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The Geneology of Jesus, Matt. 1:1-17

May 4, 2014 Series: The Gospel of Matthew

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Matthew 1:1–1:17

The first thing I need to do is thank you gracious people for the opportunity to be here in this pulpit.

I cracked my daughter, Heather, up the other day, and not on purpose. We were talking about the idea of Dad being a preacher and all the different responsibilities that might be entailed in that and I reminded her that Jesus only asked Peter to do one thing. And He said the same thing 3 times. Feed my sheep. Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep.

I said, He didn't say marry my sheep or bury my sheep, He said feed them. That struck her funny bone for some reason. It may not strike you the same. But I fear there's a lot of truth in there.

I can feed sheep. I've seen God use me to do that in the last 5 years, and I have just enough confidence to take a pulpit in front of 40 sheep and with help from God, I can feed sheep. Whatever the rest is, you'll have to extend grace. In fact you may have to review your spiritual gifts and do it yourselves.

You can depend on me to feed sheep. And, you can count on me to offer some protection from wolves.

I would ask for 6 months. In America, we vote with our feet, don't we. You may not like the way I feed sheep. Give it a little time before you walk away. Maybe I'll get better at it.

With that minimal introduction, my plan is to begin a verse by verse exposition of the book of Matthew.

Several of us prayed about where to begin. Galatians is next in line after 2 Corinthians, and also a fantastic book. Do we begin where Dennis so ably left off. We prayed over this and over Matthew and everyone I said anything to, said, let's do Matthew. So here we are, and I think the Holy Spirit has brought us here together for this.

let's pray.

OK, turn with me if you will to Matthew chapter 1, and I want to read right through vs. 17 and then we'll go back and look at it. I won't make you stand again, but do pay attention to the names. Some of them will be on the quiz.

1The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:

2Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 3Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. 4Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. 5Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. 6Jesse was the father of David the king.
David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. 7Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa. 8Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. 9Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. 10Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah. 11Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

12After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. 13Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor. 14Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud. 15Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob. 16Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

17So 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.

Of the 4 gospel writers, we have 3 geneologies of Jesus the messiah.

You say; three?? I think there's only 2 Jim. Matthew and Luke. And you're right, but I would argue that both of those geneologies are flawed. Insufficient.

Matthew's geneology follows the Royal lineage down through David the king, through the kings and gets to Joseph, who wasn't the father of Jesus. He was husband to Mary, but not father to Jesus.

Then Luke follows the Davidic lineage all the way from Adam, down through Abraham and David's son Nathan, down to Mary. Mother of Jesus. But normally Kings get their right to rule from what? Their father, not their mother.

John's geneology solves the issue. In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word become flesh . . .

Jesus has existed forever with God and the Spirit. That's His geneology. So in comparison, the human side of the equation is . . insignificant. God could have raised up stones and made a geneology for the human Jesus if He'd wanted to.

The importance of Jesus the Messiah has little to do with the humans involved in his earthly lineage.

But God sovereignly chose to use people. And it's hopeful to us to have a look at some of the people in this list. God can use the MOST imperfect of people to accomplish His pleasure.

Vs. 1 The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Biblos geneseōs. Biblos book, geneseōs beginnings. The book of the beginnings of Jesus the messiah.

Matthew is going to start right where Moses started. Beginnings. Genesis.

Let's back up for just a moment and consider the 4 gospels. 4 records of Jesus the Messiah. 4 different angles of the same story.

Matthew's audience is the Jewish nation. Matthew is presenting Jesus as King, to jews.

Mark is presenting Jesus as Servant, to Greeks. Luke is presenting Jesus as Son of Man, to the gentile world. John is presenting Jesus as Son of God, to everyone.

Matthew will quote about 4 times as much scripture from the Old Testament while he builds his case as the other writers will.

It takes Matthew about 4 words in his first sentence to get to the controversy of the Jews. This is the Book of Beginnings of Jesus, your King. Jesus is Messiah. Jesus is the promised King. Iesous Christos Jesus the Annointed,

You will remember that the Jews argued that Psalm 110:4 says that Messiah will be both King -amd- Priest, and He will live forever. How can He be lifted up? He's going to reign forever! The fact that Jesus died was a stumbling block to the Jews. It didn't fit with their erroneous pre-conceived view of a King who comes and reigns forever.

Matthew begins his book saying this Jesus is that King, and he ends his book, how? “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Jesus is the King and Priest who has authority in heaven and on earth, how long? lo, I am with you always Forever.

That's Matthew's story, and it's going to be exciting to dig in.

OK, so we'd better get going!

Whenever someone's talking about, I always laugh and say, why would I pay money, to find out I'm related to a bunch of horse thieves and drunks? Right? Some pools are left better un-stirred. It's stinky enough, don't stir it up.

But it's almost as if God takes some glee in this line of people that bring about the Messiah of promise.

Some of them we don't know anything about. Especially after the captivity at Babylon. Most of that group is only mentioned here.

But the ones we do know about are . . . entertaining . . in a sort of hopeful way.

That's our lesson for this morning. Write it down. If God can use these folks to accomplish His purpose . . . certainly . . . He can use anybody! This is NOT a select group.

Oh, but they ARE select. 1Cor. 1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,…

God delights in using the most base things to show His Power and His Glory.

Our Sovereign God could have lined up stones and made a more regal geneology for His son than these folks.

The more base, and ordinary we are . . . the more God's glory can shine. Hello! Here I am, Lord. Glorify Yourself as I labor to feed these sheep. Amen.

1The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Son of David, who was the son of Abraham.

These are our 2 foundational names. Why are they key? Well, God made covenant promises with both of them that have to do with Messiah the Prince.

God, before the foundation of the world, purposed to redeem the nations by a plan that would unfold over real time. First He ordains a nation who would be a priesthood to the entire world, and then He ordains a King who will reign over this world.

Satan is put on notice. A coming King - Priest will rule and reign. He will redeem and He will rule. This coming King - Priest will depose you Satan. Your reign is over.

Abraham is father of That nation through whom redemption will come, ultimately to the nations, and David is father of that King who will accomplish both.

Genesis 12:1-3 says; 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; 2And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. (wake up John Kerry) And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."… That was the covenant with Abraham. It is unconditional.

And to David He says through Nathan the Prophet in 2 Samuel 12:12-17

…12"When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13"He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14"I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,……15but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16"Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever."'" 17In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

Notice that in that prophecy there are tiers of fulfillment. We'll see this over and over. Some of it speaks of Soloman. Immediate fulfillment. And some of it looks way out past Soloman . . . to forever.

Jesus is King, and Priest, forever.

OK. Now let's dive into the cesspool of people that it pleased our Sovereign God to use to bring about King Jesus. We won't look at every one, but it's fun to talk about what a mess these folks are. It gives us hope, right?

2Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. 3Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram.

We could talk about Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all of their quirky weaknesses that are plainly told, but I want to skip over them and talk about some of the women that are included in this story.

Normally, in a jewish geneology, women wouldn't be mentioned at all, but it pleases God to include these women because, for one thing, God loves women, but for another thing, all of them are at least as colorful as the men and maybe more so.

and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.

OK, so here we are at the 12 sons of Jacob who are the fathers of the 12 tribes of Israel. Judah and his brothers. That's all we need to say about them. Every jew knows them by name.

And we come to the story about Judah and his sons and his son's wife that Judah got for him, Tamar. So the son's name was Er and he was so wicked that God killed him.

This is all in Genesis 38 and it's so weird and sordid that it gives real meaning to the phrase, the truth is stranger than fiction.

Judah tells his second son Onan to go into Tamar and raise up an offspring for his brother Er, but Onan doesn't want to have offspring that takes his brothers name instead of his, and refuses. This wickedness anger's God and He kills him too.

Well there's a 3rd son Shelah but he's a little on the young side so Judah tells Tamar to wait a while for him to grow up and then he can raise up offspring for his brother. But Judah starts thinking, everybody that goes in that tent winds up dead, and time passes but it becomes obvious, Shelah's not going to do the honors for his brother and Tamar isn't getting any younger.

Someone tips her off that Judah's going to a certain place to do some sheep shearing, so Tamar dresses up like a prostitute and when Judah comes by he displays his true colors and says lucky me.

So Judah enters into negotiations with Tamar in the worlds oldest profession and they agree on a young goat. But Tamar says, give me something for a pledge. I've heard the goat thing before and I don't really trust you, so give me a pledge and then when the goat comes, you can have your pledge back.

Judah says, like what? And Tamar says, your signet ring and your staff will do, and off they go to love land.

Tamar goes back to her place and sure enough she's good and pregnant in 3 months. Judah sends his servant with the goat, but no Tamar. And the locals say, we never saw a temple protitute around here?? and Judah drops it and figures he's out a signet ring and a staff.

News comes to Judah that his daughter in law is knocked up. And being the loving supportive father in law type, he says drag her out here and we'll burn her.

Tamar says yes, I'm pregnant and the one responsible is the owner of these little items here. The signet ring and the staff . . and Judah says “She is more righteous than I,".

So by the time we get to Perez, we have a canaanite woman and incest and a father of the tribe of Judah who is a whoremonger

4Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. 5Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab,

Rahab. Rahab the _ _ _ _ _ _? Here we go again. But Rahab is one of those who by faith finds salvation isn't she.

When she heard about the God of Israel and the great nation that God had brought up by miracles, she acted valiantly, in faith. She hides the spies that are spying out the land that God has given to Israel. She sends the king of Jericho on a boondoggle and gets the spies to safety. And she and her family are spared when the walls of Jericho come down.

Where's the last place Rahab is mentioned? That's right, she holds a place in the glorious 'faith' chapter. 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. A canaanite harlot who we'll get to meet some day in heaven is a place holder in this geneology of Jesus.

Hah! Got you. The last place she's mentioned is in James! Not Hebrews. James uses Rahab as an illustration of what real faith looks like. It isn't just talk. You can see this kind of faith by . . works.. Ja. 2:25In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

I often wonder if perhaps James is the author of Hebrews. Topic for another day.

Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth,

Our 3rd woman. Ruth was a Moabitess, right. You remember the story of Naomi and Ruth.

Do you remember the story of where the Moabite nation came from? Who their father was?

Another sordid weird tale. Lot's daughters are having a tough time getting any men interested since all the men in Sodom and Gomorrah didn't exactly like girls, and then God destroyed those places. Lot escapes with his daughters and they decide, Dad will have to do. Ugly ugly story of drunkeness and incest.

And that's where the Moab nation came from. Ick. And Ruth was a moabite.

For the most part, Ruth is someone we'd like our daughters to emulate.

You remember her famous line when everybody's dead and they're destitute and Naomi is going back home to Israel. She tells Ruth to stay behind in Moab, get a husband, live a normal life...but Ruth says; "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.

She's just pretty solid, but there's that one little incident with Boaz where she listens to her mother-in-law. Go crawl under the covers with Boaz while he's sleeping. Really?

Thank goodness Boaz is a very very classy guy. When he realizes what's going on he thinks with his brain and says, this is way too good to spoil everything . . here . . tonight. This is good enough that we'll wait and do it properly.

and Obed the father of Jesse. 6Jesse was the father of David the king.

David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.

The greek just says David moreover begat Solomon by the wife of Uriah. We know it's Bathsheba, but her name isn't included in the original greek.

David is the high point of the Jewish story. David is it! David the King!

And yet, here in the geneology of Jesus, the promised King that will reign on the throne of David forever, we have murder, caused by adultry. Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. Uriah the Hittite. You can surmise that Bathsheba was also a hittite. A non israelite.

You remember the whole sordid affair, right? The missing shower curtain and the bored king. Bad combination, and next thing you know there's a little one coming and it isn't Uriah's, and David ultimately has Uriah whacked.

One thing about the Bible that makes it more believable than any other so called Holy Book. It doesn't hide any of this. In fact God is glorified in this geneology. He doesn't need anything from us to bring His son into the world. Spotless.

After David there's the whole long list of Kings. Most of them were evil. Every now and then a good one or two. They would make a fascinating study some day.

Notice that after Jeconiah, after the Babylon captivity, no more kings. Nothing! In fact, let me read you a section of Jeremiah's prophecy, chapter 22

18Therefore thus says the LORD in regard to Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah,
“They will not lament for him:
‘Alas, my brother!’ or, ‘Alas, sister!’
They will not lament for him:
‘Alas for the master!’ or, ‘Alas for his splendor!’

19“He will be buried with a donkey’s burial,
Dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.

20“Go up to Lebanon and cry out,
And lift up your voice in Bashan;
Cry out also from Abarim,
For all your lovers have been crushed.

21“I spoke to you in your prosperity;
But you said, ‘I will not listen!’
This has been your practice from your youth,
That you have not obeyed My voice.

22“The wind will sweep away all your shepherds,
And your lovers will go into captivity;
Then you will surely be ashamed and humiliated
Because of all your wickedness.

23“You who dwell in Lebanon,
Nested in the cedars,
How you will groan when pangs come upon you,
Pain like a woman in childbirth!

24“As I live,” declares the LORD, “even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off; 25and I will give you over into the hand of those who are seeking your life, yes, into the hand of those whom you dread, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26“I will hurl you and your mother who bore you into another country where you were not born, and there you will die. 27“But as for the land to which they desire to return, they will not return to it.

28“Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar?
Or is he an undesirable vessel?
Why have he and his descendants been hurled out
And cast into a land that they had not known?

29“O land, land, land,
Hear the word of the LORD!

30“Thus says the LORD,
‘Write this man down childless,
A man who will not prosper in his days;
For no man of his descendants will prosper
Sitting on the throne of David
Or ruling again in Judah.’”

If you go back and read history, Josephus and also the old testament you will find this prophecy of these 2 kings ring true.

Nebachadnezzar entered Jerusalem and killed Jahoiakim, and threw his body outside the gates like a donkey's carcass.

Jeconiah, also called Coniah and also jehoiakin, son of Jehoiakim son of Josiah became king in his place. He was 18 years old. After 3 months, Nebachudnezzar decided he was a risk and captured him and carried him to Babylon. His uncle Zedekiah, by the same mother as his father Jehoiakim was set up as king in Jerusalem.

Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah spent 37 years in prison in Babylon. The story turns hopeful there. He repented of all of his sin and turned his heart toward God.

He did have sons, although the prophecy remained true, he was childless as far as an heir to the throne of David, still there is a beautiful thing 2 generations forward where God reverses the curse to a point.

In His anger God says if Coniah were a signet ring he would pull him off and toss him away. Yet, after he repented we see God saying to Zerubbabel by Haggai the prophet:

"'On that day,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,' declares the LORD, 'and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,' declares the LORD Almighty."
-- Haggai 2:23

Still, the prophecy remains. No son of Jeconiah will prosper as King on David's throne, and none ever did.

Zerubbabel was governor for Persia, but he wasn't king. We follow the geneology to Joseph, a carpenter and it ends. Joseph, the husband of Mary, but not the father of Jesus. Joseph adopts Jesus as his own son, but the curse and the disconnect remain.

Luke goes at it by lineage to Mary, but the jews reject that out of hand. David's son Nathan isn't in the line of Kings. Kings come from fathers, not mothers.

And so, I'm 17 verses into the book of Matthew and you're saying to yourselves he's painted himself into a corner he can't get out of. Maybe. Maybe.

Except for something Jesus said to the pharisees. Listen carefully to this narrative in Matthew 22:41-45

41Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: 42“What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son of David.” 43He said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying,


45“If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” 46No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.

Jesus declares Himself both Lord of David and Son of David. Jesus is God and Father of David and Son of David. In our current vernacular, He 'blows their minds!'

46No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.

I dare say there were smarter scholars there that day than you have in front of you. The difference is, I believe. I believe even though my brain can't get around it.

This is where I love to be. I love it when the Word of God shuts me up into a corner and tells me, you can't understand it mister. Your brain is too small. These are things from the mind of Almighty God. They're too big for your little brain. You just accept it by faith, and let Me do the heavy lifting.

And that's where I get the most excited about this book. Only a Sovereign God in complete control of everything with a mind far beyond my finite one can add all these equations up and come out with the perfect end that He spoke into this book thousands of years ago.

I don't have to understand it. I just have to stand with my jaw on the floor, and worship a God who could have painted this picture that only Jesus of Nazereth could fulfil. Jesus who rose from the dead. Jesus who reigns today, and who will return and reign forever on the throne of David.


All of this geneology stuff was reliant on records that the jews kept for centuries. They were meticulous. When the decree came for Joseph to go to his tribal city and pay his taxes, without question, he goes to Bethlehem, the city of David. He knows exactly his lineage.

When the Romans destroyed the temple and the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD, they obliterated those records. Totally gone. Obliterated forever.

There's even a story of the extent that they went to obliterate forever any kingly lineage by rounding up the folks who were in the family of David and summarily killing them.

So, that begs the question, if the jews are still waiting for a messiah, how does that work? No records, no Davidic line, no nothing. Totally obliterated.

Jesus was the final rightful claimant.