Faithlife Sermons

Matt 1 - What is in a Genealogy?

The Way of the Master - Matthew  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Who is Jesus? The book of Matthew takes this question on at the start with the Genealogy of Jesus. He is the Son of David - Messiah, He is the Son of Abraham - True Israel, and He is the Son of God. Jesus is the genisis of a new Israel, a new world, a new kind of humanity. Jesus is the beginning of God's Jubilee Epoch.

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Introduction -
Welcome -
Reminder -
We want everyone to be reading two chapters of the Gospels every day for one year. And please don’t just do this by yourself but read and discuss with friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.
What we have gone over to this point -
Last month we discussed Jesus as Rabbi and how that should inform how we read the words and teachings of Jesus.
We also discussed that as Rabbi He has called us into an Apprentice relationship with Himself.
We then discussed the three goals of an Apprentice to Jesus.
To be with Jesus
To be like Jesus
To do the work of Jesus.
Lastly, we discussed how these three goals should be the lens we use when reading the Gospels.
Are we drawing closer to Jesus through the Gospels?
Are we really like the Jesus I am reading about?
Are we doing the work of Jesus?

So, today we jump right into the book of Matthew.

Who is this Jesus? That would have been the question of every first century Jew.
And that is the question Matthew aims to answer in the very first chapter of his book.
The goal of Matthew’s book was to tell his fellow Jews how Jesus, the promised King, was creating a new Israel, a new humanity, a new world by bringing the ancient Jewish story to it’s climax.
Now I know a Genealogy sounds boring but I think you will begin to see this Genealogy as nothing short of eye popping, shocking, and exciting.
The New testament Scholar N.T. Wright said this concerning the Genealogy of Jesus.
“For many cultures ancient and modern (Iceland, Africa, etc) and certainly in the Jewish world of Matthew’s day, this genealogy was the equivalent of a roll of drums, a fanfare of trumpets, and a town crier calling for attention. Any first-century Jew would find this family tree both impressive and compelling. Like a great procession down a city street, we watch figures at the front, and the ones in the middle, but all eyes are waiting for the one who comes in the position of greatest honor, right at the end.”
N.T. Wright

What is in a word?

Matthew 1:1 ESV
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Βίβλος γενέσεως Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ υἱοῦ Δαυὶδ υἱοῦ Ἀβραάμ.

Genesis? Why Genesis?

Matthew purposely used the word Genesis instead of the more common word for Linage or Genealogy.
Right from the start Matthew wants us to understand that Jesus came to start something new, to usher in a new creation, a new humanity, a new world.
There is a new Genesis and Jesus is it’s beginning.
The International Critical Commentary interprets the first half of this verse as.
The International Critical Commentary interprets the first half of this verse as.
“The Book of the new genesis wrought by Jesus Christ....”

Son of David and the Son of Abraham.

Matthew is pointing out that Jesus is part of the Royal blood line from David.
It is through David’s blood line that the Messiah, or anointed King would come to save the People of God.
Matthew is making clear from the start that he plans to show that Jesus is the true Messiah, that Israel had been waiting for.
Matthew also points out that Jesus is the Son of Abraham.
Matthew is telling His audience that this Jesus is the True Israelite and the Messiah.
Now to the Genealogy.
Matthew 1:2–17 ESV
Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.
Matt 1:2-17

Multiple Layers of the Book of Matthew

Matthew 15:32 ESV
Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”
Matthew 13:52 ESV
And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
Now this verse is found no where else in the Gospels.
It is believed by scholars that Matthew included it because it was a reference to himself made by Jesus.
So, Matthew like a Scribe trained for the Kingdom, brings out for all to see Old Treasures and New.
And that is exactly what he does in this Genealogy.
Layer on top of layer.
Old treasure
and then New Treasures.
So let’s explore some of these Layers.

Layer 1 Women in a royal genealogy?

Tamar VS 3 - Cananite, wife of wife of Er the son of Judah.
She was sinned against by Judah when her husband Er had died.
Judah kept his younger son from her.
Tamar then, dressed as a prostitute and slept with Judah her father in law and preserved his linage by giving birth to two sons.
Rahab VS 5 - Cananite, prostitute, who gave lodging and protection to the Hebrew spies at Jericho.
Ruth VS 5 - A Moabite (Those who descended from Lott’s family tree). God used Ruth to preserve the linage of David and thus Jesus.
Bathsheba VS 6 - The wife of Uriah one of David’s most trusted men. David took Bathsheba and had Uriah killed when he found out Bathsheba was pregnant. She was the mother of Solomon.
The Genealogy of Jesus shows us that God has, is and will use women in His Kingdom.
It also shows us that though men have exploited, hurt and sinned against these women God, turned their tragedy into a victory.
All the women but Bathsheba were Gentiles and yet they are the ones God chose to keep the royal blood line going.
Matthew is showing us that God’s plan is bigger and wider than just men. And his plan stretches further than just Israel.
Layer 2 Name Changes.
Matthew 1:8 ESV
and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah,
Matt 1:8
Matthew 1:8 NLT
Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was the father of Jehoram. Jehoram was the father of Uzziah.

So, is it Asaph or Asa?

The original Greek reads Asaph not Asa.
Now we know Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat.
So, why did Matthew put in Asaph?
Who is Aspah?
He is the one who pinned a lot of the Psalms.
And a great number of his psalms were written about the Messiah.
On the other hand Asa was the king that began right and then ended by placing his trust in the wisdom of Man and never repented.
Asa is one of our first recorded Secular Humanists.
Matthew knows you will see what you believe to be a mistake.
he wants you to see it.
He is wanting you to ask why?
The answer to this is because He is wanting you to see that the Psalms point to this man Jesus.

Amon or Amos?

Matthew 1:10 ESV
and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah,
Matthew 1:10 NLT
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh. Manasseh was the father of Amon. Amon was the father of Josiah.
Again, Matthew changes a name to make you stop in your tracks.
What are you trying to pull Matthew? We all know that Amos was a prophet and Amon was an evil king.
Oh, I see what you did.
You want us to realize that Amos and all the prophets point to this man Jesus.
And at the same time you are refusing to show honor to an evil king.
So, Matthew in his Genealogy of Jesus points out to us in a literary nod that this Jesus was spoken of by the Psalms and the Prophets.

Layer 3: What is up with all the 14’s? (VS 17)

Have you ever read this before and walked away wondering why 14 kept coming up over and over again?
Matthew, is a great writer and has an incredible nack of using words and numbers to point to some incredible truths.

Hebrew Alphabet and Number -

Hebrews used their alphabet as their number system as well.
Each letter had a numeric value placed on it.
Like A=1, B=2, C=3, etc.
The Name David.


Daleth = 4
Vav = 6
Daleth = 4
David’s numerical value =14
So, any time a 1st century Jew read the number 14 they would have immediately thought of David.
Again, Matthew is using literary devices to point out that Jesus is the son of David which was promised. He is the Messiah.

But let’s go another layer deeper.

Daniel 9:25 NIV
“Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.
Daniel 9
Seven is a very powerful number to the Hebrew people.
7th day God rested or took His throne.
7th day is a sabbath.
7x7 is a Jubilee year.
And Daniels vision has 7, sevens.
We know that this prophecy was very important during the days of Jesus because the 490 years had ended.
There was a hopeful expectation that the Messiah would come in their life time.
And Matthew’s Genealogy points out that Jesus is the fulfillment to Daniel's Prophecy.
We have three sets of 14
the last person of each set is the first person in the proceeding set.
Jesus is the last person in the 3rd set and therefore He is the first person in the proceeding set.
3 sets of 14 or 6 sets of 7 with Jesus being the start of the seventh set.
Matthew is pointing out that Jesus is the total fulfilment of all of God’s promises and intent.
Jesus is the Sabbath (He is our rest)
Jesus is the 7th day of creation. (He has come to take His throne.)
Jesus is the Jubilee. (In Him we have freedom and redemption from our slavery to sin and death.)
And He is the fulfillment of Daniel’s Prophecy.

This takes us to the last point and the Question Matthew wants us all to ponder on.

Who is this Jesus?

Matt 1:
Matthew 1:16 ESV
and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

Who is this Jesus?

He is the Son of David
He is the Messiah of Israel who has come to save the world.
He is the Son of Abraham
He is the true Israelite who has come to do what Israel could not.
He is our Sabbath rest
He is the finality of all of God’s intentions for creation and Humanity.
He is the King
He is the beginning of a new Generation of LIFE, FREEDOM, and REDEMPTION.
He is the final 7th year of Daniel’s Prophecy.
He is the culmination of Israel’s History.
He is the Apex of God’s redemptive plan.
He is the Son of God.
So, what is in a Genealogy right?
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