The Lineage of Jesus

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 23, 2016 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Christmas is just two days away, the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Many posts, sermons, and memes are being made about the real reason we celebrate this season. Many will argue against Christmas trees, Santa Claus, or December 25 as the birthdate of Jesus, all of which are irrelevant to what I want to share. In two of the Gospels, Matthew and Luke, we see the line from which Jesus came. Why are they there? Genealogies and the long lines of ‘begats’ can often be boring. Most Bible readers tend to skim over them, but they actually bear some of the most important truths in all of world history. Let us dig in.

One of the key things about these genealogies is that they are legal-historical documents, not just for heritage but also for historical validation. The Jews were known for their impeccable detail regarding family lines and history. There are several reasons why. To serve as a priest, and especially a high priest, a man had to prove he came from the line of Aaron. To be high priest, he had to prove both father and mother came from Aaron’s line. The genealogies establish the events in a historical setting. They actually happened. They are not myth or legend. They are history. There were several tribes in Africa that accepted the Gospel instantly because they saw the accuracy of the genealogies. Now let us dig into the two genealogies of Jesus.

Matthew’s genealogy starts with Abraham and follows from Abraham to David to the Exile to Jesus. Matthew’s gospel was written to a primarily Jewish audience and Abraham is the Father of Judaism. God made several promises to Abraham, that through his seed would come the Savior, and not just the seed of Abraham, but also the child of promise, Isaac. Abraham had numerous children. First was Ishmael, then came Isaac, then came several children with Keturah. Muslims claim the promises of God because their progenitor, Ishmael, came from the line of Abraham. They did get a blessing and became a nation, however the promise of the Savior came through Isaac. In order for Jesus to be the Messiah, he had to prove that he came from the line of both Abraham AND Isaac.

Then later, God gave David a promise that his line would forever be on the throne. There was a time period where there was no king, so people say that God broke his promise. After the exile, the kingship of Israel was never re-established, until Jesus entered the picture. Joseph, being in the direct line from the kings, had legal right to claim the kingship over Judah. If Rome (who ruled over Palestine at the time) had allowed the Jews to have their own king and become their own nation, Joseph could make a claim for the throne. That is part of why Jesus was seen as the savior who would overthrow Rome and become the next political king. Jesus was in the political blood line to claim the physical throne. Yet he did not claim it, but rather he claimed the real throne he was to receive: as King of all kings, and Lord of all lords. Jesus did not claim a throne that was not rightfully his. He had legal right to claim it because of his descent from the line of Joseph as a legally-adopted son.

An interesting detail in Matthew’s genealogy is the inclusion of women. In ancient times, women were never listed in the genealogies, yet Matthew cites five women: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. With the exception of Mary, the other four were foreign women. Not only that, all four of these women had issues to deal with. Tamar was Judah’s daughter-in-law and since Judah’s sons kept sinning, it ended up where Tamar slept with Judah. Her son continued the line to Jesus. Rahab was of Jericho, doomed to destruction. But she feared Israel’s God more than her own gods and was rescued. Ruth was a Moabite who lost her husband, the son of Naomi. She stayed with Naomi and ended up with Boaz. Bathsheba committed adultery with David, who then murdered her husband. Then there is Mary whose name means “rebellion.” All five of these women had no right to be placed in such a line, yet Matthew chose to put them into Jesus’ line. But something they all had in common was faith. They believed God and his people, and the Mosaic Law made provision for a foreigner to become a “Jew” by faith in a very similar way that foreigners could come to the US and become a naturalized citizen.

Luke’s genealogy varies from Matthew’s in three ways. Matthew starts from Abraham and goes forward to Jesus. Luke starts with Jesus and goes backwards not to Abraham but all the way to Adam. Luke also has a different line. Contradiction? Actually, no. Matthew goes through Joseph’s line and notes how Jesus came through Solomon, son of David. Luke goes through Mary’s line, so Jesus had the physical blood line, not mere adopted line, of David. In Luke’s genealogy, he lists David’s son, Nathan, as the progenitor of Mary, rather than Solomon. So what we learn here is that both Mary and Joseph came from David.

Connecting Jesus to Adam was critical for Luke because his primary audience was Gentiles, people who did not know about Abraham or their line. All peoples came from the line of Adam and then again from the line of Noah after the Flood. These genealogies establish Adam and Noah as historical figures, which also establishes the events around them as historical. The person who claims Adam and original sin and Noah and the Flood are just myth and legend has not and cannot explain the genealogies’ account of them without dismissing them as well. This is why those who support a young earth model constantly say, “If you remove Adam from the picture, you also remove Jesus from being the Savior.” The old earth supporters have such a disconnect of Scripture as a single, cohesive unit they do not see that without Adam, Jesus means nothing.

There is one last thing I will share with this post. Jewish names are not merely names: they are actually phrases and sentences. Some of you may have seen the meaning of the ten names between Adam and Noah, giving a complete Gospel account. Eric Ludy, in his sermon The Lineage of Majesty, gives a spectacular rendering of the whole line. I want to share that here below. The excerpt in this video shows the part below. Listen to this video to get the full picture and look below at how God orchestrated even Jesus genealogical line to show the Gospel message. Have a great Christmas weekend as we celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

The Genealogy of Jesus

He will be….
The Last (Adam)
“standing redemptively in place of another (Seth)”.
The “people of the earth (Enos)”
Are his “possession (Canaan)”
And for the “praise of God (Mahaleel)”
He has “come down (Jared)”
To “make a way (Enoch)”.
“When he dies there will be an outpouring-His death will be as a weapon (Methuselah)”
“He is brought low that he might prove powerful (Lamech)”.
“He will bring rest and be a resting place (Noah)”.
“His Name will be famous (Shem)”
Among those who have been “cut off from the breast and bound in the enemy stronghold (Aparaxad)”
For he calls them “his possession (Canaan)”.
He will enter this earth as “a tender shoot (Salah)”
As One from the “heavenly region (Eber)”.
He will “divide (Peleg)”
Even “the closest friends (Reu)”.
He will be “a branch (Saruch)”
“burning with resolve (Nahor)”
When “He takes up residence here (Terah)”.
“the father of a multitude, the chief of a mighty host (Abraham)”,
“he laughs (Isaac)”
At the “deceiver and supplanter (Jacob)”
And “overcomes (Israel)”.
“He shall be praised (Judah)”
And “the Breach (Perez)”,
He will “fortify, enclose, and wall in (Hezron)”.
He is “exalted (Amram)”,
The “Royal Seed (Amminadab)”
Who will crush the head of the “hissing enchanter (Nashon)”.

To Jesus along Solomon’s line via Matthew’s Genealogy.
He will be…
“a covering, a garment (Salmon)”
And “in him is strength (Boaz)”.
He will come “serving (Obed)”
To make “wealthy (Jesse)”
His “Beloved (David)”
And bring “peace (Solomon)”
And “enlarge for himself a people (Rehoboam)”.
He will say
“Jehovah is my Father (Abijah).
He will be…
“harmed but healed- hurt, but then made whole (Asa).
It will be said that, He, “God has judged (Jehoshaphat)”
And, He, “God is exalted (Joram)”.
He will prove “the strength of God (Uzziah)
And the “perfection of God (Jotham)”.
He will…
“Possess in his hand (Ahaz)”
“the power of God (Hezekiah)”.
And though he is “forgotten (Manasseh)”
Of his people, He will prove the “Master builder (Amon)”
And “Divinely heal (Josiah)” them.
And, He, “God will set, and make strong (Jechoniah)”
Those who “ask of God (Shealtiel)”;
Those “born in captivity (Zerubabel)”.
He will say…
“My Father is majesty (Abiud)”.
He will be…
“raised up by God (Eliakim)”
To be a “helper (Azor)”
-to be the “righteous one (Sadoc)”.
“God will raise him up (Achim)”
For “God’s praise, majesty and splendor (Eliud)”.
He will be…
“the help of God (Eleazar)”
A “gift (Matthan)”.
And to the heel-grabbing supplanter (Jacob),
He will “exchange out life for death (Joseph)”
And bring “God’s salvation (Jesus)”.

To Jesus along Nathan’s line via Luke’s Genealogy
He will be…
“a covering, a garment (Salmon)”
And “in him is strength (Boaz)”.
He will come “serving (Obed)”
To make “wealthy (Jesse)”
His “Beloved (David)”
And “give (Nathan)”
“the gift of God (Matthias)”.
He declares to those “under the enchantment (Menan)”
That they are “His dearest objects of care (Melea)”
And that “He will raise them up (Eliakim)”.
He will be…
“the giver of grace (Jonan)”,
“the life in exchange for death (Joseph)”.
They will “praise God (Judah)”
Who “hearken unto him (Simon)”
And “join him in covenant (Levi)”.
Those who receive “the gift of God (Matthias)”
The One “whom God has exalted (Jorim)”
Will find the “help and salvation of God (Eleazar)”.
“They will be sustained by God (Jose)”,
“be quickened, made awake, made alive (Er)”.
He will be…
“measured (Elmodan)”
According to the “King’s Divine Oracles (Cosam)”.
He will be “adorned (Addi)”
As “King (Melchi)”.
He will be “a heavenly light (Neri)”
Unto all who “ask of God (Shealtiel)”.
And those “born in captivity (Zerubbabel)”
Will He “heal (Rhesa)”
And “give grace (Joanna)”.
“shall be praised (Judah)”
For “he gives life in exchange for death (Joseph)”
To those who “hearken the good tidings (Shimei).”
He gives “the gift of God (Mattathias)”
Unto the “small (Maath)”.
He is a “bright light (Nagge)”
Unto those “whose eyes are fixed upon God (Esli)”
And he is a “consolation and comfort (Nahum)”
Unto “the burdened (Amos)”.
“The Gift of God (Mattathias)”
Is “life exchanged for death (Joseph)”
It’s the “violent action (Jannai)”
Of “the King (Melchi)”,
In order to “join in covenant (Levi)”.
The “gift of God (Mattathias)”
Raised us to “heavenly heights (Heli)”
And gives “life and liberty in exchange for death (Joseph)”
And “rebellion (Mary)”
And bring us “God’s salvation (Jesus).

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