January 23, 2017: The Ancestry of the King

*Morning: Matthew 1:1-17; Noon: Romans 7:13-9:5; Evening: Psalm 15

Having read the book of Genesis we now turn our attention to the genesis of Jesus. The word for “genealogy” in Mat. 1:1 is translated from the Greek, genesis, i.e. the beginning, origin, birth. Two schools of thought explain the discrepancies between Matthew and Luke’s genealogies (Cf. Luke 3:23ff). The first possibility is that Matthew is tracing Jesus legal heritage through Joseph, whose uncle (as is presumed to be Jacob) was left childless, and was thus inherited by his nephew. Luke then traces Jesus paternal heritage through Joseph, which likewise leads back to David, Abraham, and eventually the father of us all. The second possibility is that Matthew is tracing the paternal or yet still the legal heritage of Jesus through Joseph, and Luke is tracing the maternal heritage of Jesus through Mary, making special mention that Jesus was the supposed son of Joseph and diverging from there.

Other minor complexities do exist in the genealogies that may never be fully explained, but it is important to notice that both writers are careful to provide what was a perfectly acceptable and detailed account by Middle Eastern standards, while simultaneously fulfilling their theological agenda. Matthew’s agenda is to clearly portray Jesus as the authentic and true King of Jews. Notice how Matthew calls Jesus the Son of David before calling Him the Son of Abraham. Also of interest is the fourteen-generational gap that exists in each transition. Two very special observations are made in this regard. First, some have noticed a discrepancy in the number of generations when carefully counted (14-14-13?). This, however, may be solved when a double portion in the genealogy is attributed to David. Secondly, because numbers were also affixed to the Hebrew alphabet, it has been observed that David’s name is equivalent to the number fourteen. Hence, we have David’s name at the first, David given a double portion, and the number of David setting the standard for the divisions of eras in Jesus ancestry. What’s the message? The son of the king, the King of all kings, has arrived!

O’ worship the King all glorious above and below!

 

*[Editor’s Note]: One of the great things about utilizing a live daily devotional companion is that we can shift gears at anytime without being set in place by the rigidness of a book. The purpose of this shift is to give more attention to our year-long preaching theme, “Walking with Jesus.” We will now give daily attention to the gospel accounts and carefully attend the life of Jesus throughout the year. Our noon readings will complete Romans, and then return to Exodus to complete the entire Old Testament, Acts, and the rest of the epistles in the New Testament until the end of the year.

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