The Genealogy of Jesus Christ
1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.
And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
The Birth of Jesus Christ
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
Matthew 1 Commentary
by Hank Workman
There is reason Matthew is placed as the first of the 4 Gospels.
First, among the early church, it was known as the most prestigious. This was not only based on some of the teachings covered by Matthew but some of them are more in-depth. Second, it is laced with Jewish flavor throughout. This was powerful and it’s placement sure as it is the opening book of the New Testament. 400 years passed between the last word written in the Old Testament and the opening of Matthew.
This book ties the heritage of the Jews with what was old and with the new coming in Jesus Christ. Finally, the beauty of the book also is reflected in the author. Matthew was a Jewish tax collector. Loathed by society and one who pursued his own wants for most of his life, when Jesus approached him, he left everything behind to follow. His life was never the same.
With these thoughts, it makes sense for Matthew to open with the earthly lineage of Jesus. As his Gospel was initially written for the Jewish audience, this makes sense as they put so much stock in where a person came from. It is fascinating to consider that Matthew also traces the lineage back to Abraham while Luke takes it all the way back to Adam. Why is that? Simply, Matthew was writing to the Jews but the theme of Luke was to the Gentiles – of which his differing lineage points that all people were to be saved.
The theme of Matthew resonates with a loud message: Jesus is King. He is the Messiah. 16 different times in his writing he uses the phrase, “this was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet”. He makes it clear that the Person of Jesus Christ was the complete fulfillment of all prophecies given by the ancient prophets.
Within this genealogy, he makes note of most unusual characters. He has women listed. This was rare. Tamar was the daughter in law to Judah who sold herself as a prostitute. Rahab was a Gentile prostitute at Jericho. Ruth was a Moabite, once again a Gentile. ‘The wife of Uriah’ is Bathsheba, who committed adultery with David and in time would give birth to Solomon. Women were nothing in the eyes of Jewish men during this time. This reference to women showed Jesus was for all people, and women who were so marginalized were part of His reach.
There are many shady characters listed as well but this showed the heart of Jesus – he identified with sinners. The reality is God’s work in human history is not limited to the upright but humans marked with sin. He works through ordinary people to fulfill his plan.
This is where our hope is today. Each of us have a past littered with sinful choices and behaviors. Yet the transforming work of Jesus Christ is evident when we give of ourselves to the King.
Matthew 1 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
The Gospels do not record a single word spoken by this man. Yet, the Gospel account written by Matthew is a bridge to the past. If a person had just read the Old Testament and started with Romans or Acts, they would be completely lost. The book of Matthew builds a strong link to the prophetic utterances of the Old Testament while also introducing the new covenant through Jesus Christ.
The Jews reading Matthew would have been concerned about God’s Kingdom. The Kingdom of Heaven occurs 33 times in this book. The genealogy listed here would tie into that promised kingdom by tracing roots back to David and Abraham – two men who were critical to kingdom prophecies.
Matthew also uses the word “righteous” more than all of the other Gospels combined. This would be due to the fact that first-century Jews put a heavy emphasis on being righteous before God. An important task that Matthew seeks to accomplish is convincing the Jews that Jesus is their Messiah. This would prove to be difficult, but it wasn’t due to a lack of factual information. It was the result of calloused hearts.
Matthew paints a paradoxical picture with his genealogy account. On one hand, Jesus was an ordinary man with a messy family tree. On the other hand, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He was born into a simple family in the most humble of circumstances, yet, came to save all of humanity – past, present, and future. Jesus identified with sinners from the beginning.
Another fascinating snippet from Matthew’s genealogy account is the inclusion of women. This was rare, but it speaks to the counter-cultural message that Jesus and His followers enthusiastically embraced. In Jesus’ Kingdom, there are no pre-existing conditions. Men, women, children, Jews, Gentiles, tax collectors, prostitutes, and Pharisees are all welcome at the King’s table.
“In this list of names the patriarchs, Gentiles, women of doubtful character, good men and bad men, the wise, the illustrious, the unknown-all supply important links. It is as though to teach us that in the Son of man there is a blending of all classes, that He might be the representative and helper of all. Each of us may find some point of contact in this genealogy. Jesus Christ belongs to our race. He knew what was in man by that subtle and intimate knowledge which comes of kinship. In Him, therefore, is neither Jew nor Greek exclusively, but all are one in Him.”F.B. Meyer