Mar. 19, 2020

As was supposed, the son of Joseph

Luke 3:23-38 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

Genealogy of Jesus

When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Hesli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Heber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.


That the genealogy of Jesus is traced through David is significant because it was prophesied that the Messiah would come through David’s line. That is just one of the many Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. That His genealogy is traced back to Adam is significant because it was through Adam that the curse of sin entered the world. So as Savior and redeemer, the redemptive work of the cross goes all the way back to the original sin. Jesus died for the redemption of every sin. For many of the names listed in the genealogy, we know very little, others are very familiar.   For me, the greatest value of the recorded genealogy is not to know the full lineage of Jesus, after all, as the text says:  When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph; in truth Jesus is the Son of God, born of Mary, but conceived by the Holy Spirit.  The greatest value of the genealogy of Jesus is when we look at the lives of some of those listed we see many examples of the sins that are redeemed through Christ.

Look at the generations from Abraham to David:   David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nashon,  the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,  the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham.  Abraham is of course the father of the promise of God. In Genesis 22:18 God spoke to Abraham saying:  In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”   Yet even Abraham, known for his faith and obedience, tried to help God by having a son through Hagar rather than trusting that the child of promise would be born to Sarah. That misstep by Abraham set up generations of conflict between the sons of Ishmael and the sons of Isaac.

Jacob tricked his older brother Esau into giving up his birthright. Genesis 25:29-32 says: When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished; and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?” And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.  Then he deceived his father Isaac in order to also receive the blessing of the first born. In Genesis 27:32-36 it says:  Isaac his father said to him, “Who are you?” And he said, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” Then Isaac trembled violently, and said, “Who was he then that hunted game and brought it to me, so that I ate of all of it before you came, and blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.”  When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” And he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and has taken away your blessing.” Then he said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob, for he has supplanted me these two times? He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.”

Judah means praise, but his son Perez was born to Judah’s daughter in law Tamar, when she posed as a prostitute. (Genesis 38) Boaz was the kinsman redeemer of Naomi who had lost her husband and both of her sons. Boaz married Ruth, Naomi’s daughter in law. Ruth was a Moabite.  In Genesis 19:30-37, after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, it says:  Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; and he stayed in a cave, he and his two daughters.  Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father.” So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father.” So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 

Then there is David. In Acts 13:22 it says:  After removing Saul, He raised up David as their king and testified about him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after My own heart; he will carry out My will in its entirety.’  David is known as one of the greatest warriors for and worshippers of God. Yet he was also an adulterer and a murderer. He also made other poor decisions. In 1 Chronicles 21:9-17 after taking a census of the army of Israel, it says:  The Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying,  “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I offer you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”’” So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Take for yourself either three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now, therefore, consider what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” David said to Gad, “I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man.”  So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel; 70,000 men of Israel fell. And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces. David said to God, “Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O Lord my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”

The genealogy of Christ includes every kind of sin and the cross of Christ was enough to redeem every one.  There is no sin so great that the sinner is beyond redemption. John 3:16 says“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit. The geneaology of Christ does not so much identify His ancestors as it does show us that we are redeemed from their sins and our own, if only we will believe. Amen.