David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, Akim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Christ.”
In consideration of the above passage, no less than Martin Luther wrote, “It looks like a useless, unnecessary writing in which he has reviewed the names of the dear fathers, since we know absolutely nothing about them, and it is of no help to us at all.”
That is quite a statement. As audacious as it sounds, it probably isn’t a statement that many Bible readers would disagree with. What then is the point of including such a tedious history in the annals of God’s own Word?
Could it be that we simply need to know that our lives might be a part of something much greater? Could it be that we need to be informed that our lineage leads somewhere? That who we bring into the world means more to the world than just adding a name to our particular family picture, and another mouth to feed? That the Lord knows where we as a family and a people group came from, and to where we as a family and as a people group are headed? Could it be that the Lord, in His sovereign and perfect will, wants to show us that He is sovereign over the lives of those who came before us, and over the lives that come after us?
Perhaps He wants us to be keenly aware, even as we look for the fulfillment of promises made long ago, that who we are and even our name are not unimportant to Him in our present generation?
Or perhaps, this particular genealogy is only here because God is committed to demonstrating that His plan is far greater than ours, so much so that even the number of our generations is counted? Or that we too might aspire to have our name written down – not in a genealogical record per se, but in the Lamb’s book of Life?
So many good and useful lines of thought, all jumping out at us!
Think not that Jesus’ genealogy is a useless bit of trivia. It is the Holy Word of God, able to make the foolish wise and to discern the hearts and motives of all who read it. Remember that, ”All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Yes, even a genealogy! Amen.
Our names are not written in either the Old Testament or the New Testament, but we who know Jesus in our day are honoured all the same. For we too are part of His story.
Today, pray for your pastor and at least one distant relative in addition to yourself. God is doing something tremendous through each of you. Thank Him for that.