Matthew 1:1-17

It is very easy just to read by the genealogy provide in Matthew 1 but it has some important information for us. The principle reason the lineage is important is because of the prophecies indicating through whom the Messiah would come. If we are to have faith based on hearing the word of God then we must be able to read the lineage and believe that this list of varied reputations is the result of a closely administered plan provided by the Father that results in our salvation through Jesus Christ.

How many generations are provided by Matthew? Forty-one generations are given though there are three that are left out in Verse 8; between Joram and Ozias: Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah. The first set of 14 are concluded with David. The second set is composed of 14 beginning with David.

What is the purpose of the genealogy provided by Matthew?  Like unto most genealogies this is maintained to show pedigree. Among the Jews the genealogy was regarded as important. Though, maybe not for the correct reasons as Paul points out to Timothy (1 Tim. 1:4) and to Titus (Titus 3:9). Genealogies should have been maintained to reveal opportunities of service before God according to the priesthood, no doubt. But the Messiah was revealed to be of the lineage of Abraham and David by the promise of God.

Do the names presented by Matthew detail each of the father/son relations from Abraham to Jesus (1 Chronicles 3:15-16)?  No. There are three left out (Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, Verse 8) and there are some grandsons referred to as sons. Such as, Zorobabel referred to as the son of Salathiel.

What are the differences between the genealogy provided by Matthew and that provided in Luke 3?  The genealogy of Matthew is brought down to Joseph instead of Mary. Luke’s genealogy is brought down to Mary instead of Joseph. This shows that by both Joseph and Mary he has a lineage to Abraham. While this completeness of the promise refutes any argument against Jesus’ lineage, it emphasizes that the kingdom of Christ is not based on the physical as the kingdom of David was understood.

Why does the genealogy begin with Abraham instead of, for instance, Adam?  The lineage only needs to prove the relation of Jesus to the promise made to both Abraham (Gen_12:3; Gen_22:18) and David (2Sa_7:12; Psa_89:3, Psa_132:11).  

The word used by Matthew in Verse 1 that is commonly translated “generation” (KJV) is γένεσις. The phonics for the Greek word is presented as ghen'-es-is. This, of course is our word genesis, like the first book of the bible. The same word is also used in James 1:23 and James 3:6 and translated as nature.  Try filling in the blank for the opening phrase with these two words substituting for “generations”:

The Book of the ­­genesis of Jesus Christ…

The Book of the nature of Jesus Christ…

What was the conclusion (their current status) for each of the men listed in the genealogy, including Jesus? They all died.  The distinction here is that Christ is risen from the dead and with the Father in heaven. There is no other soul with this status (1 Thess. 4:16, John 1:18, John 6:46).

How many of the lineage are referred to as a king?  Only David is referred to as the king. This is to emphasize the kingship that most Jews recognized as the standard. This is because David was seen as a conqueror of his enemies, a builder of the kingdom, and one who was artistic with regard to the declaration of the law (the psalmist). Hence, the people in Jesus’ day looked for a Messiah that reflected this standard but in the perspective of the physical not the spiritual.

Why does the Spirit provide the peculiar division of the genealogy in Verse 17?  This speaks to the intentions of God to show the weakness of a kingdom based on the things of this world. The first set marks the rise of the people of God to the kingship that is regarded as the greatest. The second period is the kingdom as established under David and regarded as the closest to that intended by God by many observers. But note the while the first fourteen marks an ascent the second fourteen must be regarded as a steady decline with some brilliance shown by kings like Josiah. The third set can be regarded as a different kind of decline. If the second was a decline in faith, then the second might be a decline in the pedigree from kings to a carpenter. But, it is the intention of God to bring low the proud and raise up the humble (James 4:6).

Is there significance to each of the three divisions of 14 as relating to the Lord?  The first set recognizes a time in which the people of God were lead by judges. The second set represents a time in which the people of God were lead by kings. The third set represents a time when the people of God were supposed to be led by the law and prophets. All these attributes of leadership are composed in the Christ in the age of the Church at which there is a single high priest, one king, and one law for all of faith according to that faith shown by Abraham.

State the relevance of this genealogy to your faith as provided by John (1 John 4:1-2).  By taking what the Spirit presents to us concerning the fact of this genealogy, we acknowledge the fulfilment of prophecy by God through Jesus, the Christ. By confessing this faith to other people, we make ourselves recognizable, at least initially, as those who are of God and those that have the truth.

Which people in the list is represented in the bible as faithful and which are unfaithful?  While there are plenty that could be considered faithful and some that could certainly be considered unfaithful, many are not provided with enough information. This points to the fact that the right of the Christ to the eternal throne and kingship of God’s church is not by fleshly pedigree. Whether defined as good or bad, this is based one’s own actions.

How many women are mentioned by Matthew?  Five. Rachab, Ruth, Tamar, Bathsheba, and Mary.

Are the mentioned women significant in the course of the plan of salvation? Yes. There is the concept of the Christ being the savior of Jews and Gentiles alike. So you have the ancestry coming through women who were in-fact Gentiles (eventually proselytes) but at the same time Jesus is born from the womb of a Jew.

Are there any Gentiles mentioned in the list?  Yes, there are four. Rachab, a Canaanite, and Ruth, a Moabite. Also Tamar and Bathsheba.

Why is it important to show that Jesus is a son of David (2 Samuel 7:11-15, Isaiah 11:3)?  Not only is this the fulfilment of prophesy but the throne and kingdom under David is presented as a type unto the throne and kingdom of Christ. While David showed a righteous judge, even being king, among the people by declaring the law of God, the Christ will provide the law that will judge the heart of every soul.

What is the significance of Jesus being a son of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)?  Jesus being a descendent of Abraham brings true fulfillment of the prophecy/promise in the context of the church. It is in Christ that all find a common name by adoption into the inheritance promised. It is by His blood that all can where the same name, which is of Christ, and be sons of God.

True or False: The phrase “the son of” in Greek text can refer to a descendent and not necessarily the immediate son of a father. True

Are all the “sons” first born?  No. Among those that were not first-born was Abraham, Jacob, Judah, David, Nathan, and Rhesa. This shows that the authority and right of Christ does not come to us according to the reasoning or customs of men but according to faith. For instance, David was selected from among his brothers based on his faith, instead of those characteristics of the flesh that men what propose as essential characteristics of a king and champion.