The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah
The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:
2 Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, and Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers. 3 Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez fathered Hezron, and Hezron fathered [e]Ram. 4 Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, and Nahshon fathered Salmon. 5 Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, and Obed fathered Jesse. 6 Jesse fathered David the king.
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.
Genealogies are important because of who and what they connect you to. Luke’s genealogy connects Jesus to Adam and then to God. But Matthew’s connects Jesus to Abraham and David. This is important because of the connection to those great men of the past and their role in the Nation of Israel. And I would add one more to indicate Jesus’ connection to Moses.
The importance of connection to these men is the importance of Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s purposes for the Nation of Israel.
During my Christmas messages this year I will look at how Jesus is connected specifically to Abraham, Moses, Adam, and David. In Jesus’ connection to the actions of these men in history we see the significance of what Jesus does in history. And in that we will see the reason and glory of the incarnation. God has become man.
In today’s message I want us to consider Abraham and how Jesus is connected to Abraham in ministry purpose. When we see how important Abraham is, it helps us to see unity in Salvation history and how Jesus is the fulfillment of all that came before Him.
Why is Abraham so important?
- Abraham and God’s Promise to Bless
- Abraham was first to follow God
Genesis 12 is the beginning of the Biblical narrative that connects people to God in relationship.
The first 11 chapters of Genesis contain about as much time as the rest of the Old Testament from Moses to Jesus. Eleven chapters for 2000 years. In a very real way it is an introduction to all of the Bible. The information about Abraham covers 13 chapters and more words than the previous 2000 years!
What do we see in Abraham that shapes how all people should relate to God?
- His faith was credited to him as righteousness. He believed God. He acted on that faith. That faith settled his relationship with God!
- Abraham is seen as the father of all who have appropriate faith in God.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.[b]”
39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.
“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me.
51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”
52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him,
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” (A reference to the call to sacrifice Isaac)
- Abraham received God’s blessing
Blessing is a huge concept in the Bible. The Hebrew word is Barak. It means literally to kneel. When God blesses He is not submitting, but is giving service or benefit that produces life. The NT word is the same word that we get eulogy from. Eulogio. To speak good over. To speak life over is what I would say.
So, when God blesses, He is granting those benefits that make life good. Our passage last week at Thanksgiving: Bless the Lord and forget not his benefits. His benefits are His blessings to us. God blesses us by giving us life and making life good. We bless God by acknowledging His blessings and speaking what is right, true and good of Him.
When God creates man: Genesis 1:
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
God curses in Genesis 3, 6, 9 and finally Genesis 11.
The Genesis 11 story is especially significant as it serves as the background for God’s initiative in calling Abraham to a relationship with Him.
Genesis 10 Introduction of Nations. People groups have grown and are cooperating around family/tribe relationships.
Genesis 11 Story of Babel. People seek to secure for themselves some very important things:
- Build a place to live
- Connect ourselves to heaven
- Make a name for ourselves
- Protect ourselves from scattering: Create longevity/ endurance of culture/family.
4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
The people seek to do this by applying their new technology to the issue at hand. When people live cooperatively, they share their knowledge and culture advances more quickly. We can see this clearly in our day and time.
These folks have the ability to bake bricks. They have building materials that fit together well and quickly. They have the ability to make mortar. They can fasten the bricks together so that they endure time. They can build bigger. They can build faster. With greater function. They can build more beautifully. They can gain fame for themselves, the acclaim and esteem of others.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon & the Walls of Babylon the city later.
God judges them/curses them/ and they are scattered and separated by language differences. Their attempts are completely thwarted because God will not allow men to displace Him or His role of blessing in their lives!
Then in Genesis 12 God promises to Abraham the same things that the people of Babel sought. We have to see this connection. Because that which people would seek to do on their own in their own cleverness (which is a gift from God), God promises to do for Abraham if he will submit to God.
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
I will make you a great nation (or a great people)
I will make your name great
You will be a blessing
I will bless people according to how they treat you
I will make you a blessing to all people
These are the basic promises give to the people of God throughout history. They are fleshed out in His covenant with Moses.
3 Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.
Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
Once we understand the importance of Abraham as the forerunner for all who have a relationship with God, we understand the importance of the connection to Jesus in the genealogy. The New Testament teaches us that every blessing given to Abraham and his descendants are given through Jesus Christ to all who have faith to follow Him!
- All of the Blessings to Abraham are given in Jesus
Galatians 3: 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 4: 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
Galatians 4:4 is Christmas
- We trust in Christ for God’s blessing
- Jesus teaches us about blessing
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled. (with righteousness)
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
- Jesus came to give us blessing
John 10: 7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
John 8: 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 11: 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
John 7: 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Galatians 3: 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
- Trusting in Jesus is demonstrated by Abraham
Romans 4: 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”[c] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
To trust means to accept God at His word and then to act accordingly!