“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” The story of Israel’s history can be told in the genealogy of Jesus. From the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all the way to David’s father, Jesse, Matthew presents his readers with a list of names containing no kings. Beginning with David through the “deportation to Babylon” all those referenced in Matthew 1 are well-known men who reigned in Jerusalem. After the exile we descend into an account of unknown people in the line of David who may have wanted to be kings, but certainly could not rule, since Israel was under the control of larger imperial powers.
It was then, when almost everyone would have given up hope, that Jesus was born of Mary. The King had arrived. So much in His heritage was a display of how God chooses to accomplishes His purposes in a most unlikely manner. Judah would have the “ruler’s staff” (Genesis 49:10) rather than his more prominent brother who had far greater civil authority. Judah’s son Perez would be the child of Judah and his daughter-in-law. The story would also include Rahab the Canaanite prostitute, Ruth the Moabite, and an adulterous affair between David and “the wife of Uriah.” Kings would often alternate between the good and the evil, but all of these generations culminated with the one Man that was the beginning of a whole new way of life throughout the earth.
Jesus was the long-expected hope of Israel. His Name meant “Jehovah is salvation” and Isaiah prophesied that this child of a virgin would be “’Immanuel’ (which means God with us).” He had the title “Christ” which is “Messiah” or “Anointed One.” Everyone assumed that Joseph was His father, but the truth revealed to Joseph by an “angel of the Lord” was that the Jesus in the womb of this Hebrew maiden was “from the Holy Spirit.”
After so many years of preparation, the time had finally come for the birth of the promised King of the Jews. He was born into a very humble station in an enslaved society, with a mother who was poor and not yet officially married. Most of his countrymen would not know anything about Him until the day arrived for Him to be revealed in Israel. When He comes again to reign over the new heavens and earth, every eye shall see Him. The whole world will have no choice but to acknowledge what so many resisted over the centuries: Jesus saves “His people from their sins.”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, grant that we would see Jesus Christ rightly in Your Word. He is the fulfillment of every divine promise. You have made many kings to reign over Your people, but Jesus is far above them all. We thank You for the wonder of His two natures, for our King is both Man and God. He has fully saved us from our sins. Our Messiah is both the Son of Mary and “God with us.” In Him we have been given a most excellent and secure heritage.