“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1 KJV).
Recently a young man in one my groups made a comment about 2 Timothy 3:16. Paul writes, “All Scripture is God breathed…”. He was struck by the word, “All.” This means that even the genealogies and the seemingly endless laws of Leviticus are God’s inspired revelation useful for “teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness” NIV. For most Christians, genealogies feel irrelevant don’t they? One of God’s glorious purposes in giving us these historical lists, however, is to root our faith in the accuracy of the Biblical text and the unshakable promises of God!
As we will see, the verification of these genealogies can actually serve as practical inspiration for our lives as we approach the holiday of Christmas. By the way, do you know what the word “holiday” means? It actually means “holy day”! While the secular world attempts to minimize the sacredness of Christmas by inserting the use of “holiday”, this replacement actually proves to be very spiritually accurate! I love talking with people I encounter throughout the day and clarifying that Christmas truly is a holiday (a Holy-Day)!
Back to Matthew 1:1. These opening words of the New Testament, identify this “book of the generation (literally genesis) of Jesus Christ” as telling of the wonderful fulfillment of the promise to both Abraham and David of a very special son.
To Abraham, God promised:
“16 Because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”” – (Genesis 22:16&18 NKJV). This prophecy was directed immediately through Abraham’s son Isaac, but focused finally on Jesus Christ, Abraham’s greater Son.
“16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).
In a similar way a unique promise was made to David concerning his own special Son. 12 “I will set up your seed after you, … 14 I will be His Father, and He shall be My Son… 16 And your house and kingdom I will establish forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:12,14&16). Once again, this promise applied recursively (that is to someone or something that goes before) to Solomon, but ultimately to the greater Son of David, Jesus Christ:
“3concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:3-4). He was greater than Abraham, greater than David. He was the fulfillment of the very first prophecy of the coming “seed of the woman” (Genesis 3:15). He is the virgin’s Son (Isaiah 7:14), the Son given (Isaiah 9:6), “the last Adam…the Lord of heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:45-47)!
“The book of the generation of Adam” (Genesis 5:1) introduces the Old Testament, with its record of human failure laced with God’s promises. “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ” (Matthew 1:1) introduces the New Testament and the fulfillment of the promises, culminating in eternal redemption through the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, who is the very Son of God!
As you approach Christmas, a most “Holy Day,” let’s use the historical roots of our faith as a springboard, not only to celebrate with our family and friends, but to tactfully proclaim the truth about Jesus Christ. Perhaps our voice could be heard with the shepherds:
“17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.” – Luke 2:17-18 NKJV