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.