Title: The Genealogy of Christ Text: Matthew 1:1-17 CIT: God’s Work throughout Time CIS: God has been at work pulling all things together in presenting Christ. God is still at work today.
Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, and George W. Bush are distant relatives whose ancestry can be traced back to a fifteenth-century English squire, genealogists say. Researchers for the U.S.-based company MyFamily.com found that the trio’s roots can be traced to Henry Spencer of Badby, Northamptonshire. Badby lived between 1420-1478 and was married to Isabella Lincoln.
According to Gary Boyd Roberts, a genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Bush is descended from British royalty going as far back as 12th century King Henry I, the son of William the Conqueror.
So, I was wondering: How important is a genealogy? Did each of these people you see here get their lofty positions because of the genealogy?
Linda Click, Adrian, Mich. Christian Reader Showing that genealogy isn’t that important. She wrote: One day I sat down with my daughter and explained with great pride that her grandfather was a preacher, her great-great-grandfather was a preacher, and her great-great-great-grandfather was a preacher. To which she replied, “Wow! We sure come from a long line of grandfathers.”
Lisa and I have been sharing with folks over the last few months that we’d taken a new position and were going to be moving. “Where?” people would ask. Tarpley, Tx. We would answer. “Tarpley? Where’s Tarpley?” I only met one person who actually knew where Tarpley is! A few new because I said: between Bandera and Utopia or South of Kerrville. But only one person actually knew. Karen Pylant. She said her family is from here.
app.: You know, genealogies aren’t that important to us: maybe through interest, but not for our being able to do things. Lisa and I are not able to come to Tarpley because of our connection to Bruce and Karen Pylant.
I mentioned President Bush, he wasn’t elected president because of his genealogy – not even because his dad had been president. You and I can buy and sell and move and do things without our genealogies. However, for the Jews, that wasn’t the case. Each Jew understood the importance of their genealogy. They needed their genealogy to buy and sell and trade and move and get certain jobs. That’s what we’ll be looking at this morning.
Transition: We begin our journey together in Matthew 1.1. I’ve never heard anyone preach on Matthew 1:1-17; We’ll also be looking at Luke 3:23-37, the genealogy of Christ in that book. You can have them open and flip back and forth if you’d like.
Let’s begin by reading in Matthew…rd v 1; rd v 17
Transition: I’ve divided this morning’s message into two parts: The Importance of His Genealogy and The Interpretation of His Genealogy. Let’s look first at The Importance.
I. The Importance of His Genealogy
exp.: Genealogies were important for a few reasons:
- Purchasing land: Lev 25:23-27; Ruth 2:20; Jeremiah 32:7,8
- Determining a priestly line: Ezra 2:62; Ezra 7:1-6; Neh 7:64;
- Determining a royal line: 1 Chron 5:1-7 (Gen 35:22; 49:4);
exp.: The importance of His Genealogy: v 2-6a are found in 1 Chr 2:1-15; v 6b-11 are found in 1 Chr 3:10-14; v 12-16 are 1 Chr 3:15-19; Every name is covered up to v 13; from Abiud through to Christ is unconfirmed, but really no problem. It was very common for families to keep their genealogy! 1 Chronicles 9:1 tells us that all of Israel was recorded in Genealogies; King Saul’s is down in v 35-44;
With Christ’s Genealogy, we have a problem- because we have two of them – and they don’t match! I don’t know if you’ve ever read the genealogies found in Matthew in Luke and compared them, but they differ. Here are some struggles you might have:
- Luke’s is recorded backward.
- But even so, From Abraham to David – they’re the same.
- From David to Zerubbabel, they follow two different lines – but they do come back together at Zerubbabel.
- Then, from Zerubbabel to Jesus, they split again.
The Featured Image on this posting is a Table Outline of the lineage I’m referring to. and it might help in following along with the names.
app.: So what is the application to this? If Lineage was so important, why does the Lineage of Jesus seem so messed up? Which one is the right one? Those are great questions and they should lead us to understand what each writer was doing. We must combine and interpret what we have…
t.s.: So let’s do that… #2… The Interpretation of His Genealogy
2. The Interpretation of His Genealogy
exp.: Matthew 1:1-17; Lk 3:23 -38; Luke follows the OT Pattern we see with Moses and the way his genealogy is recorded. It is given just before he begins his ministry. It is the same with Luke in recording the genealogy of Christ.
- Two Genealogies: Here’s what I think is happening…
- Matthew – represents Joseph’s lineage: Joseph’s
- Luke – represents Mary’s lineage: Lk 3:23 – as was supposed; Luke uses this word quite often, especially in Acts to communicate a thought that people had, but they were obviously wrong;
- Matthew – uses Joseph’s lineage to confirm a Royal or Kingly Line.
- Luke – uses Mary’s line to show or confirm a Priestly Lineage. Connection: Consider that Mary’s cousin was Zechariah and he served as a priest in the Temple.
- God is using these two to demonstrate his goodness toward us. Can I let you in on a little secret? I think God gives us pictures or illustrations of his story or his existence for us to identify him. For example He gave us pictures of the Messiah in David and Zerubbabel. Theologians call these “types’ of Christ. These two guys were special compared to all of the other kings of Israel. David could function as a priest and a king, but Saul couldn’t. Saul didn’t have both lines. And neither did Solomon, or any other of the Kings. Until you get to Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel is a type of Christ – giving us a picture of the Messiah, so we could recognize Him when he appears. (Ill.: Isaiah 25)
- God is showing us a picture of how he is the Father of Jesus and why the Jewish people would accept Jesus as King. There is a prophecy concerning David, that God promised David that he would always have a descendant on the throne (2 Samuel 7). However, Jechoniah, because he had led the people astray, He was told that he would be childless (Jeremiah 28.30); How can God keep both promises? Kinsman Redeemer. A Kinsman Redeemer is a process that God gave to the people of Israel to ensure that the lineage could be preserved.
Ill.: Ruth 2.20; 3.9; 4.13-14 – they rejoice that God has given Naomi an heir for her husband and her sons. Which, BTW, is preserving the royal lineage. Cf. Mt 1.5
Here’s where I’m going with this: The Jews could accept Jesus as the Messiah because Joseph didn’t have to be Jesus’ biological father. God became the Kinsman Redeemer, if you will, preserving the Royal Lineage on behalf of Joseph.
Conclusion: Now, George W. didn’t get to be president because of his prominent heritage. No one does, except Jesus. He’s different. He is both priest and king. The book of Hebrews teaches about these two roles and how Jesus played the part. He offered Himself on a cross to pay for our sins. Only he could.
- The Advent of Jesus was not “Plan B”. God had already planned it all out. – Just as he has planned the future.
- Things are going along according to plan. Just as it was, so it shall be. When Christ returns sometime in our near future, it will all make sense. So, we anticipate his return, just as they anticipated his arrival. We have been given these pictures or illustrations so that we will say as in Isaiah: “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
- We should be praying about our part in the plan. How might God be using you? Will you miss out on things because you’re so into you and not into what God is doing?
- I’m reminded that all of time is in God’s hands. So is everything outside of time.