“The [a]record of the genealogy of [b]Jesus [c]the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2 Abraham [d]was the father of Isaac, [e]Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of [f]Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of [g]Ram. 4 Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. 5 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. 6 Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by [h]Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.7 Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of [i]Asa. 8 Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of [j]Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. 9 Uzziah was the father of [k]Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 10 Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of [l]Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah.11 Josiah became the father of [m]Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. 12 After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of [n]Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. 13 Zerubbabel was the father of [o]Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor. 14 Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud. 15 Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob.16 Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called [p]the Messiah. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to [q]the Messiah, fourteen generations.” Matthew 1:1-17
General Idea: The Genealogy of Yeshua is an influence for us today! Matthew starts his gospel with a seemingly dry and boring discourse to which we may say, “What’s up with this string of names?” We do not even give a thought or a glance to what personal or ecclesiastical benefit can be had here or what spiritual insight can be gleaned. However, this is a list of people, people like us who testify to how God works through the ages, through various people and through circumstances. This even tells us how God redeems and works with and through not only the people we may expect Him to, but also the unlikely people we would perhaps never consider as worthy.
Yeshua comes from an incredible line of diverse people, such as Patriarchs and kings as we might expect; in addition, there are righteous people as well as a list of people you may not expect: dubious and even wicked people, captives, the obscure and insignificant, traders, prisoners, adulterers, murderers, and even harlots (Genesis 3). This is a pedigree seemingly unfit for a champion K-9, yet fit for the Ultimate LORD, Savior and King of the Universe. It is a testimony and a testament of how God keeps His great promises, and shows Yeshua’s right to the Kingship of the world through the lineage of David.
Yeshua is the King! And, the King has arrived! Spurgeon gives this passage and the Book of Matthew the title, “The King Has Come”, to which we must respond, my God and my King! This is the anticipation from the very beginnings of God’s introduction into humanity, through Adam and Eve’s failure and sin and God’s promises to bring redemption through their descendants. Yeshua is our Savior, to save us from our fall into sin.
Genealogy / Generation means “origin” also it can mean history and record (Gen. 2:4; 5:1). Matthew is the only one of the four Gospels that begins with the genealogy of Yeshua. A key point for us is that God made promises and God keeps His promises!
Yeshua the King, who was also the son of David and of Abraham, fulfilled that promise! Abraham is the one whom God used to initiate His promise and plant His seed. It was a linage of faith from the Patriarchs and their descendants, birthing a nation that was to honor the One, True, Sovereign God. Judaism was meant to show who God was and how all can know Him through the priesthood, law, the faith of obedience and the heart. It was a call to show the carnal world His Way by faith and obedience and finally bringing The Way, Yeshua as Savior and Lord (Gen 12:1-3).
All Scripture is profitable: It is profitable for doctrine and it is profitable for instruction in righteousness; we have great things to learn.
Why does Matthew begin with Yeshua’s genealogy? Mainly, because Matthew wrote for the Jews; so, this genealogy is of paramount importance to convince Jews that Yeshua has the right to be and is in fact, the Messiah, the promised King and Deliverer. Since Mark wrote for the Romans, Luke wrote for the Greeks, and John wrote for the world and the new church, they did not need to do that (Gen. 5, 10, 1 Chron. 1-9).
Consider how God uses unlikely people and the relationship of Yeshua to a stained and sinful humanity.
Tamar was a “pretend” harlot who represented Judas’s failure through sin and incest. That tells us Yeshua is the friend of sinners, giving us hope and redemption!
Rahab, a prostitute, one God would use even though society threw her away.
Ruth, who was of unclean Gentile blood, but whose lineage birthed David, showing that God s a friend of the humble, poor and obscure. He favors faith over pedigree. Ruth, a non-Jew, who was under a curse (“Moab,” Duet. 23:3-5) and who “corrupted” the royal blood line with Gentile blood.
David, the favored king, whose heart was after His, but who sinned grievously and suffered the consequences, after which God accepted his repentance.
Bathsheba, an adulteress who fell to sin, but who received the great promise to be in the lineage of the Messiah (2 Sam 11)!
A lineage of faithful kings of character, all of whom struggled with sin, unfaithfulness to God and country, and were not perfect, as well as those who were as bad as can be, even unspeakably evil. A lineage of the forgotten, those whose contributions have been lost, those who made no contribution, the poor and the ordinary. That shows us that God does not forget; we can either be prisoners of sin or liberated with hope; Yeshua gives us the key.
What can we learn today from an obscure list of ancient names, of which only a few may be familiar? These names are all born of promise and purpose, with mixed character and maturity, who struggled with carnality and life. None of these people were perfect; even David was an adulterer and murderer. All of them made both good and bad decisions, struggling with following their own will or being surrendered over to God. Some glorified God and some lived to themselves, just as we do personally and
collectively as people today. Even Christian leaders and pastors have the same standards and call to be of faith and to obey.
God works it all out for His glory as stated in Romans, chapter eight. God is indeed a friend to all who will call Him Lord. He is a friend to sinners, the obscure, the poor and the friendless, His hand is always reaching out. Perhaps, this passage is a small glance into the mystery and wonder of God’s Grace and incarnation, how He intercedes and loves. It all points us to Yeshua, the One who saved us and the One whom we worship and trust as Lord over all!
Take this key point to heart and into the streets of your life: God is the God of promises. God made promises and God keeps His promises! This means for you too! We all have hope beyond all hope, reason and purpose! We have faith that is deeper and wider than we could ever imagine, a gift that we did not earn or deserve. Yeshua the King, who was also the son of David and the son of Abraham, fulfilled that promise and demonstrated this faith! In addition, when you accepted Him, you became part of the promise and faith fulfilled.
Faith is not inherited! We cannot get it from our parents or our church, even though our lineage may be passed down for generations. Faith is personal and relational to Yeshua for each individual person who is in community with the Church. As parents, we are responsible for bringing our children up in His light and character, but we are also responsible for receiving His grace and modeling His faith! We can have the faith and confidence that God does keep His word! We can trust Him with all of our needs, worries, and problems, even if we do not understand what God is doing!
God transcends time. Therefore, when we are going though trials and tribulations, He is there, before, during and after, carrying us through! Likewise, we can emulate Yeshua by keeping our promises to our faith and our behaviors toward others around us! We are reminded of God’s mercy!
Yeshua is the ultimate humbler; He humbled Himself by taking on the likeness of a mere man; He was still also fully God when He came to this earth. He is God, Messiah, the Lord who was foretold and who has come, our Lord, our Savior and the King (Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 2:9-18)!
1. Have you ever researched your family tree? How far back can you trace your family? What does knowing your family history tell you about who you are? What did your family pass on to you (consider genetics, behaviors, culture, etc.)?
2. Who were the significant spiritual people who influenced your faith and journey with Yeshua? What did they pass on to you?
3. Does this passage seem dry and boring? Why?
4. Why does Matthew begin with the genealogy of Yeshua? Why is it important?
5. How can knowing the stories behind the people in this genealogy-all of the adventures, faith, struggles inspire you?
6. How does knowing that God works through diverse people, regardless of
wealth, culture, or position, give you hope and assurance?
7. How assured are you that Yeshua will keep His great promises? How does this help you keep promises, and trust in Him and His promises?
8. Matthew shows Yeshua’s right to the Kingship of the world. Does He have this right in you? What have you done with His Kingship-Lordship in you?
9. Before reading this study, did you see or consider that there are great things to learn even from this seemingly obscure passage? How can this help motivate your Bible reading?
10. What do you think about the role of women in a culture that considered them lower than farm animals, and that even harlots and an adulteress are used in the royal line? How does this give you more faith?
11. What can be learned today from an obscure list of ancient names, of which only a few may be familiar?
12. How can this passage help you know that God makes promises and God keeps His promises through all generations?
13. Can you trust Him with all of your needs, worries, and problems, even if you do not understand what is going on?
14. God transcends time. Therefore, when we are going though trials and tribulations, He is there-before, during, and after-carrying us through. How does this give you hope in times of distress?
15. What reminds you of God’s mercy? Why can’t faith be inherited?
16. How have you been reminded of God’s mercy? How can you witness and take in the promise to have hope beyond hope and a reason and purpose for your life?
17. How can you emulate Yeshua by keeping your promises to your faith and your behaviors/characters to others around you?
18. Yeshua is the ultimate humbler: He humbled Himself by taking on the likeness of a mere man; He was still also fully God when He came to this earth. Knowing this, how can you live your life with an attitude of humility?
19. “Have this attitude [a]in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be [b]grasped, 7 but [c]emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death [d]on a cross.” Phil. 2:5-8. How will your life, your actions, and your behaviors be changed with this passage rooted in your mind and heart?
20. Knowing that God uses unlikely people, how can you live your live more
purposeful in your growth and relationship with Yeshua?
“Wonder suppressing all wonders; the Word by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh, and dwelt among us!” (Spurgeon)
© 2002, revised 2006 R.J. Krejcir Ph.D. Discipleship Tools