Monday 17 December 2018

Bible Book:

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations … (v 17)

Matthew 1:1-17 Monday 17 December 2018

Psalm: Psalm 72


You might be able to remember a number of Bible verses, but only a very few of us would be able to recite Matthew 1:1-17, which is odd because it is written to be remembered. It is clearly structured, perhaps like a three-act play of the drama of salvation all leading up to the fourth and final act. There are fourteen names in each section and perhaps even the word ‘David’ helps you to remember this – numbers could be written using the consonants of the Hebrew alphabet, so if we take the translated letters D was 4 and V was 6, so DaViD was 4+6+4 = 14.

It is also memorable because there are some famous names here among others: Isaac, Abraham and Jesse, for example. Interestingly and very unusually there are also some famous women mentioned: Tamar (although she had tricked Judah), Rahab (sometimes known as Rahab the harlot) and Ruth (who, although ethically the best of the three, was a foreigner). Bathsheba is not mentioned by name but was the wife of Uriah. When David sent Uriah into the thick of the battle so he could have Bathsheba as his own wife, his life reached a new moral low point.

Where would you begin if you were going to explain who Jesus was and what his life would be all about? Perhaps the best answer to that question is that it would depend who you were talking to. Matthew knew his audience and for a Jew the genealogy (or genesis as the Greek has it) was the most natural and interesting place to start. You find many genealogies in the Jewish scriptures, our Old Testament. This was because to be a good Jew you had to have purity of descent and follow the Torah.

The point of all of this was to show that Jesus really was the son of David; he was the fulfilment of all the Old Testament hopes. Yet Jesus was not conventional, any more than his genealogy was conventional; there are all sorts of people in the list, saints and sinners, male and female, Jew and non-Jew. In his ministry, Jesus would reach out to all of them.


To Ponder:

  • What would be a good starting point to a gospel today? If you were sharing the good news about Jesus, where would you begin?
  • Does your genealogy have any significance for your self-understanding?
Previous Page Sunday 16 December 2018
Next Page Tuesday 18 December 2018