By Dan Vis
April 15, 2019
Though I normally share this around the Holiday Season each year, it seemed appropriate to pull it out given our emphasis on Bible prophecy this month. If you haven't read this before, or just want a refresher, it's a fascinating study...
Many people pause this time of year to reflect on the birth of Jesus. No one knows the exact day Jesus was born, but as believers, we can take advantage of the interest people have in His first coming, to point minds to his second coming and other eternal realities. One such reality is God's amazing power to predict the future. And the birth of Jesus reveals that power in a special way.
Take the two genealogies of Jesus recorded in the Bible. One is found in Matthew 1 (verses 1-16), and the other is in Luke 3 (verses 23-38). If you are like most people, its easy to just gloss over these verses and get to something more interesting like the Wisemen, the Shepherds, or Simeon and Anna. But to do so would be a mistake, for these passages are quite significant.
The first thing worth noting is that these genealogies clearly contradict each other. Read the names carefully, and you will see they diverge after David. Matthew's account takes Jesus through the line of Solomon (vs 6). While Luke's takes us through another son of David, named Nathan (vs 31). How can Jesus have two genealogies?
The answer is simple. Matthew is clearly recounting the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph. Verses 16 says "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of who was born Jesus, who is called the Christ." The verb "begat" implies a direct biological descendant. This is Joseph's line.
Luke's version uses a much more generic expression, describing Jesus merely as "the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli". This looser expression seems to allow for sonship by both marriage or adoption. See I Samuel 24:16And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. for an example of the former. Jesus himself, is an obvious example of the latter. In other words, if Joseph was the biological descendant of Jacob, then Heli must have been his father-in-law. Mary's father. In other words, Luke is giving us the biological line of Jesus.
Why both records? It is not surprising, given Matthew's special interest in the Jewishness of the Messiah, that he focuses in on the legal lineage of Jesus. Nor is it surprising, given that Luke was a gentile medical doctor, that he chose to focus in on his human, biological side. But the two genealogies combined are the key to unlocking a twisted knot of prophecies a casual Bible reader might never even notice.
Consider for example the following promises:
1) The Messiah was to inherit the throne of David. (Isaiah 9:7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.).
2) The Messiah would be a direct biological descendant of David. (Psalms 132:11The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.).
In Jewish tradition, the throne was only transmitted through the male line, which means the heir of David's throne must also be his biological seed.
But the problem is complicated by the prophecy saying Jesus would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.). If there is no human father, how could the Messiah fulfil both conditions?
To make matters worse, the legal right to the throne was required to come through Solomon (I Chronicles 28:5And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.). And as that inheritance wound it's way through the long chain of David's heirs, it eventually came to Jeconiah, a particularly evil king--whom God cursed saying:
Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.
Now if the line is to come through Jeconiah, and yet the curse in Jeremiah blocks all of his male descendants--how could the Messiah fulfill all the required conditions?
The answer is obvious with just a little reflection. Jesus inherited the right to the throne when Joseph married Mary and became the "father" of her child. A careful reading of Matthew's genealogy shows it is the appropriate royal line--down through Solomon (vs 6), and even Jeconiah (vs 11). But because Jesus was not biologically related to Joseph, he was able to bypass the curse pronounced on Jeconiah, and all his descendents--including Joseph!
Luke's genealogy makes it clear Jesus was also a biological descendant of David, but through Nathan instead of Solomon, and on down to Mary, his sole biological parent. He was thus also, clearly, "the fruit" of David's body.
In other words, for Jesus to be both the heir of David and the seed of David, he had to be born of two parents exactly like Joseph and Mary. It was only through the combination of those exact genealogies that He could fulfill the prophecies related to His birth. And God predicted it all centuries in advance!
Amazing! Isn't it?
As you contemplate the birth of Jesus with friends and family, why not tell the story of the only two parents in the world who could fulfill the complicated knot of prophecies required in the birth of Jesus. And then point them to the incredible God Who alone could orchestrate such a remarkable fulfillment.
Let's encourage ourselves and those we love, that there is a God in control Who knows the end from the beginning. And Who is there to help us every step of our life as well.
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What do you think? What is your favorite prophecy of the Messiah? How does the evidence of Bible prophecy strengthen your faith?
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/15/19|
|The Bible is an amazing book Carole, no doubt about that. So thankful that the Spirit who inspired its writers is still here to help us understand its words. :)|
|Posted by Carole Bliss on 04/15/19|
|The Word of God is all truth and accuracy. All is set in place from the beginning. The Holy Spirit filled the writers.|
HE has always been in charge
We can count on His Word.
|Posted by Dan Vis on 04/15/19|
|It is fascinating Christine! So many other treasures in the Scriptures just below the surface, beyond the common prophecies we are familiar with.|
|Posted by Christine Wigglesworth on 04/15/19|
|Wow! Thanks for sharing "Incredible Genealogies" Pastor Dan! Amazing! I've never really looked at this before.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/24/18|
|Today and tomorrow are ideal days for sharing this particular article! Glad you enjoyed it Barbara! :)|
|Posted by Barbara Lindsay on 12/24/18|
|Thank you Dan for this explanation. What an awesome God we serve. This is truly amazing.Lord help us to share these amazing revelation with others.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/19/18|
|Interesting thought Dixie! No end of treasures to dig out from the Word, isn't there?|
|Posted by Dixie Mende on 12/19/18|
|Another interesting part of Jesus genealogy I found was Mary being a relative of Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. According to Luke 1:5THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth., Elizabeth was of the daughters of Aaron, the first High Priest. I think this makes a nice tie to Hebrews 3:1Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; where Jesus is referred to as our High Priest. Because of the genealogy of Mary’s father, I thought this may have been through Mary’s mother.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/19/18|
|Thanks bunches for sharing David! It's the perfect time to give these away. A week from now, and it won't be near as effective. Let's share while we can!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/18/18|
|Great! Good to see you again Floride. :) Feel free to print out a copy or two and share it with a friend.|
|Posted by David Grabe on 12/18/18|
Greetings all my FAST Friends , in the Inconceivable, Incontrovertible, & Incomprehensible Name of Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ!
Thank you, Pastor Dan for the Monday Memo, "Incredible Genealogies"!
Wow! The LORD God is always in charge!
"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved." Ephesians 1:5,6Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
"Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: In Whom we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will: That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ." Ephesians 1:9-129 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
"Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in(among) you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:26,27Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
"And (this) hope makes us not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us." Romans 5:5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
"This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." Isaiah 28:29This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, now, this day, and forevermore...
|Posted by Floride Leonce on 12/17/18|
Great insight, Dan, as always! This is a beautiful lesson. I will read agin tomorrow and will check the references for more clarity.
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/17/18|
|Right Patricia! That's a great lesson to take from something like this. :)|
|Posted by Patricia Jones on 12/17/18|
|Good study, Dan! I appreciate it. It is incredible how God puts all the pieces together. And yes, that speaks to His ability to do the same in our lives.|
|Posted by Sally CH Lam on 12/17/18|
|I’m awed! What a God we serve; thanks so much for this inspiring piece.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/17/18|
|My pleasure Arlene Webb. Feel free to share it with someone! Now is the season for sure... :)|
|Posted by Arlene Webb on 12/17/18|
|Very interesting. I,too, had not picked up on the prophecy of Jeconiah before. Thank you for sharing this study. |
|Posted by Dan Vis on 01/11/17|
|Glad everyone enjoyed this study. May post more like it in the future. :)|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/27/16|
|Great! So many wonderful truths in the Bible, aren't there? Thanks for reading Sherry.|
|Posted by Sherry Olson on 12/26/16|
|Our thoughts are not His thoughts and neither are our ways His ways! Only God could accomplish this, printing out and will study on this some more!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/26/16|
Glad you enjoy the material here Sonya. So many exciting things to find in the Word of God. Inexhaustible treasures!!!
Hi Qing. Matthew 13:52Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old..
|Posted by Qing Ling on 12/24/16|
|Gotta love them old old treasures, Dan!:) |
Glad you're bringing them into the 21st century digital world!
|Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/23/16|
|Indeed, Dan, the very fact that it is complicated speaks of Divine Arrangement.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/21/16|
|Such an encouragement to see the way God works through human free will to fulfil complicated, interconnected prophecies. Amazing! Glad you enjoyed it, Fiona.|
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