Can You See God’s Grace?
A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. 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. (Matthew 1:1-17)
Seriously, is there anyone out there still awake?
Matthew was written by the tax collector turned Jesus follower, one of the original twelve Apostles. It is an eyewitness account of much of our Lord’s earthly ministry. Matthew writes his gospel primarily to a Jewish audience. It is fitting that he begins his writing by connecting Jesus back to the two great covenants of Jewish history–the Abrahamic (Genesis 12 and 15) and the Davidic (2 Samuel 7)–by including a detailed lineage of Christ. This genealogy shows that God is ever faithful to His promises and will make good every Word He has spoken though the performance of the fulfillment may be long deferred.
Anyone claiming to be the King of the Jews at that time would have been asked by their fellow Jews if they were indeed descendants of King David. Matthew clearly gives a definitive “Yes!” to Jesus being rightly related to King David by detailing His lineage.
Interestingly, Matthew makes mention of five women in his genealogy of Jesus. He also includes some men of questionable character. The genealogy of Jesus demonstrates the gift of God’s grace: Tamar, an adulterous Canaanite; Rahab, a prostitute and a Canaanite as well; Ruth, a Moabite; Solomon’s mother Bathsheba, an adulteress; and Mary “of whom was born Jesus,” the “of whom” being a feminine relative pronoun indicating Jesus was the physical child of Mary yet Joseph was not His physical father. I think it is extremely interesting that Matthew, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, mentions Uriah’s name in lieu of Bathsheba’s as he had been her husband and the one that King David murdered in an effort to cover his own sin with her. I think it sweet of God to recognize Uriah in this significant place rather than Bathsheba, once again reminding us that he was an honorable man.
We see God’s grace throughout the Bible, reaching back many generations through his covenant, and going forward through the sacrifice of his only Son.
Take It to Heart
“Grace is the grand and only resource for us all. It is the basis of our salvation; the basis of a life of practical godliness; and the basis of those imperishable hopes which animate us amid the trials and conflicts of this sin-stricken world. May we cherish a deeper sense of grace, and more ardent desire for glory!” (C. H. Mackintosh)