You Want Me to Read What?! This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

Devotional Archive

Day 1 - November 27, 2022

You Want Me to Read What?! This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

When you hear or read the word genealogy what comes to mind? A lengthy list of names that are unknown to you? Names you have trouble spelling let alone pronouncing correctly? No doubt this is often the case when asked to consider genealogies in the Bible. But what if a particular genealogy addresses our deepest hopes and longings? What if a genealogy was constructed so as to inform us that God’s plan was coming to fulfillment?

The Gospel of Matthew opens with such a genealogy (1:1-17), though it is often passed over in order to get to the actual story of Jesus’ birth (1:18-25). A list of Jesus’ ancestors was essential for the writer of the first Gospel. Those of Jewish heritage who believed Jesus was the Christ (or Messiah) were genuinely concerned with who was included in His ancestry. This is also important for us: in informing his readers of the lineage of Jesus, Matthew was also teaching of God’s plan for salvation; a strategy that was carried out by people of little fame, who were seriously flawed, yet nevertheless included in the work of our sovereign Lord.

Biblical genealogies tell the story of God’s redemption; this is especially true of Matthew’s. His goal was to provide context for the Christmas story—as well as the entire Gospel—in order to show that God redeemed His elect through the birth, death, and resurrection of the Messiah. Genealogies are important to those presenting them—similar to when we discover that the real reason someone invited us over for dinner was to share a pictorial history of their family! They wanted to tell us a story that is important to them.

What I hope to show in three subsequent devotions is that Matthew’s genealogy speaks volumes about God’s love, grace, and unexpected ways of working out His will in the world. There is a story behind each and every name listed in Jesus’ ancestry, even if a name seems unfamiliar. Likewise, all those who contributed to this devotional have a story to tell. Likely it will not include an examination of a genealogy but there is an event or situation or a writing —no matter how mundane to some—that triggered a “God moment” and like Matthew they want to share it with us. May we be thankful as we glean many truths from what they have written.

by Dr. Rich Menninger

Dear Lord, sharpen our eyes and improve our understanding so that we don’t miss what you are telling us. In the Name of the One who has given us His inspired Word, amen.

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