Most Christians that I know would skip Matthew 1:1-17 in reading the Christmas story. Most would go directly to verse 18 up to Matthew 2. Some said that they found it boring. Others said that they cannot properly pronounce the names. Thus, the reading of the genealogy of three fourteen generations from Abraham to Jesus is largely ignored.
We may skip reading Matthew 1 from time to time but its importance should not be ignored. I personally heard of an American Jew who testified that he accepted Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah when he read Matthew 1. Why then is the genealogy of Jesus important?
Matthew 1 narrows down the bloodline in which the Messiah will come. It says that the Messiah will come from Abraham. It then narrows down to Isaac’s line, and not Ismael’s. The Old Testament prophecy further says that the Messiah will come from the line of Jacob and not from Esau. And not just from any son of Jacob which was 12 in number but from Judah. From the many lines from Judah, the prophecy specified that the Messiah should come the line of Jesse.
What is more interesting is that Jesse had 8 sons but the prophecy narrowed it down again to his son David. As 2 Samuel 7:12 says, “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom.” The genealogy continues to narrow down to one person as pointed by the prophecies.
Matthew 1 then tells us how the prophecies in the Old Testament were so specific that it can only lead us to one person. It leaves no room for doubt that Jesus is the Messiah.
This is the beauty of the genealogy of Jesus. May you take the time to read it this Christmas season.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on