Rejoicing in His Family Tree

Dr. Rob Green November 28, 2021 Matthew 1:1-17
Outline

John 20:30-31 - Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

3 reasons we can rejoice in His family tree

I. Because It Proves that God Fulfills His Covenant Promises

A. Promise to David (v. 1)

Psalm 89:28-29 - My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall be confirmed to him. So I will establish his descendants forever and his throne as the days of heaven.

2 Samuel 7:16 - Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.

Isaiah 9:6-7 - For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

B. Promise to Abraham (v. 1)

Genesis 12:1-3 - Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

Genesis 22:18 - In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.

C. Promise to Judah (v. 2-3)

Genesis 49:9-10 - Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, and as a lion, who dares rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

II. Because It Proves that God Brings Beauty from Ashes

A. Tamar: a story of injustice, betrayal, and deception (v. 3)

Genesis 38:7 - But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord took his life.

B. Rahab: a story of sexual sin

Hebrews 11:31 - By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.

James 2:25 - In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

C. Ruth: a story of loss

Ruth 1:16-17 - But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.”

D. Josiah: a story of a wicked father and a seemingly impossible task

2 Kings 21:2-3, 16 - He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done…Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord.

2 Kings 21:19-23 - Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem…He did evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done. For he walked in all the way that his father had walked, and served the idols that his father had served and worshiped them. So he forsook the Lord, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. The servants of Amon conspired against him and killed the king in his own house.

1 Kings 22:1-2 - Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem…He did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left.

1 Kings 22:3 - The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant.

1 Kings 22:20 - All the priests of the high places who were there he slaughtered on the altars and burned human bones on them; then he returned to Jerusalem.

“Good or evil, they were part of Messiah’s line, for though grace does not run in the blood, God’s providence cannot be deceived or outmaneuvered.” (Matthew, Expositors Bible Commentary Vol 8, p.67)

E. Mary: a story of a poor, humble girl

III. Because It Proves that God Created an Amazing Story

Matthew 1:17 - 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 the Messiah, fourteen generations.

A. A story line of need and involvement

B. A story line that has a clear solution

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am so excited to speak this morning. The last two sermons I gave have been heavy passages.

  • One focused on the death and burial of Jesus from the end of John 19. Soldiers were breaking legs and shoving spears. Bodies were taken down and placed in a tomb.
  • Two weeks ago from James encouraged us to choose joy in trials. That is hard. Trials bring pain, suffering, and hurt. Choosing Joy sometimes looks like fighting for joy and hanging on to joy for dear life.
  • Heavy subjects. But today is different.
  • Today is party day. In the words of one of my young friends (he is a first grader) … “Let’s get this party started.”

Today marks the beginning of our final series of the year. Our annual theme is Enjoying Life in His Name. We spent most of the year studying John’s gospel. John wrote,

John 20:30-31 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

John communicated clearly that he wanted to prove that the long-awaited Messiah is Jesus. We all noticed, however, that John does tell us anything about the birth of Jesus.

  • We decided it would be appropriate to go back to the basics of the Christmas story – Matthew 1-2 and explain how the Christmas story provides opportunity for us to focus on Jesus, Our Messiah.

As we do, we are going to find many reasons for rejoicing. We are going to find joy in …

#1. His family Tree (Matthew 1:1-17)

#2. His saving Purpose (Matthew 1:18-25)

#3. His caring Kingship (Matthew 2:1-12)

#4. His rescue from danger (Matthew 2:13-25)

With that in mind, please turn in your Bibles to Matthew 1. That is on page 1 of the back section of the Bible in the chair in front of you.

I love how the Christmas story is simple. Little children can explain it.

  • Within the story, however, are deep complexities that allow those of us who know the story to probe deeper or look at it from many different angles.
  • I hope at the end of this message you are encouraged in your heart and soul.

Please follow along as I read. This is the Word of the Lord.

Some of you are thinking … really, Rob? A genealogy is a party! You need to get out more 😊.

  • There is something seriously wrong with a person who thinks a genealogy is a party.
  • I get it. I am more boring than most.
  • But, seriously, I want to suggest that there are 3 reasons we can rejoice in His family Tree.

Before I get to these 3 awesome, amazing, glorious, party-worthy reasons I need to say that these 17 verses prove that Jesus is the Messiah. Matthew wrote them to leave no doubt in our minds. Notice vv. 1, 16, 17.

  • Matthew is screaming at us with his genealogy that Jesus is the Messiah. In fact, the last time we looked at Matthew 1:1-17 in our Christmas series Pastor Viars focused exclusively on Jesus is Messiah.
  • This year, we spent the better part of 8 months doing that in John’s gospel. Therefore, I want to venture slightly off trail and notice a few party-worthy truths in this text. Ready?

I. Because it proves that God fulfills his Covenant Promises

There may be no better justification for believing our home in heaven is secure than the promises that God has kept already.

  • How can I trust that God will keep his salvation promise?
  • How can I trust that Jesus will prepare a place for me?
  • One answer among many is to look at God’s promise keeping history.

Verse 1 sets a very important stage. Messiah must come through David and Abraham. During Jesus’ earthly ministry they accused him (not having the written gospels) of being an illegitimate child and not having the proper birth line to be the messiah. Matthew proves otherwise.

Promise to David (1:1)

I included three OT references emphasizing the promises made to David that Jesus, our Messiah, fulfills.

Psalm 89:28-29 “My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall be confirmed to him. 29 “So I will establish his descendants forever And his throne as the days of heaven.

2 Sam 7:16 “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”

Isaiah 9:6-7 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

Son of David is one of Matthew’s favorite titles for Jesus and it proves that he is Messiah. It also demonstrates that God intends to keep his promise to David. One of his descendants will reign forever. Reminds me of a popular Christmas song.

  • And he shall reign forever and ever. King of Kings. Lord of Lords. Hallelujah!
  • He is called “son of David;” he is also called “son of Abraham.”

Promise to Abraham (1:1)

Gen 12:1-3 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

God promises Abraham land, descendants, and blessing. The blessing is further explained in…

Gen 22:18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Reading the OT does not bring the blessing to a conclusion.

  • I suppose we can find a few ways that the nation was a blessing to its neighbors, but their failures are also evident.
  • When Matthew says that Jesus is the son of Abraham, he is reminding us that God is fulfilling his promise that “in your seed all the nations shall be blessed.”

Promise to Judah (1:2-3)

Judah was Jacob’s 4th son, not his first. This is the first hint that the line of Jesus does not always flow through the eldest son. But if we go back to Genesis, we see something more. When Jacob blessed his children (which was more like a prophecy) he said this about Judah …

Genesis 49:9-10 “Judah is a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, And as a lion, who dares rouse him up? 10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

From the first book of the Bible we are expecting a ruler to come from Judah.

  • Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, all older sons, would not be used to carry the line of Messiah.
  • Matthew reminds us that God kept his commitment to bring his Messiah through Judah.

This brief survey of the various promises that God made to his people and the fulfillment of those promises through Jesus relate to us in at least the following two ways:

First, it provides a compelling reason to trust Christ as your Lord and Savior. Every person … whether you come alone, whether you are living in a wonderful Christian home, whether you are experiencing challenges of various kinds … must decide what you will do with Jesus.

  • He is the Messiah and the one through whom God keeps all his promises.
  • Since he has promised that all who have a saving relationship with Jesus spend eternity in glory and all who do not have a saving relationship are punished for all eternity in misery, you can expect that God will keep his promise.

I want to urge you this Christmas season to repent of your sin and trust in the finish work of Jesus personally. It is not your parent’s faith, a sibling’s faith, it must be yours.

Second, it provides a compelling reason for believers to rejoice (have a party) in a promise keeping God. The fulfillments to Abraham, David, and Judah not only show that Jesus is the Messiah, but that through Messiah God plans to keep all his promises.

Comfort and security in Christ lead to the next step. Since I do not have to worry about my eternal destiny, I have the freedom to serve Christ faithfully.

  • Thank you for all who signed up to serve with Taste of Christmas … we want to see people saved tomorrow and Tuesday. Pray.
  • Thank you for all who are serving at Living Nativity … we want everyone in our community to hear and see a clear presentation of the gospel. Serve and Invite.
  • Thank you for all who are working on the musicals … we want people to hear the message of Christ in song. Invite.
  • We have 3 Christmas Eve services (two at 5 and one at 8, but the others at West and North) … invite and lets pray that people respond. Invite.

I rejoice because Jesus’ family tree shows that God keeps his covenant promises. Also …

II. Because it proves that God brings beauty from ashes

Every name in this genealogy is a person with a story. Their stories involved sin, loss, injustice, difficulty, and pain. Yet, God redeemed those stories and ultimately included them in Jesus’ line.

  • To be fair, I know that some genealogies in the Bible are hard to read because we do not know their stories. Lists of names without the corresponding stories create challenges (some are not parties).
  • That is not true here. Every name is worth a look, but for the sake of time I am going to mention 5 names and the 5 associated redemption stories.

Tamar: a story of injustice, betrayal, and deception (v. 3)

Women were not typically included in a family tree at all, but if you were going to include one Tamar is not a likely candidate. If you knew that you were related to a person with a storied past, you might choose to keep that information to yourself.

Can you imagine being a child with the last name “Manson” or “Booth” or “Capone”? Everyone and their brother would ask if you were related.

Our Lord is not bothered by that. Tamar’s story occurs in Genesis 38. The Lord tells us that Judah had a son named Er. Tamar marries him. However, …

Gen 38:7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord took his life.

Man alive, talk about a difficult situation. You might think your spouse is bad. God killed Tamar’s husband.

  • Judah commands his younger unmarried son to marry Tamar and raise up for son for his brother. It was customary to ensure family inheritances were properly passed down. He refuses and God kills him too.
  • Judah then deceives her by telling her to go home until his younger son grows up knowing that he has no intention of giving his son to her. Judah does not want to lose another one.

Do you see what is happening? Tamar marries two men so bad that God kills them and then gets blamed for their deaths --- as if she had anything to do with it.

  • Judah apparently thinks … “it could not have been my boys. Let’s see two dead sons one alive daughter-in-law … you do the math.”
  • No one, at first glance, holds up for her.

You know the story. She dresses as a prostitute, solicits Judah because he apparently was in the habit of looking for prostitutes.

  • She becomes pregnant, Judah wants to kill her until he finds out it is his child.
  • He is Jesus’ great (a whole bunch of them) grandfather.

Yea, I think I will write Matt 1:3 a little differently. We have to include Judah because of David, the Lion of Judah and the promises. Can we leave out the Tamar part? That raises all kinds of difficult and embarrassing family issues.

Yet, Tamar, the one who was mistreated joins the line of Jesus. That is a story of beauty from ashes.

Rahab: a story of sexual sin

Who can forget the prostitute that Joshua’s spies visit? If you are spying the land, go to the place that raises the least number of questions. Makes perfect sense.

We do not understand how or why she became a prostitute. We know nothing about her larger family.

  • We know that some must have been around because they had to stay in her home to survive the conquest.

Rahab is very different from Tamar, but she is not living the most sanctified life.

  • But somehow, someway, Rahab embraces truth about God and His people.
  • She exercises faith not only in the upcoming victory for God’s people over the city and land but also that he is the God of the universe.

That leads her to take specific action steps to reject her former way of life and adopt a new worldview and purpose. Here is the NT’s testimony about her …

Heb 11:31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.

James 2:25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

After joining the Israelites, she ultimately married and became part of the line of Jesus. That is one ending you could not possibly expect. What an incredible testimony of the Lord making beauty from ashes.

The next brief portrait … [who knows maybe another Christmas season we will devote entire sermons to these various characters]

Ruth: a story of loss

Ruth was from Moab – an enemy of Israel. She did not know the Lord. She grew up in a unbelieving society.

  • She married one of Naomi’s sons, but he died and she became a widow.
  • Naomi encourages her to return home, find a husband, and go live her life.
  • Naomi’s grief over her husband and sons has turned to bitterness and she no longer sees Ruth’s need for conversion … just some security.

But God knows all about it. While Ruth’s sister-in-law decides to take Naomi’s advice, Ruth is willing to give up her family, her religion, her home, and her potential security to care for Naomi. It is a remarkable picture of grace.

Imagine if Naomi had posted an ad in the local newspaper:

  • Wanted: Caretaker for a bitter women. The qualified candidate must be prepared to listen to incessant complaining, recounting stories of the good ol’ days when life was better, occasional rants for no good reason, toxic communication, and the occasional narcissistic attitude that proves my needs are far more important than yours.
  • Oh, rather than being paid, this position is designed for those who also wish to provide financially for said bitter woman.

Who would want to deal with that hot mess? Customary wisdom would say run fast, run hard, and never stop running. In God’s grace, because he knows how to bring beauty from ashes, Ruth signs up.

Ruth 1:16-17 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17 “Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.”

You know the rest of the story.

  • Ruth just so happens to glean in Boaz’s field, who just so happens to treat her kindly, who just so happens to be a relative of Naomi, who just so happens to be willing to take the responsibility for both Ruth and Naomi, and Ruth just happens to be David’s great grandmother.

How crazy is that? Yet another picture of God’s ability to bring beauty from ashes. Next up …

Josiah: a story of a wicked father and a seemingly impossible task

Josiah is one of my favorite OT stories. We need a little family context to see God’s grace in Josiah’s life. He was born into a wicked family. Manasseh, his grandfather, was on the throne for 55 years – one of the longest of anyone. However, his reign was not characterized by godliness. Instead, the Bible says Manasseh

2 Kings 21:2-3, 16 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done … 16 Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord.

Can you imagine that is your grandad’s testimony? Visiting him might even be scary. Surely Manasseh’s son, Josiah’s daddy, was better right? Here is what the Bible says about him…

2 Kings 21:19-23 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem … 20 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done. 21 For he walked in all the way that his father had walked, and served the idols that his father had served and worshiped them. 22 So he forsook the Lord, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. 23 The servants of Amon conspired against him and killed the king in his own house.

As a young boy Josiah’s grandad continually provokes God. He dies and Josiah’s daddy takes over. He is so wicked his own servants kill him.

  • Things do not look good for Josiah. Family history is not very positive. Surely all is lost for Josiah.

I love this story for lots of reasons, but one of them is that sometimes God’s people get stuck in their family history. You are not controlled by your family craziness. Although Josiah’s father and grandfather were some of the most wicked kings … the Bible says about Josiah

1 Kings 22:1-2 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem… 2 He did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left.

How does an 8 year old living under the wickedness of the grandfather and then father decide to rise above the chaos of his family?

In fact, when Josiah learns that God will bring discipline for the nation’s and his family’s evil, he humbles himself before the Lord and asks for wisdom. The Lord hears and listens. Josiah then led the people … 1 Kings 22:3 The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant.

Shortly thereafter Josiah tears down every high place, every alter, and was personally there to oversee it. He did not just send someone to do the job. The summary of the matter occurs in

1 Kings 22:20 All the priests of the high places who were there he slaughtered on the altars and burned human bones on them; then he returned to Jerusalem.

Josiah destroyed all the alters, ground them into dust, killed the wicked prophets, unearthed the bones of former wicked prophets and burned them – refusing them a burial.

  • He was wiping them off the face of the planet.
  • That is dealing with the problem. We are tearing them down, grinding them into pieces, digging up dead priest’s bones and burning them, and refusing burial to anyone who agrees with them.
  • Wowzers!

It is a remarkable story. D.A. Carson commenting on this section of the genealogy wrote, “Good or evil, they were part of Messiah’s line, for though grace does not run in the blood, God’s providence cannot be deceived or outmaneuvered.” (Matthew, Expositors Bible Commentary Vol 8, p.67)

Jesus’ family tree has God’s grace flowing over almost every word! God can bring beauty from ashes from even the most unlikely sources. In fact, you might want to study this genealogy more carefully … looking at the all the stories and marveling at God’s grace. Last one for today…

Mary: a story of a poor, humble girl

In the text, v. 16 breaks the pattern. Until v. 16 there is a consistent “_____ is the father of ___.” Here, however, we see the change. Joseph is not the father of Jesus in the same way that Jacob was his father or Abraham the father of Isaac or Jesse the father of David.

  • Verse 16 reminds us that God was doing something special with Mary.

She was a recipient of a special grace from God.

  • The Holy Spirit would conceive in her and she would bring a son.
  • I love how the Bible speaks about Mary. She was a poor, humble girl with a character of gold.
  • The more she learns about her savoir-son the more she treasures those things in her heart.

This was a special kind of beauty from ashes.

  • A poor girl that no one would know her name. She lived poor, would have died poor, and the history books would have said nothing about her.
  • Except…except the Lord brings beauty from ashes. This girl goes down in human history as the one who carried and birthed the savior of the world. She delivered her deliverer.

I think this genealogy takes about 3 hours to read! Every name brings up someone’s story. What we find time and time and time again is a picture of God’s amazing grace that brings beauty from ashes.

  • Tamar … Rahab … Ruth … Josiah … Mary do not seem the most likely candidates for inclusion in Messiah’s line. Yet the Lord loves bringing beauty from ashes.

Christian friend, this is a reason to rejoice. Look at your story. Look at how the Lord brought you to this place today. Maybe you can say, Oh thank you Jesus for being Messiah. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for showing me that beauty from ashes is not the exception in your family line, but it is the rule.

Some of us were a mess like Tamar … getting the raw end of the deal time and time again … others like Rahab … prostituting ourselves and living in continual sin … others like Ruth … who leave all the familiar at great risk only to discover the blessing of God … or like Josiah … bad family experience and yet responds with amazing courage even as a young boy … or like Mary … seeking to live for Jesus in whatever ways he calls..

There is a reason for a party … God knows how to take ashes and make something beautiful.

  • This is also all the motivation we need to live for him.

Why can we rejoice in Jesus’ family tree. First, it proves that God keeps his covenant promises. Second, it proves that God brings beauty from ashes.

III. Because it proves that God created an amazing story

The most difficult verse to handle in this section comes at the end.

Matthew 1:17 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 the Messiah, fourteen generations.

What is the Lord trying to communicate? I am not using the word “story” to indicate something false, but rather something that goes together. The Bible has a story line. This genealogy helps us capture a couple elements of it.

A story line of need and involvement

Matthew breaks down history into 3 segments … Abraham to David, David to Babylon, Babylon to Messiah.

John MacArthur believes that each of these sections of history has a theme. For example, Abraham to David (Genesis to 1 Samuel 15) is largely a wandering and enslavement story.

  • Abraham travels to a new place. There are few of them, even decades later.
  • They almost die in famine. As they proper they become slaves, wander in the wilderness, and establish partial control of the land.
  • Yet, God is working. He is providing instruction and establishing a covenant.

From David to Babylon (1 Samuel 15 through the end of Chronicles) is dominated by rebellion and idolatry. The nation is cast into exile.

  • There are only a few bright and godly lights through this portion of history and yet God works.
  • Even in exile he promises a return. In idolatry and rebellion, he promises a remnant. God will keep his promises to his people even if his people fail to keep theirs.

From Babylon to Messiah is the biblical dark ages. The Bible tells us very little.

  • The history books remind us that these years were full of national suffering. They wanted a ruling Messiah because they had suffered so much for hundreds of years.
  • Yet, through it all, God worked. He preserved his people and sent Messiah.

The story of human history is one of need because we are sinful, rebellious, and idolatrous. There is also a gracious God working through it all.

A story line that has a clear solution

I also feel obligated to mention the 14 thing. I suspect that some of you would ask me in the hallway anyway. First, we know that genealogies are not restricted to father-son relationships.

  • There are more than 14 father-son combinations in each of these periods. Some of them are recorded in the Bible itself.
  • As suggested above, it divides human history into three even theological time periods. “14” is a symbol for a period of time.

It is also possible that the Lord and Matthew wanted to communicate one more idea. Hebrew letters had values. David’s name comes to 14. If intended, this would mean that v. 17 would say that Jesus, the Messiah is the promised son of David. The text would end the way it began.

  • The 14 is nothing more than a symbol for David himself.

Regardless if that is the right explanation for the 14, the solution is Jesus, the Messiah. It is true in the periods of biblical history and of all history. God’s amazing story finds its fulfillment in Jesus.

The Christmas story gives us many reasons to rejoice. As we look at the story first through the lens of Jesus’ family tree we see that:

  • God fulfills his covenant promises
  • God creates beauty from ashes
  • God wrote an amazing story

Every party requires a reason to celebrate.

  • Most of our parties celebrate birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations and the like, but let’s not miss the opportunity to celebrate the party-worthy truths found in Jesus’ family tree.

Authors

Dr. Rob Green

Roles

Pastor of Counseling and Seminary Ministries - Faith Church

MABC Department Chair, Instructor - Faith Bible Seminary

Bio

B.S. - Engineering Physics, Ohio State University
M.Div. - Baptist Bible Seminary
Ph.D. - New Testament, Baptist Bible Seminary

Dr. Rob Green joined the Faith Church staff in August, 2005. Rob’s responsibilities include oversight of the Faith Biblical Counseling Ministry and teaching New Testament at Faith Bible Seminary. He serves on the Council Board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition and as a fellow for the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Pastor Green has authored, co-authored, and contributed to 9 books/booklets. Rob and his wife Stephanie have three children.

Read Rob Green's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Green to Faith Church.