This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah…Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.
Most of us just skim-read Matthew’s genealogy list. Abraham’s there √ and Jesus who is called the Messiah is there √. There are other recognizable names in between but I was surprised to discover why that genealogy is important. Maybe you will be too. We live in an age when we can know about anything and everything, even ancestry through Google and DNA results that connect us with the past and long-lost family connections.
Matthew’s genealogy list was the early cliff notes version of that. Those lives and names validated their pedigree and became a memory device to help them remember the details of their history. They were time-stamped code words for them. God had chosen those ancestors to be part of the creation of a new nation, Somehow their descendants preserved the nation through disaster and they’d endured the shame of their exile into slavery. Finally that remnant of people saw the restoration of their freedom through the birth of Messiah and that would turn tragedy into triumph.
It’s mind boggling to imagine the volumes of information represented by the simple connecting thread of those names. I wonder if the purpose of that geneology is to remind us of a timeless truth: the sovereign God works His Story THROUGH people…not because of them.
That truth of God is still part of our DNA. Maybe that helps explain the current explosion of curiosity about ancestry and finding the surprises it may hold. I know that’s happened to me and my list of “begats” has grown in ways I never expected. My pedigree is not a list of purity of line but proof that by God’s design the barrier between saint and sinner is down. My list of ancestors persevered in their lives and became my opportunity to recognize Jesus Christ as the Son of God who could turn an ordinary life of daily events, good and bad, into triumph.
That’s the pedigree I want to be part of the ancestry of my own descendants.