Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Elihud, Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called 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. – Matthew 1:1-17

If you feel like you are good enough, now is the time to go home. Yes, now. This sermon, this text, yes, the genealogy of Jesus Christ is not meant for you. This is to important. As you continue in Matthew and through the Gospels you will see this played out. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” – Matthew 9:12-13

This premise starts here. It starts with the opening sentence in the Gospel of Matthew. The opening section of the New Covenant writings is all about the need. There is a desperate need, but there is a fantastic hope!

This Jesus that was being spoken of across the known world was a promised King, a promised savior, and one that we desperately need.

As we approach the historic family line of Jesus we see that God’s Word does not pull punches when it comes to the history of its great heroes. When you read through the history of the people of God it is devastatingly apparent what they were like, warts and all. Even the greatest and most admired men and women among this geology need the mercy of God, they needed the messiah.

       And so, as you approach the incarnate God’s entrance into creation you see that the God of universe who created everything with simply Words is able to come into His creation through a history where no history may have been preferred. Instead, the Lord did what He did throughout His time on earth He showed how God makes us Holy and clean, we cannot corrupt what He is instead He transforms us to be more like Him.

From the before Jesus came on earth He prepared to display how He can take what is less and show how much more He is. Once here He took a dozen diverse men and used them to transform the world for millenniums. He took what was tainted and made them clean as He approached the leper and touched the untouchable healing him (Matthew 8:1-4).

      Jesus fixed the broken, those who need both forgiveness and physical healing (Matthew 9:1-8). He loved the unlovable even as He died on the cross He prayed for forgiveness for those murdering Him and welcomed His fellow cross bearing criminal into paradise with Him.

It is Biblos Geneseōsa book of Genesis. The Old Testament begins with the book of the generation of the world, and it is its glory that it does so; but the glory of the New Testament herein excelleth, that it begins with the book of the generation of him that made the world.[1]

   And so, we raise the banner to the King of kings. The King that would come before His people with humility and with aim to restore and bestow greatness to His people at His own great cost.      

Jesus came purposefully! How are you purposeful?

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

This first and opening statement should cause you to think about three major functions that Jesus has come to fulfil. Firstly, Jesus is the Messiah the anointed one. Secondly, Jesus came to fulfil the promise He made to Abraham (John 8:58). Lastly, as the creator of the universe came into His creation as a man He came from a line of people. He came with a history.

Jesus is the anointed one. This opening statement should cause us to pause. Yes, pause. The word and title of Messiah is the same as the title Christ. Christ is not a name it’s a declaration of who He is. Messiah and Christ are the same Greek word. What this title signifies is imperative to the context of the New Covenant time that we live in.

Understand being an anointed one was not rare, it was not exclusive, and being anointed was nowhere near uncommon.[2] The kings throughout Israel’s, and the Ancient Near East’s, history such as Saul and evil men like Ahaz were anointed ones, they were anointed kings. Prophets were anointed, priests were anointed, and kings were anointed with specific purpose.

The title “anointed one” did take on a more dynamic meaning during the 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testaments of scripture, “The word ‘anointed,’ however, is not used directly in the Hebrew Bible as a title for a future messianic person, who would save Israel.”[3] This theme is primarily built upon the expectations that had arisen since the Israelites returned from exile and were oppressed through numerous empires control of the promised land (Roman, Greek, and Persian amidst their empire’s internal struggles).      

By the time Jesus had come to Israel, the people were awaiting a champion King. There were extremists called Zealots, readying a militia to take back the land just as the Israelites worked toward with judges and when their first king was anointed. There had been several revolts like that of the Maccabees, and a religious leadership sect establishing as well as exploiting its rule over the people apart from the Roman appointed ruler/king.

The messiah, the king, the purposeful anointed one of God was longed for. He was waited for and so Matthew declaring that Jesus is whom they have answered for was greater than you and I could fully appreciate. A people, a nation, a culture had started to wait and revolve around the hope of a single man who would save them like the times of the Judges of Israel.

And the heritage of this promise is rooted in two men in particular. Jesus is part of Abraham’s lineage. According to scripture, Jesus could not have been the savior if He was not born from the line of Abraham. See the promised anointed one is rooted in a passage in Genesis.

 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice." Genesis 22:17-18

Abraham is the father of faith in the Lord, it was through His line the promised messiah was to come from ie Jesus Christ. 

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ.” - Galatians 3:16

Abraham was given this promise from God because of His faith in the Lord, not his sinless life. But, through his singular offspring all of mankind has hope. In other words, God is saying, “It is not who you were born from that determines where your value is from.”

 Just as Jesus said to the crowds that came to be baptized by Him.

Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.” - Luke 3:8

More specifically the way people become children of Abraham, or children of the promise is through faith in Christ.  It is by having faith in Jesus Christ and loving him that enables a person to be a child of Abraham. And by becoming a child of Abraham, a child of the promised inheritance in God! As can be clearly seen in…

so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.” - Galatians 3:14 & 29

Jesus is fulfilment of the promises of the kingly line of David. As a descendant of David, and as an anointed one, the King of Israel, like what was nailed to His cross, Jesus is the King forever (2 Samuel 7:16). More than that Jesus is the fulfillment of what the king of Israel was meant to be is fulfilled in Jesus.

The extra question I ask is because you as a believer have a purpose. It is to be good, it to do good works (Ephesians 2:8-10, James 1:16-17, 26-27; 1 John 3:9-11). Remember what Jesus brother said to the believers, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.” – James 2:8

Jesus came to help, to save, to care for the broken. He is the anointed and waited for King. He is the savior.

God of the Universe Used What is Disturbing and Troubling as the preamble to the Greatest Good in all of History.

And the savior of the world though perfect Himself takes what is broken, what is shameful, what is disturbing, and came from it to transform His creation. Jesus prefaced His ministry of caring for and healing the sick with taking what was a disturbing family line and producing life for all people through His life, death, and new life (Romans 5:18-19)!

Jesus family history is filled with a lot of big names that are really cool like Abraham who God considered good enough to be the father of faith.  Well not really, Abraham was considered righteous because of faith not because of his goodness. And sadly, most of Jesus line even the best of them were troubling and disturbing.

This is not meant to shame them or even you in your brokenness for you and I are broken. Instead let the Lord remind us that our brokenness does not determine His ability to use us to transform someone’s life for eternity, even yours.

The great man of faith, the patriarch of the faith Abraham trusted the Lord and left his home. He believed the Lord. But, in the midst of his several faithful moments, he also did not trust the Lord. He had another son that was not from the promise and sent his son and his sons mother away. He called his wife his sister in fear of a king who almost took his wife and well made her his. He left a tainted legacy. Yet God made him the patriarch of a line that He would come into the world through.

Isaac, has a pretty uneventful story. Well, unless you consider telling the same king his dad did that his wife was his sister and had the same nearly compromising situation. And, when he was dying and knew he was supposed to bless Jacob (later to be named Israel) with the promises of the Lord, he tried to bless Esau, whom the Lord hated, but Jacob and his mom deceived Isaac. This makes me really think these guys need family counseling.

Jacob (which means deceiver) or Israel found a woman he wanted to marry. Her dad made Jacob work for 7 years for her. Well, Jacob incidentally slept with her sister. And, by incidentally I mean the girls’ dad deceived Jacob and sent the ugly older one in to his tent.      

He still got the woman of his dreams. He was just married to two sisters! That would be a scary reality show, especially because they started racing to have more and more children to make Jacob love them more.

But hey when they weren’t able to have kids, why not have your husband lay with your slave? I mean really Jacobs’s grandpa Abraham did the same thing with his wife’s slave.

Finally, the woman Jacob loved Rachel has a son. They named him Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob from the woman he wanted in the first place.  Joseph was loved by his father and more than that, continually throughout his 16 chapter highlight in Genesis he is described as having God with him. No matter what temptation came his way he stood strong! He was the most God honoring of all Jacob’s sons!

But alas, Joseph is not the son of Israel the Lord decided to come from.  No, the son of God Jesus came from Judah.  It was Judah’s idea to sell his brother rather than kill him. Why you ask, maybe to be nicer to his brother…no, he sold him so that the brothers could get some extra money from their wickedness rather than just revenge.

And what’s worse the guy had multiple wicked children, the first married a woman, and he died. Then the second was expected to produce a child in the name of his brother with the widow…but he died too for refusing to produce a child in the most wicked of ways. 

(What’s worse than that this woman was a child of Canaan a people that later the Lord would have destroyed, and a people that Abraham refused to let his son Isaac choose a woman from for himself. But, who cares what great, great Gramps has to say.)

So, Judah refused to give this widow a shot with his last son, in fear of losing all his sons to this woman.  So, what happened you ask…please don’t ask….no really don’t ask…. Okay now you can ask…no really you can…. Alright. She pretended to be a prostitute and tricked Judah into sleeping with her. And bore the son that would be in the lineage of Jesus the Christ, the savior and perfect one.

“NO WAY,” YOU SAY! Jesus the perfect son of GOD, the blameless lamb worthy of all praise, the God of the universe chose to be born from a line not once, but three times used deceit and lies to obtain what they desired. Not to mention all their other wickedness.

Moving on from this disturbing and troubling heritage!

Okay we’ve now went through the first 3 of Jesus’s lineage! Now let’s skip down a few!  Here’s a good group Verse 5. I’ve heard of these guys, one of them even has a book named after them in the bible.

and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse,

One is mentioned in the book of Joshua, yeah Rahab isn’t she that prostitute that lied…. Yeah, she was in the city of Jericho that’s walls came down after those people screamed and her faith saved her. It was through her line that the King of kings came.

Oh wait “By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” (Hebrews 11:31) Rahab the prostitute is in the hall of faith because she recognized the power of God and cared for the Lord’s people.              

It’s okay that guy Boaz is pretty nice if I remember right.  And Ruth was actually really nice to her mother in law.  But the thing about Ruth is well she was a Moabite

 "No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever, because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.” – Deuteronomy 23:3-4

So, you see this woman Ruth, just from her birth right as a Moabite deserves nothing to do with the people of Israel. But, the omnipotent King of all Jesus had this crazy thing about loving all His image bearers. 

The biblical characters we’ve talked about so far are not necessarily going to win the member votes at most church’s to be elders let alone pastor’s and we aren’t even half way done!!!

I mean talk about an awful father figure. Have you heard about the first time Jesse shows up in the Bible?  Hey, the spiritual leader of our nation, the big daddy, the grand master prophet stud himself is coming and he wants all your sons in attendance... Jesse felt that his youngest son David didn’t qualify as son and leaves David to keep the sheep.

Little did Jesse know how great of a king and warrior his little son would become. But, it must have given David quite a bit of time to practice with the stones and spears!

David became arguably the greatest and saddest of kings and men in this line!

What can’t you say about David, he was a rockin cool kid with nothing to lose or prove other than that his GOD is better than a silly giant named Goliath. Even though he wasn’t invited to the party that the Lord set up for Him he got to come and be anointed king. Then because he was so baller at killing the enemies of the Lord’s people, the first king Saul, i.e. his best friend’s dad, went out with his armies to kill him.

Alright there’s way too much about David to keep writing it like this let’s do it in a nut shell!

David in a Nutshell movement

  • - disrespected by daddy
  • - disrespected by brothers
  • - kills a guy with a stone
  •        - nation in awe of you
  • - anointed king
  • - hunted down by current king
  • - BF’s daddy hurled a spear to kill him
  • - evades hunting army
  • - spares his hunters life
  • - spares his hunters life
  • - spares his hunters life
  • - King hunting him dies
  • - best friend dies with daddy
  • - Becomes king
  • - Wins against and slaughters his enemies
  • - friend dies from Ark of God
  • - Ark blesses guy it was stored with
  • - David wants it back
  • - doesn’t go out to war with army
  • - sees a babe showering
  • - doesn’t look away
  • - asks other dude to check her out
  • - finds out who she is
  • - calls her over to him and has his way
  • - finds out she’s pregnant
  • - tries to full his friend and husband of the babe
  • - doesn’t work
  • - Sends letter with man to army commander, JOAB kill this man, make it look clean.
  • - has son
  • - son dies
  • - his other son sleeps with/rapes one of his daughters
  • - brother of daughter kills other son
  • - Murdering son gets banished
  • - Murdering son comes back becomes king
  • - David is yet again fleeing for his life.
  • - Murdering treasoness son dies in battle.
  • - David weeps for Murderous/treasoness son
  • - David gets over it

Solomon David’s son from the woman he committed adultery with becomes KING! Not the multiple other wives he acquired properly, nope the adulterous one.

Solomon’s wisdom was beyond measure from the boyhood, but it may have faded a bit as his youthful looks did. Let’s just say Solomon wasn’t the most faithful king to the end. He inevitably forgot that  the beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord.

He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned his heart away. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So, Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done.” – 1 Kings 11:3-6

Because of Solomon’s son Rehoboam’s foolishness the kingdom split in two. He foolishly listened to his peers/friends rather than to the wise older counsel.  Causing there to be 2 kingdoms 1 of which (Israel) never had a king that truly sought the Lord. And the other the Kingdom of Judah had 5 righteous Kings (Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, Hezekiah, Josiah) maybe 6 if you count Manasseh…

"Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done things more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols, 12 therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. … Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” – 2 Kings 21:11,16

But, there was a period of time at the end of Manasseh’s life in which he turned to Lord.  It was while he was captured brought to Babylon and bound with hooks and chains.

And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.” – 2 Chronicles 33:12-13

There’s to much about the people of this genealogy that we cannot go talk about them all. Especially since we never even got to the Exile of Judah and post Exile when the people of God were able to return to the Land the Lord gave them.  

So, the ultimate reason for describing all of these troubled and disturbing people and how wicked or undeserving they were of being in Christ’s lineage is that, that’s the message of the cross!  Jesus not come to save the healthy, but the sick. Jesus seeks those who are His sheep, and His sheep are not without blemish, He is and He makes them worthy. 

Jesus came to unify His image bearers in Him not in a nation here on earth.  He came to break down the barriers that keep people apart.  God wants man kind to worship Him. Not just the rich, not just the poor, not just the outcast, not just the elites. JESUS the Christ is the savior to ALL!

There’s no sin committed, no length of time at enmity with Him, nor lack of ability, nor lack of earthly belongings, nor missing family status that can separate you from the GOD WHO LOVES YOU. He has declared you are worth so much that He would place His own life, His own comfort, and His own glory down in order to lift you up to Himself.

A major purpose in showing the genealogy of Jesus Christ is to cement His claim to the kingship of the people of Israel. But, it also reveals something about God and what He can use for His glory as a preface to the gospel. Jesus is here to seek and save the lost, the broken, and those in need.

How Have You Embraced the Broken and Troubling to Show God’s Greatness in Transforming His Creation for Good?

Jesus was born to a very peculiar family tree. From Abraham to Manasseh there are numerous instances of, well, sinfulness. The God of the universe is one of grace and truth. And, the truth is God has had to show a lot of grace to the lineage of the family He chose to be born into. How much more would He and does He use our darkened past and broken circumstances to reveal His greatness!

We as a church have an opportunity to look past someone’s past and see what God can do through their future for the sake of their eternity and others. We can embrace someone in their brokenness trusting that God can work in and through them. We note the remarkable deeds of what God has done, but we must remember and believe in what God is doing and will do.

Look to your neighbor, your friend, your enemy and think of what God can do. Look past their might, their wealth, their frustrating habits and lifestyles and look at God. God can transform and use the worst of the worst for His glory. Pray for what God can do in history through you and through those around you.

What person have you wrote off as being lost for eternity? Who have you stopped pursuing for the sake of the Kingdom? Manasseh made Saul from the New Testaments sins look like child’s play for sinners, and yet, God transformed Him and restored Him.

If the genealogy of Jesus the Christ should teach us anything it is that you and I in are brokenness can be saved and can be used for the Gospel. What it also shows is how every person you meet no matter how depraved, disgusting, and truly wicked they are can be saved by the Lord. What must be remembered is that Jesus shares how those forgiven little rejoice in the Lord little, but those who have been forgiven a great deal rejoice a great deal more.

Those who revel and celebrate their sinfulness may be a few short words or prayers away from God transforming their sinfulness into righteousness! Join with the Lord in seeking and saving the lost at all cost!

 

[1] Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 1611.

[2] Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 65.

[3] Leslie R. Keylock et al., “The ‘Name’ of Jesus,” Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996), 408.