Matthew’s Genealogy of Jesus

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In Matthew, the genealogy of Jesus establishes His royal descent and His rightful claim to David’s throne. He is presented throughout Matthew as the King, Messiah, He Who was foretold by the Old Testament prophets.  The book starts with His genealogy partly because of the extreme importance the Jews placed on all genealogy.  The Book of Matthew is the Jewish gospel, and presents Jesus as King of the Jews.

There are those who want to reject the four gospels because they tell essentially the same story in such dramatically different ways; the claim is, of course, that the Bible contradicts itself. Not true.  There is a different presentation of Jesus in each gospel because each was written, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to present Jesus in His different missions.  King, Son of God, Son of Man, Savior. The gospels all present Him in a way that gives us a complete picture of Who He was and what He came to do.

Looking at the chart above, you will see that there are three sets of names, each containing fourteen generations. There are many fascinating things we could discuss here, and I’m finding it difficult to focus in on just one thing in this post! So for today, let’s just take a look at the first list, starting with Abraham.

Matt. 1:1-6.  In verse one, Matthew begins with the Greek words Biblos geneseos, or book of the generation.  A similar expression is used throughout the Old Testament;  Genesis 6:9 is just one example.  The words Son of David, Son of Abraham take us quickly back through the generations to David’s claim to the throne through his genealogical relationship with Abraham, through whom the whole earth was promised to be blessed. Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise, coming to complete the Father’s plan of salvation through His death and resurrection.

Next time, we’ll take a few minutes to talk about the differences in the genealogies in Matthew and Luke, NOT the discrepancies–because there are none! In the meantime, consider that this genealogy ends in Joseph, husband of Mary, mother of Jesus, but does not mention Mary. (What follows is a correction. I think I was mistaken about this because I was looking at the chart, not the scripture–and there’s a lesson there! Mary is indeed mentioned, in ch. 1, v. 16, in which Matthew takes great care to state that  Joseph was the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus.  Joseph did not beget Jesus).  Matthew shows Jesus to be the King legally, showing that Joseph, Jesus’ earthly and legal father, was a descendant of David through the house of Solomon, who followed his father David to the throne before the kingdom was divided.

And that’s enough for now.

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9 thoughts on “Matthew’s Genealogy of Jesus

  1. I am “reading” my way through the Bible this year with the aid of audio Bible. I do use the written and audio together. It goes much better wiht someone helping me through words I may have struggled with due to the mac degen. (Not all words appear equally sharp.) I can also pause the reader and make notes. It came to me, possibly for the first time in personal reading, that the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew starts at Abraham. Correlating OT reading, I remembered that when I got to Gen. 11 and 12. Now, you pointed it out, so I THINK maybe I’ll remember it this time! I now appreciate your thorough introduction and have a sense of direction. Praying for you as you do this remarkable study for us, your readers.

    1. Isn’t is great when something comes together? I’ve studied Matthew at least twice, but I have a strong sense that a lot of things are going to become more clear than ever before. As you know from your years of teaching, the teacher is the one who learns the most. I’m SO excited about doing this, and I value the prayers of everyone who reads it.

  2. Jesus did fulfill God’s promise to Abraham about blessing all the families/peoples of the earth. Thus the beginning of Matthew is matched by the ending, where Jesus as the new king says all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him and he tells his disciples to go to all the nations, baptizing them in(to) the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded. The fulfillment comes via this greatest descendant of Abraham, who will bless his new international kingdom of disciples with the presence and power of their new king and his heavenly Father and his Holy Spirit, who empower them to think, speak, and act as their king commanded. So Jesus was not actually the king of the Jews (but only king of some Jewish disciples). In Mt. 1:3,5 there are three Gentile women listed, pointing to the future inclusion of Gentiles (from among all the peoples of the earth) in this fulfillment now beginning with Jesus. Matthew will reveal what kind of king Jesus is.

    1. You and I are not going to agree on some of this, and that’s ok. We’re coming at it from different perspectives, and I respect your position and your study. I believe, though, that Jesus was indeed the King of the Jews; He simply was not accepted by them as King. Their rejection set up the whole history of Christendom, which is not necessarily made up of nothing but redeemed, believing saints. It’s an interesting study.

    2. You are right about the women in the first chapter; I don’t know what I was thinking–clearly my mistake, and I know that women, including Mary, are mentioned. I think I’ll go back and edit that to correct it. Thanks.

  3. I read Matthew 1 this morning and noticed Boaz was born to Rahab. Perhaps he felt especially tender hearted toward Ruth since she was a foreigner, like his mother.
    Lovely blog you have here. =)

    1. Ron, I pulled it off Google images. You it. Let me check it out. should be able to just click it to enlarge it. I just tried it, and it works. And thanks for the compliment.

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