Week 3 | Section 3

A Heritage of FaithIt would be considered reasonable by many to skip1 over section three in the chronological Harmony of the Gospels as on the surface it includes only a genealogical list of names2  that are hard to pronounce. While both3 Matthew and Luke make plain his virgin birth, and therefore his deity, Luke’s genealogy emphasizes his humanity recounting the progenitors from the first Adam to Christ; while Matthew provides us the names of those who were heirs to the Davidic throne. The genealogical records of Matthew and Luke celebrates Jesus’ family roots and rights by which in human and divine courts provide unequivocal evidence that He is the Messiah – the long awaited King of kings and Redeemer of the world.4¯5


Scripture:

Matthew 1:1-17

1 The book of the genealogy6 of Jesus Christ, the son of David,7 the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham became the father of Isaac. Isaac became the father of Jacob. Jacob became the father of Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron. Hezron became the father of Ram. 4 Ram became the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon. Nahshon became the father of Salmon. 5 Salmon became the father of Boaz by Rahab8. Boaz became the father of Obed by Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse. 6 Jesse became the father of King David. David became the father of Solomon by her who had been Uriah’s wife. 7 Solomon became the father of Rehoboam. Rehoboam became the father of Abijah. Abijah became the father of Asa. 8 Asa became the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat became the father of Joram. Joram became the father of Uzziah. 9 Uzziah became the father of Jotham. Jotham became the father of Ahaz. Ahaz became the father of Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh. Manasseh became the father of Amon. Amon became the father of Josiah. 11 Josiah became the father of Jechoniah9 and his brothers, at the time of the exile to Babylon. 12 After the exile to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel. Shealtiel became the father of Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel became the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim. Eliakim became the father of Azor. 14 Azor became the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim. Achim became the father of Eliud. 15 Eliud became the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan. Matthan became the father of Jacob. 16 Jacob became the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, from whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the exile to Babylon fourteen generations; and from the carrying away to Babylon to the Christ, fourteen generations.

Luke 3:23-3810

23 Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph,11the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Aram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam12¯13, the son of God.14


Group Dialog:

  1. Among those people mentioned in today’s Scripture, who stands out most for you? Why?
  2. Who are your spiritual progenitors and descendants?
  3. Make a time chart to display your life time (X-axis =time; Y-axis=spiritual vitality). Along the line you’ve plotted place the names of 3-5 people who have been there along the way and offered you Christian guidance, comfort, and been your exemplars. Tell your group a story about one of them.
  4. What are you intentionally doing now to prepare yourself to be a light to others and allow the Holy Spirit to shine through you for the benefit of others?
  5. Who are the people that God has already placed on your heart? are your nurturing them in the faith already? What lessons do you think God is trying to teach them now? See if you can engage in a conversation with them this month about their journey in faith.

Study Notes:

  1. Des and Jenny Oatridge were members of Wycliffe Australia and worked with Binumarien colleagues in Papua New Guinea in the 1960s and 70s to translate God’s Word into the local language. They tell an amazing story about the importance of Jesus’ heritage in this story.
  2. High & low context cultures – The Jews were high context appreciating the nuclear family and the lineage.  See: summary of high and low context cultures and these pins related to culture and the context of ministry.
  3. While only Luke gives the generations from Adam to Abraham, both list the descendants between Abraham and David (nearly identical). The purpose of a genealogical history was to establish the fact of an undoubted succession, including especially the more prominent ancestors. Matthew’s account at least five names are omitted: Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah, Jehoiakim, and Eliakim. If you read the Old Testament you’ll find even more are missing, but it was comon to leave out one or two generations when noting a long string of descendants. Read Essay #9 from Thomas and Gundry
  4. This is primary evidence that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah: A shoot of Jesse- Isa 11:1-3;  from the house of David, from the line of Abraham – HE [Jesus] will save people from their sins – Matt 1:21 (see: Week 8 | Section 9)
  5. We are called to be disciples who make disciples. We each have a spiritual heritage and we are each responsible to pass on the faith to those in our lives.
  6. Matthew’s intention to address his Jewish readers and present the legal case of Jesus’ Davidic rights using Joseph’s heritage showing his fulfillment of the OT promise of the Messianic kingdom via Joseph’s real descent from David through Solomon. See: Abrahamic and Davidic covenants. Matthew’s genealogical entry traces Jesus’ line from his mother’s husband Joseph, his adoptive father through whom lawfully pass certain human rights and possessions – According to Jewish law these include the legal right to the throne of David, passed down through Solomon. The messianic titles of Jesus given in Matthew 1:1 and in Luke 3 provide something of a sub-story harmony with the same design of John in the first couple of chapters there (8 names, if I remember).  Here in Matthew, Son of Abraham (and thus Jesus the Jew), and Son of David (and thus Jesus the King).
  7. Proverbs 22:15
  8. There are five women listed in the genealogies (Tamar, Rahab, [Bathsheba], Ruth and Mary). Odd for a record of Jewish lineage. Perhaps the women are representative.  When we look at their personal history, and couple that with their inclusion in genealogy of the world’s Redeemer, we will find a striking illustration of God’s way of salvation. Tamar – We can’t be saved unless we realize that we are sinners. Rahab – salvation is received and lived by faith. Ruth – For those whom the law has rejected, there is grace and salvation! Bathsheeba – “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). The ironic inclusion of these women in Matthew’s record is that throughout the rest of the Gospels it is Luke who gives more careful attention to men and women.
  9. Though there was a curse on his line (Jer 22:29-30) Jesus’ Davidic descent was also through Mary, descendant of Nathan, thus Jesus escaped the curse and was free to fulfill the prophesies related to the House of David and Solomon. Some have heard that of what is called “generational sin” and some feel bound by their forefathers failure/reputation. The good news is that IN CHRIST we are also set free from this curse (Jeremiah 31: 1,29, 30-35).
  10. Luke presents the descendants tracing his pedigree back to Adam and emphasizing his humanity and perfection while honoring the divine conception and birth (Luke 1:26-38). Luke’s entry also includes the line of David but it is more significant that he traces Jesus to the first Adam.
  11. Joachin and Anna are the parents of Mary
  12. God’s original intent was for harmony and intimacy (in-to-me-see) among humans and between humanity and God. This is what Christ has restored – at least the power and freedom of such. The decision to realize this freedom is ours to enact each and every day. Too often we fall prey to reactive behavior or ambivalence to the fading promise of the virtues given us in Christ. See: Emotivational Spectrum.
  13. The Bible is not a book of science but of faith, of culture, and of life (eternal & abundant). Scientists have evidence that our oldest known genetically common ancestor, ‘Mitrochondrial Eve’, lived between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago in southern Africa. The oldest cave paintings (showing intelligent linguistics & communication) found to date are 40,000 years old, located in Sulawesi. What then is the creation story that is dated back only as far as 4000 years before Christ? Perhaps its is the DNA story of the Hebrew nation. The coming out and DNA roots of God’s chosen people, but one thing seems certain, it is not the story of the dawn of humanity as in from nothing. If it were science would give the same account.
  14. the messianic titles given are Jesus as Son of Adam, and Son of God, that is Jesus is a man, and Jesus is God.   As Arnold Fruchtenbaum said in his article “The Genealogy of the Messiah”, ‘This fourfold portrait of the messianic person as presented by the genealogies is that of the Jewish God-Man King. Could the Messiah be anyone less?’