. And we’re just beginning.
Father, You are a God of details. Nothing escapes Your notice. Your plan was perfect and You worked it to perfection. And You still are. So why should we worry, fret, become anxious or let the affairs of this world shake us? You are in control. Thank You for that reminder. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men