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Characters of Christmas: Old Testament Saints

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If you have your bibles open them up to Luke 3. Pray with me…
Characters of Christmas: Old Testament Saints..
What makes the bible and Christianity so unique unlike other religions is one its true, but its also something that unfolds over time. God didn’t bring his Son into humanity when he created the heavens and the earth, rather he sent him as the bible states the perfect time.
Now if you are like me I so often get to these genealogies in scriptures and so quickly read over them, and move on to the next text. Recognizing the names knowing some about their stories, but quickly moving on. Today though I want us to focus on Jesus genealogy, and how that genealogy ties into this grand plan to save his people from their sins like we saw last week.
Several of these people I am about to read are going to really pop out to you because you know their stories quite well, but others are going to barely resinate with you because their stories barley take up the pages of scripture, You might not think of these old testament saints as having a place at the dinner table when it comes to Christmas, but without these people God would have not carefully laid out his grand plan of redemption. through these names I want you to see something, that one man other than me came up with and this is found in your notes, and posted online as well and its this…

Luke’s genealogy starts and finishes with two beginnings: Jesus as the beginning and God as the beginning .

Carefully listen to these names as a read this genealogy to you, and we will unpack it after.
Luke 3:23–38 ESV
23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
1st point this morning is this…

Jesus has a human lineage.

This means that Jesus has real ancestors, all these people have a story that God used to bring the coming of his son. These genealogies are proof that God uses his people to bring about his purposes.
I was in London several years ago and one day we visited the Tower of London, and in that tower/ castle it is full of just history of England it holds the crown jewels, and their is names all over the place that served in a variety of different areas across the english empire for all those years and some I knew others I had no idea who they were but they played a role in the history of England, and its empire, and it got me to really thinking, about todays message and makes you think just how important everyone is to the kingdom of God..
I read you the list of names this morning, and for you names like David, and Abraham, and Adam clearly stuck out to you and rightfully so and Ill dig into those names specifically in a min, but even those men had some sort of Beginning, all but Adam had an earthy father and that will be important as I progress in the sermon, but all these except Jesus, and possibly one other man had children, and these children though they are mentioned did not have the roles that these other men did or as we know Jesus does, but never the less they are apart of the journey of Christ coming.
Which got me to thinking this week our names may not be accompanied with great works for God, but if you are his he knows your name, and died for your name.
When it comes to this genealogy its actually quite different than Matthews genealogy, and because I love you guys I am not going to read that one for you, but I will note a few things, critical scholars outside of the church will often use these genealogies to disprove the accuracy of the gospels, and this is not a valid argument.
One man said.. Most conservative Bible scholars today take a different view, namely, that Luke is recording Mary’s genealogy and Matthew is recording Joseph’s. Matthew is following the line of Joseph (Jesus’ legal father), through David’s son Solomon, while Luke is following the line of Mary (Jesus’ blood relative), through David’s son Nathan. Since there was no specific Koine Greek word for “son-in-law,” Joseph was called the “son of Heli” by marriage to Mary, Heli’s daughter. Through either Mary’s or Joseph’s line, Jesus is a descendant of David and therefore eligible to be the Messiah. Tracing a genealogy through the mother’s side is unusual, but so was the virgin birth. Luke’s explanation is that Jesus was the son of Joseph, “so it was thought”But what makes this genealogy similar is it includes David and Abraham two key individuals in the history of Israel, but what makes it different and what I like so much about it is the fact that it includes Adam the first human on earth.
And by now you might say this is Christmas why spend time on all of this… Well I want you to see that the coming of Jesus was God’s plan from the very first human, and he would be the start of something better. But like the genealogy let us work backwards To see how this unfolds.

Jesus comes from the line of David.

2 weeks ago we went through Luke chapter 1. In Luke chapter 1 if you remember the angel told Mary that this Son she will have will be the rightful heir of the throne of David. He will be the King who will reign forever, and this promise as we talked about will come from 2 Sam 7. Now in that sermon I touched briefly about it, but I did not read it to you. Its an important text that Christians have cited over and over again, and it says this…
2 Samuel 7:6–17 ESV
6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. 7 In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” ’ 8 Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. 9 And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, 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 to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’ ” 17 In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.
This text could be its own sermon, but I only want you to see one thing at the moment from it and its this…
Davids line will be established forever through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the King who as it says back in Luke 1 that reigns forever. David’s legacy does not continue ultimately through one of his Son’s like many kingships do but though the Son of God, and that is something we cannot overlook. Jesus fulfills many of the promises giving to David, but we can’t over look the fact that Jesus is the King who reigns forever and comes from the line of David.
And Jesus being the King who reigns forever is not only David’s Son, but he is Davids Lord.
Revelation 22:16 ESV
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
But he is more than just a descendant of David…
Another man we cannot overlook is my third point this morning, and its this…

Jesus comes from the line of Abraham.

Abraham is the Father of the Jewish Nation. Through Abraham Jesus was born, now its important to know what God told Abraham, and why that is important when it comes to birth of Jesus.
All the way back in Genesis chapter 12. We see this promise in verses 1-9 it says this..
Genesis 12:1–9 ESV
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. 9 And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.
Again this text is worthy of it’s own sermon, and their is so much to unpack. Abraham is going to receive promises from God, that he will have offspring, and land, and nations will be blessed through him, but the icing on the cake for us is because of Jesus we to can be a child of Abraham, a child of that very promise. Gal 3:26-29 says
Galatians 3:26–29 ESV
26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
I love what one man said.. This list of names spanning the centuries declares that God is about something special, even unique, in his creation. Association with Jesus and the promise is an opportunity to blessing that God took centuries to prepare. God knew and even planned that you would become an heir of God through Jesus according to the promise he gave Abraham, that is pretty special if you ask me.
And because Jesus came we get to join this line of people by faith, when we were destined for another line because of Adam. A line that goes directly to hell because of our sin
Which brings me to my forth point today…

Jesus comes from the line of Adam.

Every single person can trace themselves back to Adam, including Jesus. Adam represents all people, because if you think about it we all come from him. Adam is unique though he is unlike anyone else on this list, because he was created by God, and not born of a women. God when he created Adam literally molded him from the dust and breathed life into him.
Through this list we see men who were in-fact faithful but we must understand that outside of Jesus God all these men have sinful shortcomings.
2 Verses for you to consider… Romans 5:14 says…
Romans 5:14 ESV
14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
1 Corinthians 15:22 ESV
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
Christ changed everything. Though death was brought about by Adam, Jesus brings life. Remember that highlighted verse last week.
Matthew 1:21 ESV
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Listen to this… In tracing Jesus’ ancestry through Adam to God, Luke implies that “Son of God” applies to Jesus as it did to Adam before the fall, at which point he lost the ability to pass on the honor of divine sonship to his descendents. In placing the genealogy between the baptism and the temptation, Luke fully intends readers to recognize Jesus as the Son of God through Adam. But the divine sonship is transmitted through a long list of names. All human history, in fact, intervenes between Jesus’ sonship (v. 23) and God’s fatherhood (v. 38). In the genealogy Jesus is “the Son [who is] the firstborn among many brothers and sisters”, who stands in solidarity with humanity—sinful humanity—which he came to redeem.
See Adam may have failed which we clearly know, but Jesus the Son of God like Adam was suppose to be did not fail, which means that believers in Christ line can be traced not only to Adam, but more importantly to Christ himself. Who is not just the supposed son of Joseph, but who is the very Son of God.
And though our names are not written in this genealogy tying back to Christ and God if you are a believer of Christ your name is important to him.
Last point today is this…

No-one in God’s line is insignificant because they are God’s people whom Christ came to die for.

Some of us come from Godly families, some not so much, and everything in-between, and though I did not breakdown all these 78 names all of them have a place in God’s story, and it would take me hours if not days to break down how they impact the grand plan of redemption.
Listen to how one man put it.... What genealogies like this show is that no person is an island unto himself or herself. We come into the world reflecting a heritage and representing someone. Jesus is no exception. His family is full of significant historical figures besides David, Abraham, and Adam: for example, Zerubbabel, Jesse, Boaz, Judah, Jacob, Isaac, Shem, Noah, and Enoch. In this list are some who walked closely with God and some whose walk was uneven. In a sense, Jesus represents them, much as he does us. In the list is also a variety of humanity. Some of the people are well-known Old Testament people who made a great mark; others are known to us only in this listing. Jesus represents both the well-known and the unknown of the world.
That last little bit is comforting isn’t it, because all of us want to be known, all of us want to do great things, but the reality is not all of us are going to make a mark that leaves a legacy like many of these men. But that doesn’t mean God doesn’t care deeply about you if you are his.
What matters is what you do with the name of Jesus. The same guy who gave us the last quote said this… Churches mirror this truth. Some who function in the Christian community receive much public attention; others are barely known. Yet God knows them all and honors all faithfulness, no matter how much public acclaim such faithfulness receives when it is done. One of the great examples of such truth is to hear the testimony of great saints, only to realize that God got their attention through a grandparent, relative, or friend the world never knew. God’s work often takes mysterious twists and turns.
When I read that I think about how Charles Spurgion and how he was converted from he would say was a terrible preacher, but the Holy Spirit was present and saved him.
You never truly know how you are playing apart in God’s story. No way all these men truly knew the impact they would have in the coming of Jesus Christ, but God used them despite their tremendous flaws, and most importantly he sent his Son to redeem people like them.
When you don’t think you are doing anything amazing in this life know that God is always up to something, he was up to something great when he sent his Son into creation who as we saw at 30 years old would in three short years have the greatest ministry the world has ever known, healing the sick, mending the broken hearted, teaching the truths of God, living a perfect life, dying on the cross, being buried, and being rose again so that we could be apart of this line. So this Christmas, don’t only think about the baby who came to save the world know that God uses his people all the back from the first person to accomplish his purposes.
Now for us all we have to do is to be faithful to what he has called us to knowing that even if our names don’t have the legacy of Jesus, David, Abraham, Adam or any of these names listed our name is written in heaven as it says in the book of Revelation specifically Rev 3:5
Revelation 3:5 ESV
5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
See the greatest person to recognize your name and know how special it is is Jesus. Jesus Christ did something so that you and I could have our names written in the book of life, and that is what I just told you, so today do you know if your name is written in the book of life. You can be sure of this if you have repented of your sin, and put your faith in Jesus your name is in the book of life, written to belong to the the Lord Jesus Christ.
See so many people wish they were a child of Jeff Bezios, or Bill Gates, Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods, ect.. But the greatest line you can come from is that of Jesus Christ and if you know him today know this your name is written in the book of life, and you matter to him…
Luke’s genealogy starts and finishes with two beginnings: Jesus as the beginning and God as the beginning.
Where does your beginning start with the sin or Adam or the grace of Jesus Christ don’t leave today without answering that very question… Let us pray…
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